This summer, what I needed, more than anything, was some time away.
Time away from the hustle and bustle and juggling. Time away from the normal routine that had become a rut. Time away from the noise that was invading my world.
In that time away, I found peace. In that peace, I found that everything I’ve needed has always been here.
It was never farther than my asking.
In fact, I didn’t have to ask.
In June, my husband looked at me and said something that shattered me.
“I think you’re depressed.” He thought, in fact, that I had been depressed for months.
How could this be? Surely I wasn’t suffering from something so cliche as depression. I wasn’t ready to kill myself, after all. Come ON, I thought, there’s NO WAY.
Then I started paying attention. I couldn’t close my eyes to the little signs and symptoms. I had to listen to the voices…the voice of my husband, the voice of my spiritual director and boss, and the still, small voice. They were all telling me that something had to change.
The change was eight weeks long, and it has been a journey. The battle I began with has become less center-stage, and I have wondered, over and over, if my struggle, at the heart of it, was one of trust.
I think, sometimes, that when I ignore that small voice, that call from above, that inner wisdom that isn’t mine, that I make a mistake that ripples out to the rest of my life. The ripples turn into waves, left untended, and then they affect everyone around me, especially those closest to me.
This is not a way of saying my depression battle is over or that it wasn’t important. I sought medical help, in fact, after realizing that diet and exercise and intense prayer weren’t going to make it go away.
But, on the other side of my sabbatical, I can see the peace I now feel as cloaked in something else: trust.
Sometimes, this day’s daily bread is the food on my table. Other times, it’s the extra money that just happens to turn up when it’s needed.
This summer, I’ve found my daily bread in the prayers and the support I’ve received in one of the hardest struggles I’ve faced.
The sabbatical, as it turns out, was not about my book. It was about ME or maybe, more accurately, about discernment, about finding God’s will, about letting God provide my daily bread one day at a time.
On a related note:
- Marian Centacle podcast: “How can I keep from singing?”
- Seven Sabbatical Lessons
- Leap of Faith
Photo by PetitPlat by sk_
Sarah, thank you so much for sharing this. Beautifully written. God bless your husband for hearing that still small voice himself and alerting you to what might be going on!! God spoke to you in so many ways. God is good and you are loved! Hugs.
Sarah, thank you for this story. I have been battling depression (usually mild) off and on for the past few years. I wish I could take a sabbatical, but the most I can ever manage is a day away here and there. You seem to be blessed with a very loving husband who would pick up on your emotions and want to help you in whatever way possible. Good for you for taking such good care of yourself!