Eighty percent of the overseas women surveyed say they have felt close to burnout.*
We received more submissions for this week’s theme of burnout than we’ve had for any theme, ever.
Friends, we are a worn out group.
No doubt, burnout is a very real issue for many people living in their home countries, but women serving overseas seem to live the perfect recipe for this problem.
We are risk-taking, wannabe world changers. We are tender hearts living amongst big ugly needs. We are women living under relentless expectations.
We’re living outside the familiarity and support of our home countries. We are women experiencing frequent culture clashes, also known as the “shaking of all you’ve ever known about yourself and the world.”
Add financial stress, role changes, conflict in community, a crisis or two, and well, burnout should come as no surprise.
I count myself among those who have teetered on the brink of burnout. I know well those feelings of “I’ve got nothing left. I don’t know how to keep going.”
And as I am journeying on the hard and holy road to healing and renewal, here’s what’s happening…
(My pulse quickens even as I type this.)
I’m catching a vision. A vision for my life and yours. A dream of change for the current generations of women with feet in the fields, and a dream for those to come after us.
So can I get a bit prophetic right now?
Can I tell you what I see?
Because like Ezekiel I see an open plain strewn with bones. Our bones. Our dry, worn out bones.
I see women laid flat, women who’ve gathered the courage to let ourselves break. To release. To let go of our try harder lives. To free-fall into brokenness.
Through the dust, across the sun-bleached bits of our shattered bones, I hear a voice:
“‘Dry bones, listen to the Message of God!’
God, the Master, tells the dry bones, ‘Watch this: I’m bringing the breath of life to you and you’ll come alive. I’ll attach sinews, put meat on your bones, cover you with skin, and breathe life into you. You’ll come alive and you’ll realize that I am God!’” (Ezekiel 37:5-6)
Then I hear the rustling. The clicking and coming together of bone to bone. Piece by piece. Sinews forming, skin stretching.
And then I feel it. Coming from the four winds, the breath of life. Whirling down, it’s filling our lungs, we’re coming alive.
We’re taking first steps, we’ve learned a new dance.
We’re here to live in wholeness and strength.
We’re kicking down the propped up pedestals that protected our former fragility.
We’re here to live real.
We’re done living along the brink of burnout.
We’re dialing back our messiah-complexes, we’re here to let the Messiah reign.
We’re here to live for the glory of God and the good of his kingdom, but we’re not doing it by our own grit and strength anymore.
We’re living by the Holy Spirit who courses through our veins, carries our burdens, grants us rest.
We’re women who know how to rest, how to live the Sabbath, not in legalism, but in glorious freedom.
We’re women who weep like God over the pain in the world.
We’re women who look at that pain and don’t feel the crushing need to DO IT ALL, FIX IT ALL.
We’re women who know how to say, “This is the role God’s given me, and that is not.” Then we go fling ourselves passionate and free into the role that is ours.
We’re done vying for the spotlight of God’s love and people’s praise.
We’re no longer trying to out-serve and out-suffer each other.
We’re leaving comparison and judgment in the dust of that field.
We’re each of us secure in our own belovedness, unleashing our prior piety into unabashed encouragement for each other.
We’re taking those bits of our past, the lines of our stories we longed to erase, and we’re holding them high, lighthouse flashes of hope.
We’re here to walk boldly into big things, and we’re here to hide quietly in simple smallness. Both ways are the revolution rising.
Our lungs are full, we’re breathing life.
We are the tide of change. Generations after us won’t call us the worn out, burned out.
We’ll be the renewed and released.
Can you see it too?
Can you hear His voice calling out over our brokenness? Can you feel his breath on your lips?
Have you been laid out flat in the land of brokenness and burnout? Are you teetering on the brink? Want to share your story with us? I shared mine awhile back right here. I’d love to hear your story too.
Which lines here resonated for you? Are you living this vision in your own life? What’s holding you back?
Are we ready to be the renewed and released?
We want you to know we have something in the works for you. Something for your weary bones. Something to connect you with the Breath of Life. How does a personal retreat sound to you? A day or half day that you spend alone with God and the rich resources we’ve designed just for you. It’s coming, the Velvet Ashes Retreat for you, right where you are. Clear some space in your calendar for a half-day retreat anytime April 17-19. Register here!
This is what we call The Grove. It’s where we all gather to share our thoughts, our words, and our art on our weekly prompt. So join us in the comments. Show us your art work by adding an image. And link up your own blog posts on this week’s prompt. Click here for details and instructions.
Photo Source : Unsplash