I have grown so weary.
It was supposed to get easier after Easter. For some pastors it did. My problems seem to not stop.
When do I get to rest? When do I get to breathe? Why am I so worn when I am not anything but a worship leader?
My therapist told me to not minimize my own struggles, but how do you not? All I do is put together a worship service. I do not go to hospitals and care for patients, I do not risk my life to stock groceries and check customers out for garbage pay, I work from home – a quite comfortable home – and have no schedule.
Why am I so weary?
Why do I put in so much effort? Do I actually do something more than people who put in less? Do my offerings match the effort I put into them?
Why do I worry so much about it? Why can I not just be okay with enough? Why can I not see my offering as enough?
If I actually put this into the public, someone will tell me I am enough and to not beat myself up. Someone will try to make me feel better. Someone will read it and wonder why I wrote this to complain.
Maintaining my pastoral identity – and my professional identity – makes me weary. The amount of work I must put into to maintain my identity as a pastor makes me weary. The energy I must give to be myself in this time makes me weary.
Nothing just works. Zoom meetings randomly decide to not let me in. Facebook crashes. I forget to change a setting on my router and lose the service halfway through on Easter – a service I put many hours and much stress into. On-the-fly corrections do not really work in this space. Flexibility has gone from ministry because I cannot just change someone last minute. Everything must be planned and executed, and then something not working will destroy all that work and planning.
I just want to stop. I just want to be done. I just want my home to no longer be my chancel and my office. I just want to preach again in my physical pulpit.
I want to be seen. I want people to understand the sheer volume of work I do – work I never excelled at and clearly should not do professionally. I want people to see that I am making an offering that will be insufficient by the world’s standards but is so much more than I could be doing. I want people to see how much I struggle to balance my need for a sustainable ministry and my call to provide a full worship service – and not chastise and scold me for it.
And I want to be enough. But I am not. God makes me enough, somehow, but I am not, and my offerings are inadequate. I want people to just hear that, not try to fix it, not try to explain it away, but just hear my struggles and empathize with them.
I am weary, and I do not know how to not be weary.
3 Replies to “I Am Weary”
Wish I could help but I know that’s what you need right now. What we can do for you is to be saying prayers 🙏 for you here in Iowa. Dear God
Please give Robert some relief from his struggles and let him know that he is enough he has and will always be enough. That is one of the reasons you called him to do your work. We know through you all things are possible.
In Jesus name we pray
Love always from your family.
I hear you, robert. I see you. And I’m with you.
Rob, we see that you are working incredibly hard and we appreciate all that you do. You are doing so much more than is expected of you. It is more than enough. Even on days when you feel you have fallen short of your goals, it is enough. Even if you are getting negative responses from people, you are enough. We are all struggling with what to do and how to behave during a pandemic. If you are receiving fallout from that, it isn’t about you. To paraphrase Eli Wiesel: We cannot light the fire, we do not know the ritual prayers or the place in the forest. All we can do is tell the story and that must be sufficient. And it is sufficient.
Just keep telling the story. Worship was a blessing on Sunday. You are enough.