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Have you ever regretted how you responded to something? We are often faced with situations that demand a response – sometimes even immediate. On April 29th, 2018 my wife and I were up for vote as Lead Pastors of a local church. My immediate response to losing that vote, was something to be proud of. However, the unfortunate experience, along with an unnecessary denominational narrative later (more on that in a future post), triggered a series of events that actually crippled a part of my ministry – I stopped blogging.

Eight months later, it was time to reflect. I’ve come to realize that I couldn’t actually change the situation I found myself in. I was simply experiencing it. But that doesn’t mean I’m free and clear of any learning or responsibility. There are a few things I could have done differently.

No matter what we face in life, it’s important to reflect, learn, and figure out how we can do things differently, should a similar situation present itself. After all, the only thing I can change is me and how I respond, so I asked myself: what should I have done?

In terms of my blog ministry, I realized there are three things I should have done. 

1) I should have defined my break with a timeline.

My initial reasoning for stepping back was fairly logical – I was worried I’d post my unfiltered feelings and reactions. It’s one thing to be transparent, it’s another to be stupid. 

What I didn’t do, was define my break. It was open ended. Without a defined break, my period of ‘stepping back’ went from an admirable few weeks to a shameful few months, and potentially longer.

What I should have done, was taken a defined break – a measurable period of time. If I had defined my break with a timeline, I would have had to make another decision later (after I had processed everything) to either restart or wait a little longer. Without the timeline, I was never forced to think about it again.

Setting a defined break doesn’t mean we’re stuck inside the timeline, but it does mean we have to review.

2) I should have asked someone to hold me accountable.

I had/have accountability, but I didn’t have a timeline for them to hold me to account. I think we actually do this fairly often. We don’t mind asking someone to hold us accountable, but as soon as we start to define ‘what’ they will hold us to account, we get defensive.

Accountability is only powerful, if and when we allow people to hold us to account on defined tasks.

I didn’t do that.

So, my accountability partners (and even avid blog readers), kept asking me when I would restart the blog. Without a pre-defined timeline, however, they really couldn’t hold me to account. I could respond with ‘soon,’ and move on.

If I defined my break as 6 weeks, then my accountability partners could have reminded me on June 10, 2018. But I didn’t, and so they didn’t either.

3) I should have started blogging again much sooner.

I went to log into the blog to check updates and stats for the year. I quickly realized it was a while since I logged in – I forgot my password.

After I changed it, I realized there were numerous updates ready to download and unanswered messages ready for a response. It was like a ghost town. I am grateful, however, that the site continued to have at least 20+ views a day while not posting. 

I guess the point is – I should have set a timeline, asked someone to hold be to that timeline, and actually started to blog again. 

I’ve concluded that 2019 will be better. It’s a ministry that I’m not willing to let go because our journey was a bit rough.

So I’ve learned two things:

1) I know what I have to do next – restart the blog.

2) I know how to better respond to moments of stepping back in the future.

Hopefully my transparency can help you as well!

Your turn:

What’s something you need to start doing again in the new year?

Share with me in the comment section below (or on social media). You never know how you may encourage someone else!

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