Too long… and too much

It’s been too long since I last posted, and – frankly – there’s just been too much going on. By “too much” I literally mean that I overextended myself – too many obligations, not enough time or space for rest, and way too few opportunities to feel good or effective in the things I was setting my hands to. Add to that an increasingly upset doctor who finally, in exasperation, told me that I was in danger of killing myself with stress, and a devastating blow-up conversation with someone very dear to me, and God brought me to a screeching stop, face to face with the unsightly mess that had become my life.

Thankfully, my health issues are not life-threatening, provided I address them. Everything else is slightly more complicated. But after weeks of prayer and conversation with my dear husband and people whose opinions I value, I’m making some drastic and rather immediate changes in my life. (It is very appropriate that our pastor is beginning a new sermon series tomorrow called “The New Normal”!!) I honestly don’t know how it’s all going to come together, but I’m stepping out in faith and trusting God to show me each step when it’s time to take it. Here’s the rundown:

  1. I quit my job. Really. Last day is May 11. I don’t have anything else lined up and actually haven’t started looking. I loved the idea of this particular job but it presented some unique challenges that, in the end, I was not able to overcome. Plus, the stress was unhealthy for me. When I felt like I had permission to leave, I tendered my resignation.
  2. I am stepping back from some areas of ministry that fall into the category of “things I can do but I’m not necessarily meant to do.” Just because I can do something doesn’t mean I should.
  3. I’m cashing out my very tiny 401(k) and using the money to give myself a couple of months to focus on the creative aspects of my life. I felt like a creative focus was something God was leading me to last summer – and in fact had a great conversation about it with a friend – and then promptly allowed myself to get distracted with other things. (See #2 above.) I’m going to take some time to get caught up in that area.
  4. I’m also going to use that time to re-establish some important disciplines in my life, things like consistent time with God, eating food that’s good for me, regular exercise, sufficient amounts of sleep, and time with my family and friends. These things are hugely important, and I’ve neglected them in the last two and a half years.

So that’s the plan, at least as it stands right now. I’m looking forward to what God does with the time – it feels like I’ve come through a season of intense pruning, and the pruning is probably not completely finished, either. Though it’s usually painful in the moment, it always results in new fruit, so what’s to come will undoubtedly be about growth and new direction. But honestly, I feel a little bit like someone who’s had a serious illness or major surgery – I am desperate for a time of rest and recovery and pressing in to hear from God, and I am so grateful for a husband who supports me in this. It’s all exciting, sobering, and a little scary. Prayers gratefully welcomed as I step out into this new phase of my life!

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