PSW District greetings everyone!
Recently Pastor Fernando, upon seeing the need to address the growing number of church transitions within our district, secured the services of pastor Kevin Dolbee, former senior pastor at Boulder City, NV to serve as our church transitions/church health specialist. Kevin recently joined our District team and was an easy fit. I asked him to share briefly his current journey as a way to introduce him to our District. Enjoy his entry.
We teach those around us to draw strength from God in times of trouble, yet rarely focus on preparing ourselves. My wife and I had just come through a challenging ministry season when the unthinkable happened. I was diagnosed with a debilitating heart condition. It would be easy to think this was caused by stress or eating poorly, lack of sleep, lack of exercise - things we pastors are so good at. This was not the case. I contracted a virus that attacked my heart and caused severe damage. Statistically, only ⅓ of those with this condition fully recover. It made no sense. Why me? How would I get through this?
A number of years back I stepped out of my comfort zone and asked some tough questions about my life. I loved Jesus, but was I really transforming? I was a Christian, but I was easily offended. I loved people, but they sure did bother me. I felt like I had a firm grasp of the gospel, but my emotions were erratic. I ultimately realized that spiritual maturity and emotional health were inseparable. The journey of exploring beneath the surface prepared me for the crisis of faith I would face. A few things ring true as I reflect on this whirlwind: I remained anchored in Jesus (Hebrews 6:19). My “doing” for Jesus birthed out of my “being” with Jesus. I paid attention to my anger, sadness and fear. Experiencing these emotions allowed me to see the larger picture God was painting. The question I asked myself was “How are you coming to me in this emotion, God?” I received limits as a gift. I could have pushed myself and used scripture to justify it. I would have missed what only silence and solitude could offer. I embraced endings and loss as a fundamental way in which God works. (John 12:24)
I’m not out of the woods yet, I’m still vulnerable but my symptoms have all subsided. I’m feeling better every day and my emotional, physical and spiritual health have shown me that the BEST IS YET TO COME!