There are so many amazing people in our community, going through hard stuff, navigating life, and making a difference along the way. We want to introduce them to you so you can be encouraged, inspired and above all, know that you aren’t alone.
Meet Steve Grcevich, MD. Today’s featured Wednesday Warrior. Read along to hear more of his powerful story and how God has been “reframing” him along the way.
What life challenges have you/are you overcoming?
I wear lots of different hats. In addition to my role at Key Ministry, I do lots of teaching and maintain a full-time child and adolescent psychiatry practice. Warding off the mental and emotional fatigue that comes from trying to maintain a God-honoring level of excellence in my practice has been a losing battle over the last year or two.
Writing has become especially arduous. Some of that difficulty I recognize as mental fatigue. I felt very drained after I finished writing Mental Health and the Church, our ministry’s model for churches to follow in pursuing outreach and inclusion with families impacted by mental illness. It felt like I said everything that needed to be said and had nothing left to say.
I wonder whether God’s telling me it’s time to do something else for a livelihood to support my family and my ministry activities. I’ve also had some ideas for making my life as a physician more sustainable, but God hasn’t yet provided me with an alternate career path or the means to achieve a more sustainable practice just yet.
What is something that most people don’t know about you, but you want them to know?
When I witness the adversity that so many friends encounter with impactful ministries, I worry that my relative comfort suggests our ministry isn’t having the impact I would hope for.
How has God helped you “Reframe” your perspective along the way?
From looking at your “REFRAME Model” I do think I’m making an effort to find more Christian community. Men need other men. I’m in both a profession and an area of ministry dominated by women. I’ve begun to regularly attend a Bible study at our fitness club because I know I need the fellowship of other guys.
Your questions are making me realize I’m struggling more than I thought. I’m not in an area of ministry where I can talk about struggles. Whatever difficulties I’m experiencing seem so trivial compared to those of the families who come through our practice or who are a focus of our ministry.
I’ve decided to embrace Paul’s reframing of his situation from 2 Corinthians 1:5-11:
For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.
For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.
What is your super-power?
I’d like to think it’s the Holy Spirit at work within me, so in that sense it’s not really my superpower. Seriously, I love being able to give other people the opportunity to use their gifts and talents to honor God, and to help them make their work known.
What good has come out of your trial?
I’ve had to let go and let other people lead. I’ve been blessed by teammates who have shouldered my load when I’ve been checked out mentally. Key Ministry has flourished as my teammates have assumed a larger role. We’ve had to be very intentional in seeking out new voices to fill the void left when I “burned out.” They have been a blessing both to our ministry and to the larger disability ministry movement.
How has your faith changed along the way?
I shared a blog post recently in honor of Mental Health Month in which I wrote a letter to my sixteen-year-old self. One of the most important faith lessons I’ve learned is how things truly work together for good and the extent to which God plans our steps and orchestrates trials. I think I’m learning to be more patient in God’s timing and to be more content in Him when He chooses to not immediately relieve me of my distress. I wish I could develop the self-discipline to represent Jesus better around my family and the people I come in contact with every day.
How has God used your story?
I think ministry is the privilege of all who look to Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, not just paid professionals on staff with a church or those with a seminary degree. I’m grateful to have been part of a church that encouraged its people to be “entrepreneurs for Christ” and respond to unmet ministry needs wherever they’ve been placed. I think God directed me into medicine, and more specifically child and adolescent psychiatry, to call attention to the challenges families experience being part of church when they have a child with a “hidden disability” (emotional, behavioral, developmental disorders, trauma) and to help the church better understand how to minister with them. I’m honored to be one of many called to be part of a sovereign work of God through a disability ministry movement that aims to make the church complete through inclusion of individuals and families with gifts and talents intended to bless the entire body of Christ.
What is a highlight of your story?
It’s not MY, story, it’s HIS story. I think seeing the book in print and seeing the way in which churches are beginning to recognize the challenges people with mental illness face in being part of church is very gratifying. Seeing hundreds of ministry leaders gathering together to support one another in ministering with families affected by disabilities at conferences such as the one we host is also inspiring. Ultimately, the highlight I most look forward to will be the privilege of meeting people in Heaven someday who came to know Jesus through churches served by our ministry.
Where can people find you?