All caring godly people hit bottom and burnout sooner or later. I always have admired my dad for his faithful following of the Lord and service to the kingdom. He shared with me that there was a time not too long ago when he felt burned out. I know that about 6 years ago I was pretty depressed. I felt that, based on how my children were doing, I was a complete failure as a parent. The church did not want anything that I had to offer. Work just wanted a pill pusher, not a counselor, my back was always hurting. I started to feel sorry for myself and could relate to Jonah, Moses, and Elijah, “God why don’t you just take me?” I knew that suicide was not an option. Even having the option of suicide left me feeling trapped. It felt that everyone wanted me only for what they could get from me and not for myself.
So what helped? I just kept walking, reminding myself that Jesus was enough even if I never accomplished great things or had lots of people want to hang out with me. I kept my focus on the guaranteed fulfillment of God’s promises even if I had to wait till I see him face to face to obtain the promise. For the hope that was set before me I endured.
I was burned out and God understood and helped me back off of the choices I was making that added to my burnout.
First I circle round and round on things I can’t control.
Second I make mountains out of small stuff.
Third I suppress issues I should accept the reality of, and move on.
Fourth I stuff feeling or just put off dealing with them.
My daughter Cheri is wise beyond my years. A while ago I was thrilled to have the chance to teach a Sunday school class. I had been going to this church for over a year and finally had a chance to contribute something out of my God design. I prepared well and thought I did a good job and was excited about continued opportunity to give to my brethren. The next week pastor called and said to Lois, “Have Verle bring back the teachers manual we won’t need him to teach again.” Being the fragile person I am, I was feeling hurt and was going to take the rest of the week to build up to asking pastor what I’d done wrong. That would have used up enormous amounts of serotonin to suppress my feeling, gotten in the way of performing well at work and then I would have wound up dealing with a bigger problem come Sunday when pastor would realize that I had been upset all week without letting him know. Cheri encouraged me to check with pastor and not procrastinate. I called him and he was just thinking that I was a busy doctor and he’d appreciated my help and found someone else to cover so that I wouldn’t be stressed.