I watched the debut episode of Obsessed on A&E tonight. Two people suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and want out of their “prison” of anxiety and bad behaviors.

My heart goes out to the woman who lost her parents tragically and suddenly. Add to that her husband having an affair while she was pregnant with their third child! She couldn’t go on freeways because of the way her dad died. She had the clothes her dad was wearing when he died…and would put them on.

What interested me was the use of cognitive behavior therapy. When I was searching for a therapist to talk through my depression and anxiety, a friend suggested I find someone who is a cognitive behavior therapist. I needed a change of behavior to deal with my anxiety. I needed to find a way to deal with what happens when I feel like the world was crashing down on me.

I’ll more than likely have one of those moments this week because there is a voters meeting this week. Even though things are going as well as can be expected here, I enter these meetings with a tremendous amount of anxiety. I never know if someone will challenge me. I never know if someone will try to destroy all the good things God has done in this place while I have served as pastor. I take everything so personal because I deal with people’s souls. People’s souls are personal. When someone doesn’t appreciate something I do, whether or not I make a mistake or whether or not I do the right thing, I think that person is out to destroy me, my family, and the congregation. It becomes a personal vendetta in my eyes.

I’ve heard too many stories of pastors being treated poorly by congregations while district officials do nothing to help the pastor and everything to help the congregation get rid of the pastor. I’ve also heard stories that border on what the pastor considers “martyrdom” but are actually molehills rather than mountains. I obsess that I will be the next one to be booted.

It hasn’t happened. I doubt it will. But that gnawing feeling remains.

There are people who prey on the pastor’s fear. These people are few and far between. But what if I have to deal with one of those people? What if they were right under my nose the whole time and I never saw them? What more can I do when I seek resolution but someone doesn’t want something to end? What if their vendetta swings an entire congregation against me?

That’s how the “martyr complex” starts. It’s always gnawing at me during meetings. I have to summon all the strength I have to put on a happy face and act like meetings don’t bother me.

But they do.

I’m obsessed with losing my vocation and not being able to provide for my family.

There. I admit it. I feel better.

Now how can I get this through my hard head?

I hope your holiday weekend went well. Mine did. Good food, good friends, good times. Back to the study tomorrow. Have a good night and a good week. Pray for me.



One Response to “Obsession”

  1. KT,
    My husband did lose his vocation. His congregation did indeed kick him out. We have been in CRM limbo for three years. At the time, it looked like the worst thing that could ever happen, but God’s grace and mercy still followed us there. We weren’t sure always how we were going to get by, and yet God provided when we were wringing our hands in fear. Our struggle is far from over and it is an uphill battle every day, and yet I can still focus on what Christ has done for me on the cross. The stuff I lose or might lose in this life cannot take away what Christ has won for me in eternal life, that is, my own salvation. We have had hard times where we couldn’t afford food, and yet we ate. We still have times where the end of the day brings more bills than money. All the while, the Lord Jesus is still right there, taking care of us and giving us what we need- which is all we will ever need!

    Do I think this will happen to you? Nope! I think you’ll be fine. Most pastors who get this type of treatment feel the boot long before it hits their rear. However, don’t even let the fear of losing it all rule you, for your Heavenly Father knows what you need before you ask it and is already working on a plan to provide it. My hubby and I are living proof!

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