Well, this wasn’t what I thought it would be. I mean, I knew I needed a break. I’d felt it for months- burnout boiling deep within, while all joy evaporated from the heat. Those things I do with my whole heart, like make music or invest in other people, morphed into drudgery. I just didn’t have it in me. The introvert in me was screaming for solitude. And since I’m not a good faker I knew I had to step away asap, or it wouldn’t be pretty.
I had a few obligations to follow through on in January. Thankfully I was able to avoid a lot of holiday crap- my mind’s eye was locked in on that finish line. I explained my decision to few people. Some were all for it. Most were skeptical. But I didn’t care. I knew what I had to.
I’d prayed a lot about my little sabbatical. I was still going to work and get groceries, etc. I couldn’t exactly wander into the hills for 40 days like Jesus. But I could avoid everything and everyone else. That meant mostly church commitments and church people. Each time I spoke about taking a break from all the noise in my life, I was overwhelmed by peace. When I prayed about it, again, peace. A warm river that lifted me and carried me gently.
For me, it was more than simply feeling depleted. There was so much blaring noise that I couldn’t hear the One voice that I was trying to listen for. The only One that mattered. I was busy spinning circles, trying too hard, yet getting nowhere. I was Martha and I wanted to be Mary.
But weeks before I finished that last to-do, something went wrong. Headaches, fatigue, clumsiness, confusion… maybe I was fighting the flu? But those signs led to others, and before I knew it I was in a full-blown flare of Ulcerative Colitis. I hadn’t had one like this in over 10 years. But this time it was different. There were other symptoms that I’m told are NOT part of UC, but are certainly auto-immune. I found myself staying home from work after all.
So here I am, soon entering my third week off from work. There are a list of appointments, tests, and possible treatments to wade through. I’m unable to use my hands for much at all as my joints are severely painful and weak. In fact, writing this entry is an endeavor. Though I long to be creating as a means of coping with illness, my hands are unable, and my mind often struggles to process even simple thoughts. This now is a moment of clarity for me. I’m running with it.
My longing for solitude has been more than granted. I have to laugh. Yet it’s a battle not to look outside of my little quiet sphere. There’s a raging tornado all around my husband and I right now. I’m fighting to be quiet and listen for that still small voice. To wait for Him. That’s tough when the only thing I can do much of the time is lay down and think. The crashing debris of our storm makes a pretty scary clamor.