Light and Shadow

Challenges in religious and spiritual life

Overwork: A Trigger for Spiritual Struggle?

What types of situations lead to struggles in people’s religious and spiritual lives? Traumatic events might come to mind--or perhaps conflicts with religious people or institutions. But in daily life, some triggers of spiritual struggle might be much more mundane. Overwork, in and of itself, might just be enough to do the trick. Read More

Oh wow you hit the nail on the head

I have been personally journaling about spiritual doubts and struggles for about a year. After a few months I realized it's because I am overworked in my church.
I worked for years to build up a praise choir in our conservative country church. I worked HARD. Developed my musicianship, researched and paid for music, lead the choir, was not paid, fought the crabbier of the elders and I enjoyed sharing my gift and contributing to the worship services. Our little group got better, and we are now a beloved part of the service. I play EVERY Sunday w/o many breaks. Then last year I started to feel cynical. Then some thoughtless comment from the pastor about women's "place" in the church just did it for me. I realized I was burned out. I loved the music and the people, but sundays would send me into a spiral. I wanted to quit but there is no one to take my place right now.
I now find myself in a dark night of the soul as it were. Six months ago I was diagnosed with cancer, and I can't find my faith. I find myself questioning even basic things like a Christian afterlife.
Thanks for writing this.

thank you

Thanks so much for your comment! I am sorry to hear about the struggles that you have been going through, but I really appreciate your willingness to share about them with me and other readers. I am glad that the blog entry resonates with you. --Julie

Thank you!

Thanks for your column/blog. I love reading what you post. You touch on lots of things that I am experiencing or have experienced in the past. You always give me good food-for-thought and it helps to know I am not the only one that struggles sometimes - seems obvious but sometimes I feel like I'm the only one with trials and tribulations. I enjoy the way you write and look forward to reading more articles from you. Thanks again!

Thanks so much for your

Thanks so much for your encouraging words. i'm glad that the blog has been helpful to you! -Julie

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Julie Exline, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Case Western Reserve University. She is a licensed psychologist and a certified spiritual director.


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