10 days on.
It is ten days since I decided I was giving up working, and I am now working a month’s notice. I am also on much lighter duties for this period, but despite this I am still exhausted.
This last week I have attended the doctor’s surgery and the hospital for a blood test (result in a few days). I am exhausted, but I am looking forward in hope that God will continue to bless me and to bless others through me.
I won’t lie, work quality has been down, and has been noticed to be down. In early July I took a week off work due to a sinus problem which caused a great deal of tiredness. Antibiotics cleared this up. But even after a restful week quality did not improve. I was too tired to concentrate. I have done it correctly in the past, and I know I can do it, so this was very frustrating to me.
Wednesday, 26th July was the day work was reviewed, and I was stuck. I knew I could do the work, and do it well, but had no idea how to proceed, mistakes were never on the same thing,
Sunday, 30th Match: I go to the prayer support we have at our church service. I am prayed with and told that God is with me.
Monday, 31st July: Spend the evening chatting with a friend from church who has taken early retirement.
Tuesday, 1st August: The train to work is rerouted to Leeds via Wakefield due to a broken down train in Dewsbury. I read in the Bible (I have the YouVersion app on my phone). It reads:
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:27
This was the morning of the disciplinary hearing. The delayed train gives me time to contemplate what I have read, that God is with me. The disciplinary hearing goes as I expected, I get a written warning.
Later that evening I speak briefly to another friend. My mind is made up, I am going to resign from work. The question is when?
Wednesday 2nd August is when. Another mistake on a case worked a few days earlier. I rang the doctor to make an appointment (Tuesday 8th August) and then wrote a letter of resignation. Date of ending, 30th August.
Sunday 6th August: Email received from church about Steve, our curate, detailing his health issues. I found this very encouraging, not just in what I needed to pray to God for for Steve, but also in my own struggle. This exert spoke to me about waiting:
C. S. Lewis famously wrote that “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain.” This is undoubtedly true, as it has proved time and again in the history of my own walk with the Lord. This should hardly be surprising given that we follow a crucified Messiah. For if we believe anything, it is surely that in Christ, God Himself entered into the very depths of despair (even into hell itself), and thus sanctified it by His presence. …
Before my ordination to the priesthood, Bishop Jonathan shared with me a book by W. H. Vanstone called The Stature of Waiting, which helped me enormously during this time. Vanstone explores the recurrent theme in the New Testament of Jesus being “handed over”. He makes the point that there is a marked shift evident in the Gospels when it might be said that Jesus’s ministry moves from being characterised by activity to being characterised by passivity. … Vanstone argues that we often think of having things done to us negatively. We pride ourselves on our independence, on being able to do things for ourselves. When we are sick or when we grow old and others have to do things for us, we consider it a loss, a deprivation, a kind of poverty. Yet, this does not have to be so.
Thursday 10th August: This turns up on my YouVersion readings:
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:30-31
That is comforting when you are as knackered as I am.
Sunday 13th August: Holy Trinity Church, Huddersfield. Today there was a bit in the sermon that said it was nothing to do with how we saw ourselves but that God’s love is unconditional. He loves us as we are.
Here endeth the health and spiritual update.