At 26 years old, I just got through a 'busy season'.
Ever have one of those?
Maybe you feel like you're in one of those right now.
Maybe you feel like you've been in a busy season for the past 8 years.
I was doing what needed to be done to maintain the Youth Ministry, while also doing a side-gig helping our denomination run a couple of Fall Retreats for 1000 Jr.Highers (which inevitably meant I was up until 4 AM every night the week leading up to the first retreat), as well as spending any other available evening rehearsing for the church Christmas Production...and finally, the New Years Eve Jr.High All-Night "LOCK-IN".
A Lock-In was created after the Fall of Mankind, let's just put it that way.
I actually love the fact that we got to spend the night laughing and playing and making memories with students, but I'll never forget the morning of January 1st, 2009, when I wanted to be done with it all. I was angry, just straight up mad. I was cleaning up and setting up breakfast and I did not want another person to talk to me. I was tired from that night of no sleep, and tired from my 'busy season'. I put the vacuum away when all the kids had finally been picked up, then got in the car and wept most of the way home. I was empty.
The next day I told Karen that I need a break or I need to quit. She suggested to try a break first. So, I built up some gusto and asked a friend to borrow their cottage for a night so I could be in solitude.
One of my assignments in college was to experience 24 hours of solitude and journal about it.
Thank you, Bible College.
I worked out a lot of stuff. I learned to pray the Lord's prayer. I stayed up late reading, journaling, and fighting the urge to turn on the TV. I went for a walk in the morning and saw a deer in the backyard. I came home, physically, emotionally, spiritually refreshed - not energized but refreshed. It was like sitting in the sun on the back deck at a cottage, you feel full but don't want to necessarily 'do' anything. It was a game-changer. The TSN Turning Point. The Key to Victory. This night was critical to me sticking around in Youth Min as long as I have.
About a week later, we realized this season was just as tough on Karen, and she took the same path, we got her a hotel room nearby and she spent the night trying to understand where to go from here.
And here's the point.
We require periods of rest in our rhythms.
You are not weak for wanting a break, you are not selfish for needing 'alone time', you are not going to be left behind as the world continues without you.
Now more than ever it is important for K and me to make room for space in our lives. We kind of thought this season would be full of space to listen and learn and we'd be bored of not doing anything. Alas, we find ways to fill our time, Seminary requires a LOT more work than I thought, and we needed the vacation we went on last week more than we predicted.
Back to 2009...
When June came around I was coming off another 'busy season', so I asked another friend to borrow their cottage. Then the following January (2010), then March, then June, October, January (2011), April, July, November, and...February 2012. (insert DUHN DUHN DUHNNNNN, here), I couldn't have planned this.
To be continued...