Emotional nerve damage and the ministry
I'm at the 23 year mark in ministry and I now accept, process and deliver information differently than I used to.
Almost nothing surprises me anymore, and rarely does something catch me off guard. I have a love/hate relationship with this reality. I don't feel things in quite the same way I used to, and have what I call emotional nerve damage. Like most if not all others who have done this for a long time, there are parts of me that are numb.
Sometimes when people tell me disappointing things I just stare into space and say, "okay, thanks for letting me know" and almost robotically move on to the next task at hand. It's really almost like an out of body experience some days. I'm convinced it's not all bad. I've found ways to make it work for me. One of the most challenging things for me is staying sensitive to the spirit of God, while growing exceedingly desensitized to other things that used to slay me for weeks, or sometimes months.
I want to stay so sensitive to Jesus that when He speaks to me, I can be reduced to a pile of tears or burst into a dance of joy spontaneously, while at the same time remaining undaunted by difficult things that sometimes come with the territory. It's very hard to be sensitive and not sensitive at the same time but I think these days I'm doing rather well.
The Bible says that it's impossible for offenses not to come. We should expect them but not pick them up or harmonize with them. The Bible says that tribulation and hardship will come. We should expect it but not fear it or allow it to stop us.
Being extremely sensitive to God but desensitized to other things is an interesting place to be but a good one because some stuff just used to knock me down is now just a blip on my screen, and some days it's not even blip-worthy.