It started with trembling hands and a sudden sense of fear. I was in between meetings in Chicago and something went "wrong" inside me. I toughed it out during my last meeting by sitting on my hands and putting on good poker face, but I was freaking out internally. This was the beginning of an awareness that I wasn't healthy, and things got worse from there. I shared part of this early last year, and did what I thought was needed to fix things-- "rebuild a healthy schedule." That was one area that needed to be addressed, but after some short term relief things went downhill again, even while maintaining the new schedule.
2011 was easily one of the hardest years of my life, and was the hardest year of ministry for me. My marriage and family were solid. Our church was growing and focused on Jesus and the mission, but I was constantly fearful and anxious. I was unsure of myself in many ways. I couldn't sleep. And looking toward the future of our church I couldn't see how things would continue in a healthy way with me in my current condition. In the midst of all of this I lost motivation to exercise and eat well. I felt lost, and for the first time in my life I had to admit that I was the most frail and weak man I knew.
A year later things are radically different, but it wasn't time that healed my wounds. It was a number of different things and a few key people that helped my through my toughest year. Because I continue to meet men and women who have had similar struggles I've decided to share what went down over the past year, and how I found relief. This will take a few posts, but I hope it will be encouraging to those who find themselves discouraged, despairing, or depressed.