This is a repost of the blog post I posted on Lakeside Community Church’s website announcing my medical leave.
If you’ve been coming to Lakeside for a while, I’m sure my health battles are not news to you. For three years now I have battled with chronic migraines. It is exactly what it sounds like; every day I wake up with a headache and it follows me throughout the day.
On my best days, I have a pretty nasty headache. On my worst days, it gets ugly. There are days where I’m unable to get out of bed. There are days when the pain is so high it creates a sense of panic because I just want it to stop. In short, it makes it incredibly difficult for me to function.
What this has meant practically for Lakeside is that I haven’t been able to put the time or energy into leading this church that it deserves. My office hours are erratic and limited, at times I have to cancel meetings because things have taken a turn for the worse. I don’t have the energy to put the study, prayer, and groundwork in that I really should.
Due to my disability to perform the role of Lead Pastor, we were forced to make a decision. When the Elders and I looked at our options, there only seemed to be two:
- An interim pastor is brought in, I step down, and Lakeside begins its search for a new Lead Pastor.
- An interim pastor is brought in and I take a three-month medical leave to try to de-stress and find a permanent solution that would render me capable to perform my duties.
I am personally grateful that the Elders were unanimous and enthusiastic in choosing the latter. Both they and I want very much for Adrienne and me to stay here. It is our hope and our prayer that these three months away will be fruitful and effective.
The interim pastor, Don Dodge, was introduced this past Sunday and I think you’re going to love him. He is a bright and passionate guy with a heart for the Church and for discipleship. He is going to be a tremendous blessing to Lakeside this summer while I’m away.
In the mean time, I will be seeking out different avenues of treatment for my condition. I will also be praying, of course, that the Lord intervenes and works a miracle here. Adrienne and I covet your prayers as we embark on this summer, that God would make it fruitful and effective, that we would find a solution that restores my quality of life and leaves me able to pastor this wonderful congregation.
I am thankful, however, that Lakeside does not depend on any one person, not even myself, because it was not built around any one person. Lakeside was built on the foundation of Jesus Christ and we will continue forward in that mission. We will not miss a beat. Truly, our best days are ahead and I look forward to leading us into them.