Guest Post by a Worn Out Missionary (continued by permission)
My road to recovery
“My five days at a missionary retreat center (Central Oregon Oasis) was just what I needed. But how did I even know that I needed to get away? And in all my numbness and weariness, how did I ever manage the energy and
commitment it takes for a mother of three to escape?
I’d love to say that it was my wisdom that made me schedule my recent three personal retreats, that I had found such balance in my life that I regularly took time out to recharge myself for my duties. The truth is, that I was weary to my core and unable to take any action to help myself. Caring brothers and sisters saw my condition and made a diagnosis: emotional exhaustion and possible burnout because of the trauma of our transition back to life in the U.S.
Beyond a diagnosis, God was gracious to give them a prescription, a care plan to restore me back to emotional health.
Rest for my soul
A mirror for reflection On my Oregon “mini-sabbatical event,” God revealed to me a root reason for my weariness. I’d been putting the blame solely on the transition of the past months, but He gently reminded me that my weariness came mainly from the accumulation of the sacrifices of 18 years of living and reaching out cross-culturally.
One day I sat in the sunshine my the private deck of the Oasis, meditating on Psalm 20:1-3: “May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; May the name of the God of Jacob protect you. May He send you help from the sanctuary And grant you support from Zion. May He remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings.“
I began by asking God to do this for me — to answer my distress, protect me, and send me help and support. As I took the time to reflect and let His spirit work through His word, I could see how He had been doing this all along! He remembered my sacrifices even before I did – and I began recounting in my journal a long list of ways He had answered, protected, helped and supported me.
The healing power of nature was just as important in my second and third retreats, but I felt more energetic and was able to be much more active. I rode my borrowed Giant bike over more than 50 miles of bike paths, stopping to rest at well-placed benches to watch ducks paddle across the Deschutes River, while the sun set behind Mount Bachelor.”
Is it time that you (and your spouse) took a Restoration Retreat?
(Life Impact exists to strengthen missionaries and pastors in hosted Care Centers, we call Oases. Our Staff are called and equipped to both host them and help them process issues of interest to them. Please encourage your missionaries to visit one of our Global locations.)