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  • Ian Ferguson

SEVENTH SOJOURN


"Isn't Life Strange" is a 1972 single by the English progressive rock band The Moody Blues from their hit album ‘Seventh Sojourn”

Isn't life strange?

A turn of the page

A book without light

Unless with love we write

To throw it away

To lose just a day

The quicksand of time

You know it makes me want to cry, cry, cry

Life is strange- you can be shunting along happily and then, in a few minutes, it can all change. You find yourself happy reading the page till you turn the page.

From being happy and peaceful to being overwhelmed by a fog and darkness that descends upon you. You ask, “Who put the lights out?” Sometimes you can anticipate that a moment is coming, and you can brace yourself before it strikes. At other times you have little control over the fog and darkness.

It is hard to explain what is happening to you when you are beset by poor mental health.

Darkness? Fog? Fear? Yes all of them and more.

However, as strange as it all is there is Hope.

There is Hope! The central message of Easter, for me, is that Jesus faced the fog and darkness of all darkness when he died on the cross.

The darkness he experienced was like no other darkness faced by any human being.

Three days after his death the power of resurrection life broke through the darkness of the grave.

Darkness will never have the final say. He, God’s son, made sure of that.

It is very hard finding people who fully understand what you are going through when you are facing poor mental health.

It may be hard, but it is not impossible. You are not alone.

I am not ashamed to say that over the years I have struggled with poor mental health.

I am not ashamed to say that, as a Pastor, I have struggled with that fog and fear.

It didn’t mean I was a failure, and it didn’t mean that God didn’t use me. It didn’t mean that I could not lead a growing church, because I did.

What it did mean, however, was that in my weakness I experienced the presence and power of God in real and tangible ways. Every single day, even if I was not conscious of it at the time, the Lord was there, watching over me and helping me in every way.

There were important meetings to lead, sermons to prepare and preach, people to pastor and a lot more besides. There are difficult decisions to make, awkward people to handle and emails to answer. (We won’t mention those - as you know what I mean)

As a Church Leader you feel that you must be on top form spiritually so that you can ‘minister’ to others. Most of the time you realise that it’s you that needs the ministry most of all. In the end it can put you in a place of brokenness, as you fight to cope. Your mental health then suffers, and you spend a lot of time trying to cover up the fact that you are not coping.

There is not a lot of help out there. It is getting better but not a lot!

However, I have found in Jesus Christ

A rock when I was feeling shaky.

A refuge when I wanted to hide.

A friend when I felt alone.

A shield when I needed protection

A saviour when I needed rescued

Living with poor mental health does not mean you are weak.

Having poor mental health does not mean you are a failure.

If you are struggling with your own emotional and mental health know that you are not alone. Don’t struggle on your own. There are people who can help you at this very minute.

Check out my resources page and make that call.

Isn’t life strange?

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