Waterton Lake National Park . Alberta, Canada . Photo Credit: me
by Lesli Westfall
Dear Subscriber / Friends,
I find it hard to know where to begin, so I’m beginning with this quote:
“I could get out of bed every day, and I did.
I kept praying and reading my bible. But my speed decreased to a snail’s pace. And hope felt like it had died. My motivation and passion dropped to zero. (Make that zero Kelvin).” - Author Unknown
This quote best describes me right before the holiday season last year.
I’m writing to you my dear friends, you subscribers who are a part of this infertility journey and community.
Will you come and sit awhile while I share my heart?
For some time now, in fact a good while now, I’ve felt mentally depleted. I hit a wall at full force in ministry, not only within the website, Dancing Upon Barren Land (non-profit organization), but as a leader / overseer of the local HOPE Christian Infertility Support groups here in Houston.
Troubles by this, I sought God for my lack of joy. I had a shortfall to write, to attend groups, blog, to keep up with anything and everything ministry related. I felt He impressed upon me the word, burnout. So, I looked up the definition. Every detail described me, it was spot on. There were specific tests I took proving I was 70% emotionally exhausted.
I was not only in burnout, but I was smoldering and I didn’t even know it.
For the last 8 years I’ve led Christian Infertility Support groups. There’s been growth (praise the Lord!) with the addition of two new support groups over the last several years. For 6 years now I’ve have been at the helm of leading and maintaining the content of the website, Dancing Upon Barren Land ministry. All within this time frame I’ve experienced three family losses too. I lost my young sister-in-law to inflammatory breast cancer. My mother passed away unexpectedly which left me to provide full-on care for my father who was already in hospice care. I took care of him for two and half years until he passed away just last year.
For the most part, I’ve been going at it all alone, (except for a wonderful volunteer team at Lakewood Church). Coupled with the facts of all the above, I still wrestle, on occasion, with my own longing to have a child too.
During this time I. NEVER. STOPPED.
Why am I telling you all of this?
Well, after much prayer, talking to my husband, my DUBL board members and receiving pastoral counsel on my “state of being”— it has been advised for me to me to take a break. The pastoral people call it a “Sabbatical ” – a period of time and rest. A change from the normal routine. It’s a time to take care of me and to find me again.
It’s comforting me to know I (we) can relate to our Savior. In John 4:6 ESV the Bible says,
“Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied from his journey, was sitting beside the well.”
He was worn out from his journey, He sat, He rested. Both you and I can sit awhile too. The key is giving ourselves permission.
If you’re wondering…
“Is she depressed?” No. I’ve never felt that way. I’ve just lost me along the way.
“Is she quitting?” No. I’m in the phase of sitting and seeking Him.
As I wrote in a former blog post,
Hey, that’s a good quote, huh? If only I would’ve heeded to those words years ago when I wrote them. Duh?
Even though I’m stepping back for a few months, per se, from the website and leading support groups I’m still keeping the website LIVE! I’ve reached out to friends within the infertility community across the country and they’ve graciously stepped up to the plate in donating blog posts. So you’ll get to read some great content on the blog soon! My friends locally are taking the helm and leading the support groups and another is maintaining this website. I’m SO GRATEFUL to each and every one, I’m dubbing them THE CARING COMMUNITY.
So, thank you dear friends / subscribers for sitting with me awhile and hearing my heart.
Even though I’ve not met some of you face-to-face there’s a deep love in my heart for you. As I make my way to the park bench to sit awhile I’ll be pondering, dreaming and remembering you in my prayers.
I wanted to convey heartfelt thanks to….
The Caring Community
Lisa Newton, Amateur Nester Blog
Matt Appling Blog
Beth Forbus, Sarah’s Laughter Ministry
Chrisy Neuman, The Write Season Blog
Roxanne Knott, Grace-Filled Waiting Blog
April Jones, The Ark Church Support Group
Sarah Nelson, The Foundry Church Support Group
April Jones, Lacey Moses, Hannah Bunker, Heiddy Perrallta, Roxanne Knott
Lakewood Church Support Group
Alison & Jason Morris, Austin New Church
Jackie Garner, Lakewood Church Women’s Ministry
My PeePs and most of all my sweet husband, Larry.
My love and thanks to you all!