Cast Your Burdens

Many prayers for many people - God Can!!!!

If you’re not a religious person, by all means don’t read this post and come back tomorrow when normal service will be resumed. I implore (nice word) you though to stick around. This blog isn’t just about my physical health, it’s about my mental, emotional and spiritual health too. Basically, this blog is about me and I have something I’d like to tell you. We’ve become friends now and friends talk 🙂

I’ve touched briefly before about the last 18 months being the most difficult period I or my family have ever had to face. Someday very soon, I plan to tell you all about the tests and trials we have had to overcome, for now, I can only give you little snippets, so forgive me, but, I just must share something with you.

So, I lost my job in August of 2010. Now, as a family, our troubles, our trials, started in March of 2010, but, losing my job was unexpected. My job was wonderful. I was a music teacher, I taught full class vocal lessons to primary school kids and this job had everything I was good at. I was working with kids, working with music/singing, being fun, being loud, some administration and project planning, concert organising and even more, teaching gospel music, creating and developing full class ‘kids gospel choirs’. Wow. Can you see it, imagine it? Groups of 30-60 eight to ten year old’s, swaying and clapping, singing ‘Oh Happy Day.’ The end of year concert was spectacular, with a mass choir of 300-500 kids, just a sea of tiny heads and smiling faces, bringing down the roof of the cities Cathedral. I loved that job. On the 16th August 2010 (my Birthday – nice), it was gone and I was devastated, I was numb.

I tried to hold things together, but, it was no good. I tried to remain positive, but I couldn’t. “Paul, get a grip, it’s only a job,” I told myself. “You’ll, get another one.” I said it, but, I didn’t actually believe it. I became increasingly depressed.

Depression. Funny thing depression. A small part of me doesn’t actually believe it exists, but, I think that’s just denial. The rest of me knows it exists and has experienced it’s evil grasp. My Mother was a manic depressive, so I suppose I never wanted to become her. I’d seen the madness, dealt with the mayhem and I was determined that that was never going to be me. My depression was different though. It wasn’t manic or suicidal, it was just a general state melancholy, malaise and fear. I was super morbidly obese, I was 42, I had little or no qualifications and I had nothing to offer.

I’d wake up in the morning and get the kids off to school, trying to pretend to be ‘happy Dad’. They’d leave, I’d lie on the couch, eat junk, watch daytime tv, sleep, eat some more, watch some more and generally do nothing. Come 2.30/3pm, I’d shower, shave and get ready to be happy Dad when the kids came home from school. A sham.

This went on for months. I put even more weight on, I became even more depressed and everyday I waited expectantly for my heart attack or my stroke. My Dad tried to talk to me. “Can God?” “Didn’t He get you through the first six months of your ordeal?” “If He did that, can’t He help you get a job?” “Dad, just shut up, shut up, I don’t want to listen, you don’t understand, just leave me alone, I don’t want to hear this.” I went on and on and on. Screaming, ranting and shouting down the telephone. Blaming him, blaming me, blaming God. Accusing, defending my state of mind, my lack of action to get a job. I’ve never spoke back to him before like that, never been disrespectful to him. The situation was spiralling out of control.

During Easter, at church, we have a new tradition. At the top of the page you will see the photograph of the large simple wooden cross we made, with lots and lots of tiny nails sticking out all over it. We encourage people to write down their needs and nail them to the cross. This one particular evening over Easter 2011, I decided to nail my burdens to the cross. I was in no shape or mindset to write pretty paragraphs starting with ‘Dear Jesus’, instead, all I could muster were one or two word phrases that encapsulated everything I needed and everything I was going through.

My weight
My mind
A job
My gift
Justice
Move on

I walked up to the cross, I nailed on my request and I gave it to God. I was desperate, I was sincere and I had nowhere else to go.

Maybe you think this is simplistic. Maybe you think… look, I don’t know what you think. All I know is this, God can, God has and God still is. In six short months since Easter of 2011, He has one by one been dealing with my list. Some things on the list needed me to take small steps, others, He has just been dealing with in a miraculous and wonderful way.

Myself and Jan (the magnificently and breathtakingly much better half) had a meeting today that potentially will cross one more item off that list. We could not have asked for a better meeting of minds and we are walking on air right now. One day I’ll tell you everything, I promise, but for now, just know that God is love and He cares about what we are going through. I’m not preaching at you, I’m not trying to convert you, like I said at the beginning of this post, I just had something I wanted to tell you because we’re friends.

If best wishes are your thing, wish us well as we await the outcome of today. If praises are your thing, Praise the LORD with me, for He is mighty!

Adios amigos,

Paul (Kracker)

“He Can Do It…!”

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About paulbentley

My name is Paul Bentley and I started my blog in May 2011. I live in Liverpool in the North West of England, UK – I have always had ‘issues’ with my weight! When I got to 27st 13lbs (177kgs or 391lbs) I finally decided that ‘enough is enough’ and I need to make changes. As part of the process I decided I need to make myself accountable, so I’ve decided to be accountable to you. Thanks for offering ;-)
This entry was posted in Christianity, God, Health, Healthier Lifestyle, Mental Health, Spiritual Health and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Cast Your Burdens

  1. J. says:

    Best wishes to you and the family paul.

  2. Callie says:

    Beautifully put. Amen! Oh what a GOD of faithfulness.

  3. Sue Dunning says:

    We wish you and Jan all the best Paul, (and the kids too, of course) and we’ll pray for a great outcome for whatever it is x x

  4. Leigh says:

    Paul, count me as one of the non religious people who stuck thru your post. Enjoyed it incredibly. I’m spiritual without any formal religion. I’ve felt the pain of depression and loss and ultimately pulled myself up by my bootstraps and rose above those issues. I’m incredibly happy these days and know that some of it is within me and some is a higher power.
    Thanks for the fabulous post. You’ve come a long way.

    • paulbentley says:

      Thanks Leigh. The whole family has come a long way and in weird kind of way I’m grateful for what we have been through. I’m a better person for it and ultimately we are an even stronger family through it. Thanks for sticking in there with the post 🙂

  5. Janet says:

    I am sure if you keep your faith, things will happen and you will see meaning in them. Things will get better and you are not alone. Just keep the faith,
    Janet

  6. kitchentutor says:

    I raise my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121: 1-2

    Great post! Thanks for being willing to share the gospel on here and share the source of your hope and strength. Good on ya! I’m super excited to hear the rest of the story but will be praying for you all in the meantime.

    Laura

  7. mark78130 says:

    Great post Paul. I’m praying and believing with you. My church does the same thing with the notes on the cross every 5th Sunday. We use sticky notes though, lol. You guys are hard core with the nails! Bless you for shining your light here.
    Mark

  8. Pam says:

    Ah Paul what a brilliant post, everything will work out for you and your precious family I just know it ,will. My thoughts are with you and fam every day, miss seeing you at the gym, really just miss you. Lots of love to you all Pam xxxxx

  9. paulbentley says:

    Thanks Pam. I miss it not being there in the mornings 😦 I’ve got a few evening sessions in this week, so, I’m still good with my training. We’ll have to get together some time soon.

    Big love x x x

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