Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Breaking the Silence

Ok, time to break the blog silence.

The past month has been extremely chaotic for our family. January 7th, Gary found out that Fair Oaks Church was asking him to resign his position as youth pastor.

This request came from the fact that over the past year, Gary has been fighting depression, and over the past few months that struggle has impacted his effectiveness in ministry. Our church leadership feels that for Gary to step down and focus on beating the depression would be best for him personally and for the ministry as a whole.

At first, I found myself in shock, for I didn't see this coming at all. Over the past few weeks, though, I have found myself grateful for the chance for Gary to be healthy. I believe his depression is beatable, and I am eager to see him enjoy life once more, whatever it takes.

We have received a phenomenal outpouring of love and support from friends and members of the congregation. The number of hugs, encouraging notes, and phone calls has been astounding. We are surrounded by and uplifted in prayer, and I have no doubt that God is continuing to work in our lives in a very real way.

I admire Gary for choosing to be so forthright about his struggles. Depression is not an oft-discussed topic in most churches, which I feel is a shame considering how many people are impacted by it in some way. Since Gary's letter went out to the congregation, countless people have come forward desiring to share their experience of depression in their own or in a loved one's life. I pray that his openness will encourage others in some way.

We appreciate your support and your prayers. We are thankful that through every trial we experience in life, we can know that God is walking us through. We are holding on to the 'peace that transcends understanding', and we know that things are going to be ok.


Audrey Stone said...

Gary + Katherine...
I struggled with depression years ago and I know what it is like. My heart goes out to you both. I'm praying our Shepherd shall lead you both to the green pasture so you both would find rest. (Psalm 23) God work out everything for our own good and I know you both will come out of this stronger and closer to God. He is so good and does everything so very well! May God of peace surround you both with His banner of love.
Sister in Christ

Youth-Leader-Lady said...

Hubby and I will be praying for you both. I lived through depression before, and just experienced the struggle of having my younger sister go through it in a very intense way this last summer. The best medicine we found in the case of my sister was prayer, so we will be sure to pray for you both every day.

Katherine said...

Thanks for your prayers, friends. I believe that God will bring us through this season stronger than ever. I am so grateful for your encouragement! God bless.