On June 24th I stepped away from this space, because I needed a sabbatical rest. I thought I would be resting from the rat race of trying to be get ahead, be successful, achieving… something.
But that was part of the problem. I didn’t know why I was trying to achieve anything. I didn’t know my mission – why I was writing – anymore.
So I not only took a break from writing on the blog, I took a break from writing at all.
These words from three months ago ring even more true today:
Part of me feels like this is a step towards failure.
The other part says it is a step towards obedience.
For the first couple of weeks of my Sabbatical I felt…
Like a disappointment.
Like no one would recognize or notice me when I step back into the writing world (which I am doing right now and honestly have an anxious stomach over it).
Like all of my hard work will have been wasted because I took some time off.
Like people will look down on me.
But I refrained from the striving. Because God had more for me.
- My mission has never been about me. For years Ephesians 4:11-16 set a fire in my heart as I encouraged others to live in their gifts and abilities. My calling is for them. Not me. So the more I attempted to grow my blog as I made it about me I was not being true to who God created me to be. I see that more clearly now and I pray this place will be full of my mission which is to “Create a safe space for others and speak words of truth with loving compassion, authenticity, and respect.”
What is your mission?
- Faithfulness is more important that fruitfulness. I have always judged my self-worth by my productivity. The story I tell myself is if I have something to show for myself then I am valuable. But Jesus loved me and died for me before I could produce anything. My value has been cemented by God before I could take my first steps or write my first words. The life I live now is not a life of works, but a life of faith. And if I am trying to earn anything, I have forgotten why I do any of it. (Galatians 2:20)
- It’s ok to be afraid. I experienced several anxiety attacks late in the summer wrapped entirely in my work as a pastor in the not so distant past. I have often felt ashamed of my fear and have tried to shove it aside. But I have also taught my kids that being brave is being scared and doing something anyways. So I am learning to take the hand of fearful Leah and lead her to “God’s throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16) By doing so I have walked through my fear and experienced God’s power in the peace and healing on the other side.
What are you afraid of?
- This one is a little silly, but I am a night person and I am done trying to be anything else. I cannot wake up ready to write and work at 5 am like so many writers do. I like to work later in the day and am happiest at my computer after lunch or dinner. So I stopped trying to be what I’m not. I also learned that a study recently proved that we each have a gene which determines if we are night or morning people and to go against the gene risks sickness and disease. So yeah, science. Boom.
- I am made to read. There is another hidden gene within me that thrives when I read (ok, no study proves this, but it’s gotta be there). I’m still trying to figure out how to make money reading, but you are going to see a lot more here about the books I am reading, (a book blast is coming later this week) because I love to read and I hope you do, too!
What do you love to do?
Over all of these things is the constant refrain that God has placed in my heart for men and women alike:
God desires us to rest.
Rest is part of the paradoxical work of God’s Kingdom which brings a bit of heaven to earth each time we partake of it.
Rest. Sabbath. Sabbatical. Stopping. It is all a discipline of love and faithfulness to the one who created us. He knows we are but dust though we strive to be more. He knows we are weary even if we won’t admit it. He knows our greatest needs when we are blind to them.
Things are continuing to take shape in my head and in my heart about the purpose of this space, so look forward to more! Until then,
What about you? What is your mission? What unique gifts and abilities has God given you to bring peace and redemption to the world? Have you had the opportunity to use them? Or are you like me so tired you don’t even know why you are doing what you are doing anymore? Moreover, what do you need? I really want to know and I want to come alongside you in this. Thanks for trusting me.