What is a local preacher? What are the difficulties – and the pleasures – of the training process?
Over the next few years, I will find out the answers to these and to other questions. I intend to share this information in this blog.
A little background. My name is Helen and I am 36. For the last two years, I have felt repeatedly – and evermore emphatically – nudged towards becoming a preacher in the Methodist church. To be honest, I am somewhat nervous about it.
A minister I spoke with about this call said to make a note of everything that pushes me forward as there will be times when I will question whether I should be taking this on so I started this blog.
In my everyday life, I have a house and a child to organise. I work full time as an SEND teaching assistant in a state secondary school. I hold a degree in biology which confuses some people. I have even been told that I cannot love God because I love science so much! My study of science allows me to feel even more wonder at God’s creation.
As you may be able to tell, I am not the most orderly of speakers/writers. Hopefully, this process of blogging will help me to order my thoughts more easily once it is time to plan a sermon.
Over the past year, I have experienced a great many mental health problems which have impacted on my studies and on my life. I have also been blogging about these in an effort to demystify these very common illnesses.
Having generalised anxiety disorder means I am anxious all the time but don’t know why. When I get too anxious, I go into a depression. Bizarrely, I tend to be quite pleased about this because I stop eating and sort of reset my comfort eating but, also, I have a period of time when I don’t want to be dead which is refreshing.
Having seasonal affective disorder is a massive pain in the backside. If I spend half the year as a different person, which one is real: Summer Helles or Winter Helles? Even in the Summer (9-10 hours), I sleep a lot but, in the Winter, I could sleep all day if it’s overcast. And I feel cheated because I can’t.
Post traumatic stress disorder is a new set of initials – I was only diagnosed with this in the Spring of 2015. I had always associated it with soldiers but, it turns out, more civilian women have it. The reason? Sexual assault and domestic violence. My own is due to several sexual assaults by my then-husband. Not knowing that it counted as sexual assault and being persuaded that I shouldn’t make a fuss, I buried it. Years later, I had a car crash, developed PTSD from that and the history of my marriage came bubbling back up when we talked about the feeling of powerlessness and the feeling that I couldn’t share how much it was affecting me (it was a very minor collision). I am currently having eye movement desensitization and reprogramming.
Since I am off work during this process, I am sharing here.