It all began in April of 2014. It was Easter Sunday to be exact. I still made it to church that morning, but by the afternoon I was so weak and exhausted I needed a nap. A few hours later I woke up with a 40°C fever. The following days would mark the most pivoting point in the last 8 years. I had a lesson to learn, and God was about to teach it. He needed my full attention, and He finally got it.
Even in bed, with a high fever, I could still not sit/lie still. Having been on the go (well, to be honest it was more like running!) for most of my life, I needed something to do while in bed. Browsing aimlessly on the internet I came across a preaching series by Andy Stanley on “Breathing Room.”
The title alone told me it was exactly what I needed to hear. I did not have breathing room anywhere in my life. I was beyond frustrated with my time, my living space, my finances, my relationships. There was NO breathing room for anything in any of those categories.
I watched the whole preaching series during those 8 days in bed, and I knew I had to make a decision.
I went back to work and thought it would all work itself out.
Other health issues came up. Doctor’s appointments, medical tests filled my “free time.” The longer this dragged on the sicker I became. In July I ended up in the emergency room.
Looking back on 2014 I cannot believe how foolish I was! I knew what needed to be done, yet I procrastinated to create the breathing room my body screamed for.
I took a few small steps and resigned from a few volunteer positions. But it wasn’t enough. God wanted my full attention. He was asking me to resign from ALL volunteering.
Wasn’t God’s request contradicting His call to serve? Not in my case. I knew I had to deal with some issues in my life. In a way I was hiding behind all the volunteering, and “I don’t have time for this right now” was not cutting it anymore. Least of all with God.
“Mom, you haven’t been happy in a very long time.” Ouch, that hurt! My daughter’s comment brought much needed truth to the forefront. It’s my responsibility to not only look after myself but also after the needs of my family.
I dealt with a few more health issues in October and November. In December I finally submitted to God’s will and resigned from all volunteering.
“Somehow our culture has caused us to believe that busier is better. We’ve come unknowingly convinced that taking time to create rest and tranquility means we are unfit, weak, or incompetent. We’ve rejected the art of saying ‘no’ without guilt or regret. We’ve fallen pray to the myth that if we don’t have as much or don’t do as much as others, then we’re somehow not as valuable.” Priscilla Shirer in “Breathe”
2015 is my year of Sabbath. What does that mean? What does it look like? I don’t know. I’m taking it day by day and week by week. It’s a journey. A journey in obedience.
Where are you at? Do you have breathing room in your life? Where do you need to create times of rest?