A hard weekend with a couple spots of light…

I just got back from Chicago and as one of my previous posts indicates I was having a rough go at it. I really really love Chicago! I think it might even be my favorite city in the world (to date) but it’s COLD and it’s dingy and, well it’s Chicago in the winter months. I have been struggling a little lately anyway and I guess the Chicago climate didn’t help it out. But yea, I am tired and stressed out and have been stressed out for the last couple weeks, I think this little extra travel just kinda put me over the top.

The top of what is the question that pops into my head? Well the top of the fence of normalcy or something and into the land of depression. I really just felt kinda heavy hearted, like there was a 35 lbs weight on my chest most of the weekend and I felt tired all as well. I don’t know what it feels like to be depressed, I am not sure I was technically depressed. I don’t really claim to have depression, although I believe that people really struggle with it and maybe I do but who knows? How do you know? Hmmm…

Anyway, the week / weekend was really hard. I was around good people (Mike, Ben, Eugene, primetimers) and I tried to act normal, you know how that is, but I really just didn’t have a ton to give.

The spots of light that broke in every once in awhile were having to do with these people and the event that was taking place, it was a good event all around. I was speaking at a Sr. High youth conference in Chicago, Primetime. I did the Jr. High Primetime last month, that’s why it might sound familiar. But I was encouraged by the leaders who love and served, I was encourage by so many students who were taking in all the fun, music and the messages, I could see some of them growing. It’s always a bright spot for me when I get to share my heart. I hope they couldn’t tell I just didn’t have my normal self with me.

Sunday morning for me was the most encouraging. I really felt what Moses must have felt. He felt totally incompetent and unworthy but he through the power and leading of God spoke and lead the people of Israel. I totally felt incapable to serve this weekend to be honest but I really needed to honor my commitment to this group and the opportunity God opened for me to share at this event. So that’s what I did. I felt weak, I didn’t have very much to share, but as normal I tried to poor myself out, I might only of had a few drips this weekend but I think God honored that in returned and his Spirit stirred up some great stuff this weekend, especially Sunday. I really felt God give me the words and use me to speak his truth Sunday. It was the brightest spot of the weekend. And it gave me hope, it helped me to see some light at the end of the tunnel, some green grass at the end of the dark paved city street.

So yea, my aim is to keep following Jesus even when things don’t feel the greatest and trust he is God and remembering his movement in life.

Psalm 42 was my Psalm last week, it was perfect!

(a couple chunks from 42)

My tears have been my food day and night!

But these things I remember…

Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help, my God.

PERFECT!

Seeking Shalom
~~Erik