This word is used a lot…our society seems to admire people that burn themselves out with work and responsibility. Well, these last few months I think that I burned myself out. I trusted myself more than God. I worked 10-12 hours a day trying to get further. Traveling to different towns to meet people and raise awareness and support was a fantastic experience…but it wiped me out in the end. I came home from the last fundraising trip and got sick. Couldn’t function, couldn’t connect to God, and couldn’t come up with a coherent sentence. (hence…no blogs for many weeks)
Getting sick can sometimes be a blessing in disguise. I have had to rest and sleep and take care of myself. Now I have had time to read my Bible and get caught up on some other reading. There have been a few moments where even the thoughts have gotten clearer. But, the biggest thing for me is the lesson I learned through all of this. Why did I think that I had to do it all? Why did I lose trust in God being in control? What switched off? It was so much easier to live in faith in Africa. Does He only take care of us when we are in “full time service”? Isn’t He always there for us? Don’t His promises apply all of the time? I guess I figured that I could now take control of the fundraising…and trust in my own abilities….after all, they are a gift given to me from Him! Right?
Well, in spite of 5 successful fundraisers, I realized that my own strength was far from enough. Things still didn’t go quite like I expected. I was burnt out and disappointed. And then I realized that I really didn’t know what I was expecting in the first place. Maybe things went exactly like God expected and planned. Just because I had some vague idea in my head of how it would all go…doesn’t mean it wasn’t successful! He opened all the doors and homes and hearts ahead of time. He oversaw that I never ran out of products. He organized meetings and conversations that I couldn’t not have planned. He was in control the whole time! And for some reason I thought I had it in my control…what a relief.
Glorifying burnout behavior needs to be changed. We need to see, as a society, that our hearts need quiet. We need that time for meditation and rest. We are told in the Bible to take a day of rest out of every 7. Do we do that? No, we rush off to finish our errands and shopping. We spend the day volunteering at church. How can we get back to taking that time we need? There are those obligations and things we don’t want to, or can’t, give up. I’m not saying we give up church! (haha) But maybe we need to then take another day, or maybe 2 full half days. I don’t know the answer to this. All I know is that we are too busy to hear God’s voice most of the time. And many of us are close to burnout! Don’t wait to get sick before examining this in your own hearts.
Matthew 11:28, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”