If you have followed Christian Women’s Resource Network at all, you will have noticed that for quite a time now there has not been any activity on this site. There is a reason for that. Like all ministries, we are made up of several different individuals who have contributed to this blog. The sad truth is, without exception, this past year has been spiritually and emotionally difficult for all of us.
In examining the past year, I have come to realize that the experiences we have been through are common to all women. Ministry burn out; death of a loved one; depression; disappointment; over-scheduled, hectic, busy lives; caring for an elderly parent and a family; and just plain exhaustion are among the things we have faced. And every church I have ever been part of, or ever spoken in, or ever known about is full of women who are just like us. Empty, worn, exhausted, taking one day at a time.
So what happens when those feelings hit? How do you respond? Sometimes you just take a step back. I’ve had a lot of financial stress since my husband’s death four years ago. Working two jobs, trying to keep up with responsibilities at church, and having a house that has required massive repairs at a high cost has been overwhelming. I was tired, depressed, and stressed out. My spiritual life took a nose dive, and my physical body was exhausted. My responsibilities at church were no longer a privilege and joy, they were a chore. After months of struggling to do it all, I realized that some things would have to change.
I stepped down from the women’s ministry coordinator position at our church, something I have always been passionate about. One of the hardest decisions I ever made, became one the best choices for me at this time in my life. I quit my second job. That meant a smaller income and it also means I am putting my house up for sale–another very difficult decision.
But I have found that in making some of those very difficult decisions it has freed me up to be more tuned in to God. It has taken away the burden of unmet expectations, unrealistic goals, and unwanted pressure. It has given me more free time to be with family and friends, relationships that are far more important than earning enough money to maintain a home that has become more of a burden than a welcome, relaxing place to rest my head.
It’s hard to admit your life isn’t perfect or even happy. When you are a leader, people seem to have higher expectations for you–I certainly had them for myself. But when I finally admitted to myself and to God that I couldn’t do this anymore, I gave myself permission to let some things go.
And as I let them go, I realize it’s just a season. Life is made of them. As I go through this season, I realize that soon I will be entering another season. It happens all the time.
The difficulty is that sometimes when we are in the middle of a bad season, it’s hard to see that a season of joy may be just around the corner. Difficult seasons come to most of us. The trick is to remember that it is just that-a season. And I have found that when God lets us go through a season when we come out on the other side with Him, it is never wasted.