23211795 I’m not an overly emotional guy. I think I was a little more sensitive when I was younger than I am now… I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not. I have been known to cry on occasion. I cried on my wedding day, I cried when my son was born and I absolutely will cry overtime I watch Homeward Bound (I know, it’s my burden). I’ve also found that since being in full time ministry, I typically have a “break down and cry moment” once a year.

The first time this happened was about 8 months after I gotten into full time ministry. I remember feeling overwhelmed. I had jumped from being a part time CP at a church of 200 to a full time CP at a church of 2000. I was feeling the pressure of a really busy day and I just snapped. I closed my office door, turned off the lights and wept like a baby. Twenty minutes later, I cleaned myself up and treated myself to a Route 44 Lemon Berry Slush. And that was it.

I had another one of these moments in October. It had been a stressful week at work. It had been an incredibly busy summer that just merged directly into an incredibly busy fall (due to decisions outside of my control). I needed some serious time off. I was playing racquetball early one morning with one of my fellow children’s pastors before work. It was a Tuesday (my busiest days filled with meetings from start to finish). I felt an incredible amount of pressure weighing me down as I played. After playing, I sat in my car for about 30 minutes before calling my boss and telling him that I would not be in. I then drove out to my favorite spot in the DFW area (a beautiful park with miles and miles of horse trails through woods along Lake Grapevine). I spent a few hours just walking, praying and worshiping. By noon I came home feeling so much better. I just took the rest of the day off and hung out with my family.

I’ve learned that these are normal occurrences in my life. They only come once a year… sometimes less. But I’ve found that it’s important to listen to your mind/emotions. Close the door, clear your calendar and just get it all out. Cry it out, pray it out, run it out… just release! It’s a normal part of being human. When people ask me why I was out, I tell them “I was simply curled up in the fetal position under my desk, crying like a little girl… but I feel better now.”

So, I don’t know if it’s just me… but I don’t think it is. I’ve talked to too many CP’s who have gotten frustrated, stressed out and on the verge of burn-out. Just know that it’s okay to clear your calendar and take a time for your mental health. You’ll feel better and you’ll be glad you did.