Jon Vellacott

Solihull, UK

Addicted to Success

My life looked successful. I thrived academically and I was good at my job - leading/pioneering a new student ministry in Scotland. But behind this success was lurking a hidden and deep problem. I was addicted to accomplishment. In public, I was driven, active and successful.  But in private, when it was just me and God… I struggled. I was scared to be silent and alone. I felt uncomfortable and I avoided the quiet, keeping busy. This made me driven and intense, yet productive.


One day, this all came crashing to a halt,  with severe chest pains and several trips to the hospital. It took a long time to diagnose, but I had come down with a rare autoimmune disease that left me virtually bed bound for the next year and I did not fully recover for another 6 years. Not being able to do anything was really difficult. I resisted. But every time I left the house and tried to get active, God pushed me back down and I was in pain for days.


Eventually, and with a lot of support from friends, I came to realise that I was exactly where God wanted me to be. For some reason, God wanted me to spend this season of my life, flat on my back doing nothing. He wanted to to address the fact that I derived my identity from my successes and to wrestle with who I am, in His eyes. Not the public, successful me. But the real me.  God has never called me to anything so complicated at his, and went to extreme lengths to address a deep issue in my heart - that I would grap the depths of his love.


There’s a long story in there, but needless to say, God has revealed his love for me and I’ve have learned who I am in Him. One of the things I discovered is that God has made me logical and geeky. As a friend one told me, “God’s name is LOGOS - which means truth. He is the ultimate GEEK!”. I always thought of my technology skills as worldly and of no worth to God. But I have learned that this is exactly who God has made me to be. I have spent the last 8 years using technology to help the ministry that I work for.


I have learnt to be successful, without needing success. I’ve learnt accomplish more by praying more. I’ve learnt to rest and to worship. This will be a lifelong struggle, but God went to extreme lengths to convince me of the fullness of his Love for me. I’m grateful that he led me down this journey.

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