As I have commented (probably a little too much) before, this has been a tough year, but I feel I have come out of it having grown in my own self-worth, self-knowledge and in my relationship with God. I have also realised in a very real, rather than intellectual way, how important peer support is for sustaining me - and how important that will be in the future. I hope I have been able to reciprocate too.
As I look back at my placements I wonder if I, at times, perhaps stretched myself too much. Expected too much of myself and set my standards and aims unrealistically high. The best way of putting it, I suppose, is training for a sport (or just generally getting fitter). I have pushed and pushed myself and either ignored or not realised I was coping with an 'injury.' Rather than resting up, I've pressed on and that's just made things worse.
So, having spiritual direction (oh, I think I am going to be a bit of an advocate for that) and an additional placement to do, it has allowed me to deal with the injury properly and fully. I suppose it's a bit like physiotherapy - specific exercises, under guidance, to encourage and ensure healing. All in, allowing me to go on following God in his calling on my life.
So, the lesson from this year? Listen to when I need rest. Listen when I need to take a step back. Take the chance to share experiences, fears, joys and the general wonder of ministry with trusted colleagues. Remember there are people praying for me (and all of us). And, always, that God has my back and calls me for his service.