I was reflecting today on things that have happened just the past 2 weeks to account for my exhaustion. That of course made me look at the date. No way has it been 20 years since my life as I knew and thought I loved fell apart! Where had my “3 month” sabbatical gone and my life? That is just the point I thought. “My” life! Something was wrong with that picture!
I genuinely thought that I had been doing everything as a Godly Christian woman “should”. I had a husband, a beautiful home, money to buy things when I wanted, a fulfilling career, friends, church, etc, etc. There is at least a chapter or book on all of that! Then “it” happened. Not all at once, everything was in a downward spiral and I couldn’t stop it. In short, my health had been going downhill since 1984 and we couldn’t figure out why. In 1993, I was beginning to reduce my work schedule because of health. My husband had been laid off from work 2 years before and hadn’t found work. Then in September of 1994, we were divorced. By April of 1995 I had to quit working and started my “3 month” sabbatical. Many specialists, including a trip to Mayo Clinic and still no answers, I sold my house and moved back home with my parents. My journey home was just beginning!
There is so much more I could write about that time in my life up till now, and maybe I will someday, but for now let me say there were many times I would cry “why me God?” He began to show me. Looking back on that time in my life, it was extremely hard, extremely painful, but, extremely necessary. There were so many things to learn! First thing I needed to learn was that I was living “my” life, not God’s best life for me. What is His best and how does a person find it? I am finding out what that means by getting closer to Him and by spending more time with Him. My journey home was beginning. I had chosen not to first ask God what He wanted when I was working so hard. I had even fooled myself in to believing I was spending a lot of time with Him and was doing what He wanted. After all, I was in ministry! Next, I needed to learn humility. That’s another story all by itself. I still have a hard time with that one. There have been so many other hard lessons, painful times, victorious times, and much more to learn.
What prompted all of this reflecting? Time, depression, pain, self pity, you name it. I read a blog today that really got me thinking about burn out.
I think it is also possible to burn out on many other things in our lives besides work. In the past 2 years alone, I have had 9 major surgeries and have spent a lot of time in bed, rehab, or physical therapy. There were times my family thought they were going to bury me. The most difficut 2 years so far in my life! I am now thinking a person can burn out trying to get well, trying to do daily activities. I need to go back to 20 years ago. Back to what God has been teaching me. I need quality time with Him, daily time with Him, getting to know Him better. I have to make that a priority. I need to get up every morning and ask Him, “What do YOU want me to do today?”. Sometimes what He wants conflicts with what others think I should do or what I may have planned for the day. I am learning that if I ask Him first, other things fall into place. I am more at peace and my body can heal. But most importantly, I am growing closer to God and loving every minute of my journey?
Would I change anything about these last two decades? No! I am more at peace, and loving my relationship with God. Is it hard? Yes! Every day is a choice that only I can make. Each of us has a choice about how we will spend our day. Each day affects our life! I am choosing today to grow closer to God and continue my journey. No more burnout!
Isaiah 26:3 NKJ “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.” http://www.biblegateway.com
Another fantastic resource!