This seemed incredibly normal to me. For years, I'd taken pride in being brave and busy. Making major life changes and racing my way through them. I was all ready to tackle our adventure in Kosovo the same way I always had: head on.
Instead, I crashed. Hard.
For months, I fought against it. Of course, I didn't really have the energy to win this fight, but resisting sleep and down time seemed like the right thing to do. At least I could say that I tried, right?
It didn't matter that I knew all the classic signs of burnout. It didn't even matter that our missions pastor had specifically told us to take breaks and vacations as often as possible. I'm the kind of girl who, when you tell me that Jesus likes me no matter how much I accomplish, I smile and nod and promptly label you a softy.
Last week, when people were enjoying and sharing "On Being Unwelcome," I realized how much this lesson had (finally) sunk in. Normally I would have been really happy to have achieved something, to have done a good job writing. But that's not how I felt at all. For once, I thought to myself, "God loves me for who I am, and because he loves me, he gave me good work to do."
Honestly, it kind of blew my mind. I have never ever ever said anything like this to myself. And I think I never would have, if God (and basic biology) hadn't intervened and wiped me out for a year.
And that, my friends, is a wonderful feeling. A feeling that, hopefully, you will not need a year of exhaustion to discover for yourself.
If we take God at his word, we know that he desires for us to rest. It's one of his top ten commands, and it's not the sissy, throw-away one I always thought it to be. It is vital to our identity, and to our basic wellbeing. So I encourage you to take some time this week to rest. A few minutes. An hour. A whole Sabbath day. Even if you hate every second of it, like I'm prone to do, let yourself sink into it, little by little. You'll get there, and God will hold your hand while you do.