About eighteen months ago the Lord led me into a season of emotional ill health. There was a period of healing in the middle, but attempting a new stressful job made me unwell again. I stopped working at the start of November, and so began a dedicated time of resting and healing.
And praise God, I am doing so much better than I was. I am eating and sleeping well. My soul is slowly unwinding and relaxing. I am no longer experiencing the anxiety and despair that characterised my life. Little things make me happy, and the smile on my face is not a fake. Counselling is helping me to challenge unhelpful thought patterns, and to unscrew the lid I had tried to screw tightly onto my emotions. I know that there is more to be done, and I know that I won’t be working for a while, but I can clearly see God’s healing work in my life. Week by week as I go to my counselling sessions, I realise that I am better than the week before.
More than anything, I am thankful for this season of my life. God is so good to me. God has poured so many blessings into my life in the midst of and through this season. By no means exhaustive, these three came to mind as I was reflecting on this yesterday!
The opportunity to experience the radical generosity of friends: Choosing to take an extended break from earning has given me the opportunity to experience incredible generosity from friends and family. I have been wonderfully provided for. It is humbling to have been blessed by so many people, both financially and practically. I currently have my stuff stored in three different garages / spare rooms around the country! And I have been welcomed into friends’ homes for a month or two at a time. One friend even gave me money so that I could buy some new clothes, and someone else is generously covering the cost of my counselling. Coffees, and meals, and even flowers in my room, all gifts from various people.
Discovering the transforming power of being relentlessly loved: The friends I have been staying with have simply loved my sad soul into happiness. There is such freedom when you know that you are loved unconditionally. The mask and the pretense can come down. The emotions can be real. The wonderfully, deeply silly me can take flight. I can always always tell how relaxed and happy I am by the number of times I find myself talking in a daft accent! It’s been happening more and more recently!!
Learning that I don’t have to be superwoman: I really don’t have to be superwoman! At the moment my life is slow-paced. I am reading, cooking and doing little errands, and that is all that the Lord has called me to for the moment. I am so thankful that the Lord has graciously shown me that developing a healthy rhythm to life does not mean that my life needs to look like everyone else’s. If I never work full time again, and if my life (my work, my ministry) is pretty low-key, that’s OK. He is concerned with my heart and my well-being. My identity and my worth is not in doubt. I am and always will be his beloved child.
God is so wonderfully gracious to me! All praise to him.