thoughts, prayers & songs:

I’ve turned forty-one. It’s not a milestone. Last year was the hilltop. The descent begins, but here I’m still close to the crest. Momentum hasn’t yet kicked my decline into high gear.

When I turned forty, I was certain I wouldn’t have a midlife crisis. It took me half my life to live into my vocation, and I was still only ankle-deep in my first pastorate living out God’s call on my life. But before forty-one rolled around I was asked to resign. I spent half the year, at the half point of my life, feeling only half alive—like I had nothing valuable to contribute. I doubted my gifts, my calling, my vision and my ability to lead.  I was crippled by shame. I didn’t just feel like I failed as a pastor. I felt myself a failure, all the way through.

I don’t share this from a place of victory. I…

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