If I ever write a book, I will call it "Rectumless Christianity." I
don’t know what it could be about, but I think it would kick butt!
name is Trevor Brisbin and I’m in the midst of the most confusing,
isolating and important season of my life. I’m a pastor on sabbatical.
Which, let’s be honest, is a dignified way of saying that I am a pastor
who is empty, tired and desperate for renewal.
I’ve been the
lead pastor of The Well (it was original at the time …) for more than eight
years. I’m 32 years old, married, with two kids and in January 2007 the
bottom dropped out from under me. Actually, it was taken from me in a
series of 4 surgeries when I had my entire colon and rectum removed.
This was the last and most drastic option after struggling with
Ulcerative Colitis for 10 years.
The Christian story tells us
that the body and the spirit are entwined. Each is intimately and
mysteriously connected to the other (1 Corinthians 6:16-17). With my
body broken in so many ways, it has become painfully obvious that my
spirit has paid a hefty price.
But let’s be honest, all of us in
pastoral ministry or any Christian leadership role pay an emotional
price for who we are and what we do. There’s an unbelievable rush you
get when you’re talking to a crowd and as a communicator you feel
yourself in the zone. There are those indescribable moments when you
see God-sized transformation in the people with whom you do life.
just as quickly as the highs hit, the lows swoop in. There are those
days when friends leave the community over what seems trivial, the
theology police have their sights on your last talk, or that awful
aloneness that haunts after preaching something less than your
And for anyone who has been called to walk with people as
a pastor, we find ways to temper the highs and stabilize the lows. But
what do we do when it feels like the bottom falls out from under us?
How do we as leaders, or more importantly as human beings, live out the
way of Jesus when the pieces of life feel like they have completely
fallen apart? I don’t know, I’m asking.
Right now I am resting
… desperate for God to do the restoring. Every morning when I wake up, I
question if a season of Sabbath rest, reflection, prayer and solitude
can actually make a difference.