It really went very well. I did not know what to expect. A lot of the things I suspected were made clear; for instance, the stumbling is not in my imagination but is a result of the compromised nerves in the brain stem. The "jumpiness" in my eyes is not a perceived problem, but is a real problem based upon real nerve damage. The good news is that many of the problems can be fixed, i.e. the weakness in the arms and legs can be addressed with more physical therapy and specialized exercises. The jumpiness in the eyes and the pulsating sound in the ears are probably permanent problems that need to be accepted. They are not a bother all the time, just periodically. The problem is that they seem to occur at the worst possible times. I am in the last week of my MDiv class and am having problems with my eyes. It is really hard to work on my final paper when my eyes don't always focus right. Concentration is an issue as well. I have a harder time multi-tasking; which poses a problem when my kids are trying to talk to me while I am doing church work. I used to be able to listen to them, do my work and think about the solution simultaneously. I am finding that I have to do one at a time, rather than multiple tasks at once.
A few years ago I was presented with the opportunity to come back to Stratford, Iowa, to First Baptist church, as their pastor; for those of you who have followed this blog for some time, FBC in Stratford was my first pastorate. Let's just say I prayed about it as I was jumping at the opportunity. The church has a parsonage, so I could live there and not have to worry about a houe payment; and I needed to slow down, and this was a part time position (which, as a side note, allowed for me to get a greater disability from the VA than when I was working full time with St. Croix Hospice...) We love Stratford, and absolutely love the church; the people are wonderful and accepted us, again, with open arms. This was, for me, the perfect position: I get to pastor a church I LOVE, I get to do life with people I LOVE, and I have already had the opportunity to do weddings and baptism services for kids (adults now) that I have known their entire lives. IT IS GREAT. The longer I have been here,