A Note from Kelly King: About a year and a half ago I found myself in the hospital suffering from an illness that took several weeks to heal. Like Dawn Stephens reflects in today’s article, I wanted it to go away quickly. Instead, the Lord used this time to focus on rest and healing. I believe today’s article is appropriate for all of us who need to be reminded of these steps to being a leader who is well—physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
As I recover from surgery to correct an unexpected orthopedic issue of a torn meniscus and removal of arthritis behind my kneecap, I can’t help but think of its correlation to other areas of healing in our lives.
Whether it be emotional, mental, physical, or spiritual, there are times in all of our lives when we need to “take some sick time” to heal and get stronger and ready for the next season in our lives.
As women who lead in many different yet similar ways, there will be times we all need to slow down, listen to our bodies, minds, and emotions, and take the necessary steps to get well. Here are a few thoughts:
When a wiser, experienced person like the physical therapist who is helping me heal from this surgery says, “I recommend you take some time to really focus on healing,” listen to them and do it. I believe God puts people in your life to impart His wisdom and encourage you when you least expect it. He has allowed them to learn concepts and perspectives that can help you, even though you may think you “know it all.”
Don’t rush the process. Talk to God daily about what “next step” He would have you take in your healing. Is it sleep? Refreshment? Exercise? Time to think and pray? Time to care for your body, mind, and soul that you may have neglected? Just ask Him; He will tell you and lead you.
Let others serve you during this time of healing. Whether it be practical serving through things like meals, caring for kids, cleaning your home, or emotional support like listening, inviting you to have fun, mindless days, or a quiet time of coffee, let them use their spiritual gifts and time to aid in your healing. Again, God has given them this ability, and He wants His people to care for each other.
And finally, we tend to want healing on our timetable instead of God’s. When we ask, “How long does it usually take?” the answer we want is that it’s quick, immediate, and painless. But the answer is usually, “It takes as long as it takes.” Just keep taking one step at a time and in His timing, it will come to pass. You will heal, and He will be the reason.
Dawn Stephens has been involved in women’s ministry in both volunteer and staff positions for many years. She is the Women’s Minister at The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Alabama. Her desire is to train, equip, and encourage women to use their God-given gifts and abilities to show Christ’s love and grace to our world. She graduated from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Women’s Ministry certificate program, has served on the Alabama Baptist State Women’s Ministry leadership team, and serves as a LifeWay Women’s Trainer. She is a contributing author to Transformed Lives Taking Women’s Ministry to the Next Level. She is married to Greg and has one son, Tyler. They make their home in Birmingham, Alabama.