Vivek H. Murthy, the Surgeon General of the United States from 2014-2017, recently wrote in the Harvard Business Review, “During my years caring for patients, the most common pathology I saw was not heart disease or diabetes; it was loneliness.” He goes on to say, “Loneliness is a growing health epidemic. We live in the most technologically connected age in the history of civilization, yet rates of loneliness have doubled since the 1980s. Today, over 40% of adults in America report feeling lonely, and research suggests that the real number may well be higher. Additionally, the number of people who report having a close confidante in their lives has been declining over the past few decades. In the workplace, many employees — and half of CEOs — report feeling lonely in their roles.” (read the article here)
“The most common pathology I saw
was not heart disease or diabetes; it was loneliness.”
~ Vivek H. Murthy, U.S. Surgeon General 2014-2017
We have discovered the same thing amongst Christian leaders – at least 1 in 3 lives in a place of isolation from close relationships where they can process and pray about significant life, faith, and ministry challenges and changes. All through the Bible, warnings are given about what happens in the dark. Darkness is where things fester and grow that we don’t want to see or deal with. When we stuff something in the dark, its our way of trying to solve that thing on our own apart from Jesus.
Two of our key verses at Breathe Life are 1 John 1:7:
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light,
we have fellowship with one another,
and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
and James 5:16
Therefore confess your sins to each other
and pray for each other so that you may be healed.
The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
Our goal at Breathe Life is to provide a safe place of light for leaders and their spouses – a place where they can uncover the important things that often get buried in leadership. There are million businesses and ministries that will help you increase your leadership skills, your productivity, your vision…and on and on. We exist to shepherd your heart and your mind and your soul into the presence of The One who made you and still deeply loves you.
Jonathan Daugherty, a ministry leader himself and quickly becoming a friend, writes in his book, Grace-Based Recovery, “It is necessary to let others into your story, into the broken places where you have been wounded, lied to, and calloused. It is okay to feel awkward in the presence of grace, but I assure you that over time it will become your favorite place to be.” That’s really what Breathe Life Ministries is all about! It’s about providing unpressured space and unhurried time for your story to be brought out into the light (the pain, the shame, the guilt, the dreams, the shattered dreams) so that God’s presence and grace can speak truth to the lies, unburden your conscience, and destroy the grip that darkness and isolation have on your story.
“It is necessary to let others into your story,
into the broken places where you have been wounded, lied to, and calloused.
It is okay to feel awkward in the presence of grace,
but I assure you that over time it will become your favorite place to be.”
~ Jonathan Daugherty in Grace-Based Recovery
We have experienced this firsthand. We want to give leaders and their spouses a place to be restored to community and to life. In her new book, Rethinking Sexuality, Dr. Juli Slattery calls these kinds of relationships, “restorative relationships…committed to hearing our stories and walking with us on our messy journey.” Ultimately, they are relationships that lead us to “an authentic encounter with Jesus.”
Sometimes the system you’re in wars against this. After a while of living in the light of grace, God will build in you the strength to find these kinds of relationships even in systems that are set up to keep the real struggles and messiness of life and leadership hidden in the dark.
If you want some help from someone who is learning to walk in the light as He is in the light, we’d invite you to give us a call. The best part of your story can’t be told if it stays in the dark – because the best part of your story is when Jesus’ light shines on the parts you’re afraid to talk about, the parts that hurt too much, the parts you are trying to carry on your own. When these parts of your story come out into the light, healing and freedom and God’s glory break out.
“…the best part of your story is when
Jesus’ light shines on the parts you’re
afraid to talk about, the parts that hurt too much,
the parts you are trying to carry on your own.”
Give us a call. We’d love to be part of God writing the next chapter of your story!