It was finally time. The long awaited, desperately needed Sabbatical was now to be a reality. I felt like a runner in position, bent over the starting line ready to break lose as soon as the gun fired. Already I had heard “On your mark, get set…” . Waiting with baited breath to hear “GO”, I didn’t, I heard something else. Fear shouted loudly instead. Suddenly guilt coursed through my veins when just moments earlier it was desperate anticipation and excitement. The ‘GO” dwindled into a muffled whisper and all I could hear were the deafening shouts of fear, guilt and shame. My hope and joy for Rest, Renewal and Retooling fell dead in their tracks…thwarted!
Thus began my encounter with that which had me in such desperate need of Sabbatical in the first place. Fear has that subtle way of smearing its sticking film over everything. The latest layer of it settled on my heart when I realized that by choosing rest, I was choosing trust. My sabbatical would mean a relinquishing of my most important post; that post as a loving mother to my son and daughter in law who were weeks away from the birth of their son who they knew would die shortly after holding him in their longing arms. They needed me! Choosing rest would mean trusting God to care for them better than I could. Could I trust like that? Would I? The fear of being a ‘bad mom’ paralyzed me and quickly gave way to guilt. Guilt sucked the breath right out of me when I saw that I had a choice to make. Would I choose to put the oxygen mask on myself before trying to be the oxygen of all oxygen I thought my grieving kids needed? What if they got mad at me for leaving for a few weeks? What if they really needed me and I wasn’t there? What if…?? Fear to guilt to shame! Shame on me for being needy…and the beat goes on.These wicked triplets, fear, guilt and shame, disguised themselves to be the culprits that were proud to thwart, to hijack the divine plan that was provided and in place for my health and well being, for I really was in a desperate state. But, as is usually the case with chronic exhaustion, my guard was down, sound judgment was lacking. I was ready to blame anything or anybody for what was really my own choosing. I was too tired and worn to see that the very best way to help my children was to choose trust. The providential timing for Sabbatical was the first of many invitations that I courageously chose to accept. By choosing rest I stood with holy resolve in the deceitful faces of fear, guilt and shame and they had no power over me. My kids blessed me and sent me to the One who had open arms outstretched for me, trusting that He would return me to them with my open arms outstretched and ready to hold their broken hearts. And I did.Proverbs 3:21-24 Guard sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight…then you will go on your way in safety and your foot will not stumble; when you lie down you will not be afraid.