Today is my 51st birthday. It has been a rather interesting year, to say the least. This was the year I changed careers - though not necessarily by choice. I was asked to resign at the church where I served as pastor for 14 years (while thinking I was on sabbatical), and I really can't see doing that to my family ever again (because of how it was handled more than because it happened). So now I'm just an out-of-work old guy who doesn't have any discernible skills of any kind. I presently spend most of my days reading, writing, praying, meditating, doing housework, running and exercising, and hanging with the cat. I still go through most of every day in silence, but I have also been trying to keep in touch with people and attend whatever workshops and conferences I can. One of these days I need to find a job.
Probably the worst thing about this past year - other than losing our church - was losing the majority of our friends. I never bought into that line of reasoning that pastors should keep their distance from the people in their church. So when we were asked to leave, we were left with just a handful of friends from outside our former church (and I am so thankful for them). It was pretty tough being lied to, lied about, betrayed, and then ignored by some of the people we thought were our closest friends. It was toughest watching that happen to my wife and family. I suppose logic would say you shouldn't be honest or vulnerable with people, but I refuse to believe that. I think you just need to expect that everyone is going to let you down at some point. That is one thing I've learned over this past year: to alter my expectations. Basically just don't have any, really.
On the good side, though... this was also the year I sought help for some issues I'd been dealing with for a long time. I finally admitted I needed help and got some counseling. So while people were telling me I was unfit and unhealthy, I am actually healthier and more emotionally fit now than I have been in a long, long time - maybe ever. And for the first time in about as long as I can remember, I like myself.
So, while I have absolutely no idea what my future holds... things are not all bad. I have a great family, some good friends, my soul is good, and life goes on. This is where I am today.
Peace out; and in.