the tentmaker

daily thoughts on the common lectionary

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Location: Sharpsburg, Georgia, United States

"...because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them, and they worked together — by trade they were tentmakers." Acts 18:3. Tentmaker is a title taken by bi-vocational pastors. As such, I am both a pastor and a project manager. I am a pastor of a local congregation of moderate, accepting and affirming people who worship in the Baptist tradition. We call our church "Hope Memorial Baptist" and we are about 40 in number. I am also a project manager of major construction projects for the State of Georgia. My home and church is in rural Coweta County, between Peachtree City and Newnan, with a mailing address of Sharpsburg, Georgia.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Insanity Update

It's true, when you are in the throws of depression and the medication is not working, it is hard to see what got you into trouble and what will get you out.

A former therapist once told me "Successful people know what they need, and they get it." In my case, I knew that the medication was not working. I also knew I needed help with that. So I found a psychiatrist and he has rediagnosed me and put me on an additional medication.

I have been on the new medication for exactly two weeks today. I'm happy to say that it seems to be working. And the dreaded side effects that come with an adverse reaction to this particular drug have not manifested themselves.

Now that the medication seems to have leveled out my moods, I can see more clearly what got me into trouble. You see, for me, medication is only part of the solution. There are also some behavioral exercises that I have learned over the years of dealing with my depression that I quit doing. I quit leaving my work at the office. And I quit a regular regimen of meditation. I use centering prayer, the daily offices, and the rosary (yes a Baptist pastor uses the rosary) in my meditation.

I will begin a period of therapy with a new therapist on Monday, next. Then I return to the paying job on Tuesday. The first two days will be all-day strategic planning sessions so I won't be confronted with all of the project related issues immediately upon returning. Those will come on Thursday. The way I'm feeling now, I believe that I will be able to return to work with a minimum of difficulty, not that there will be none. I expect to be seen as somewhat untouchable at first. Soon, however, my co-workers will realize that I am not an alien with six eyes and four feet.

Every time a crisis hits, I think "I will not be able to survive this." But, with God's help and the help from my friends and loved ones, I have always survived. What comes with age is that after you get a number of these crises under your belt, as it were, you begin to realize that no matter how bad the crisis is, you will get through it. I think that's what age has over youth.

Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
and strengthens the powerless.
Even youths will faint and be weary,
and the young will fall exhausted;
but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.
Thank you all for caring. Thank you for your words of support and your prayers.



Blogger Tripp Hudgins said...

It amazes me that this text is on your blog today. I have been singing Thompson's Peaceable Kingdom...Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? You shall have a song...a song, and gladness of heart.

Praise be to God...and to good doctors.

11/20/2006 4:08 PM  
Anonymous Mary Beth said...

Blessings on you and your journey...from a fellow tripper in the land of depression.

11/20/2006 6:29 PM  
Blogger net said...

thanks, joel! you have given me hope! be blessed, dear friend!

11/21/2006 11:42 AM  
Blogger SingingOwl said...

As I just wrote to another ring member, why are SO MANY of us clergy struggling with depression?

Anyway, I am glad you are feeling better...still pondering a Baptist pastor praying the rosary...and wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving Day.

11/22/2006 10:29 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

And from another who suffers from depression, thank goodness for medication and for the support professionals and friends can offer us.

RevGalBlogPals is delurking this week. Make sure to leave comments to whoever you visit!

11/23/2006 9:45 PM  
Blogger Songbird said...

Thanks for your comment, Joel, and continued strength to you.

11/24/2006 9:07 AM  
Blogger LutheranChik said... wishes for your continued healing! God is good.

11/28/2006 7:10 PM  

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