15 November 2013

World English Dictionary:
Admission (ədˈmɪʃən) –n
1.       Permission to enter or the right, authority, etc., to enter
2.       The price charged for entrance
3.       Acceptance for a position, office, etc.
4.       A confession, as of a crime, mistake, etc.
5.       An acknowledgment of the truth or validity of something

If you know me at all you know I love words, and this is one that’s been rolling around in my brain over the last few days. Why? 
Crew Admission Record
One of those bad boys has my name on it.  *at least I think that’s what the sheet says on the top, I wasn’t coherent enough at the time to think to snap a photo*
(in case you are wondering what on earth I am talking about – simple English – I was admitted to the Africa Mercy Hospital as a patient this week. Nothing terribly serious, just needed IV fluids and meds) 
I think it’s an interesting use of the word admission.  I mean, I suppose the first definition above is what it’s actually referring to – by having my name on that sheet I have the right to enter the hospital, although as a member of the hospital management team I already have the right to enter.  To clarify I guess I would say that sheet allows me to lay down on a hospital bed and receive treatment.  Thankfully there is no price charged for entrance…  But then the next three definitions I feel are applicable too –  
Acceptance, confession, acknowledgment of truth – yes.  This is what actually happened this week.  It may seem silly or insignificant to some of you but the acknowledgement that I am sick, fallible, worn out, need help, and need to rest is not an easy one for me to offer.  
I have a superstar immune system (no joke).  The last time I was sick was with malaria at Easter which doesn’t really count as it’s not a communicable disease… the last cold I had was in January, I think, because I went and ordered a whole bunch of Dayquil/Nyquil, Kleenex with lotion, etc., that I have never had to use.
The truth is, I’ve been working really, really hard.  The awesome thing is I love my job and I’m super passionate about what I’m doing… the problem is, I love my job and I’m super passionate about what I’m doing.  That’s the tricky thing…. How much of my life (or yours) have I longed for a job that I love, that I’m passionate about, that I would do regardless of whether or not I got paid… then I found it, and it’s not quite as sunshine-and-roses as you might think.   Because when your job is embedded in your passions, your identity and boundaries become fuzzy.  Because what I do is not just about me – the well-being of others is attached to this mission as well. Sarah Cunningham summarizes this so well in her book
No wonder you do it for reasons beyond a paycheck! You do it because God has stirred a conviction inside you, put you on a path.  What you are doing supports God’s purposes in this world. Your work helps people experience the fullest life possible, and even more so, has eternal weight. Holy cow!  How could you not want to sideline everything else, to pour out everything you are, to devote every waking minute and second to that sort of significance, right?  And herein lies the problem.
                Your faith gets mixed up in your work.
                Your identity gets mixed up in your work.
                Your worth gets mixed up in your work.
And that seems fine on the days where things are going well.  Bliss! Bliss! Hardworking, passionate bliss!  But please hear me on this: Sometimes the more you love what you do, the more important you think it is, the easier it is for you to unknowingly wander into unhealthiness.
I am SO blessed and honored and grateful that I get to do what I love and am passionate for every single day.  However… Sarah continues…
… After enough days pile up, our bodies start to feel the strain of those long hours and heavy concentration.  We wake up tired, our families and friends feel a little bit neglected, some household chores get skipped…. Yet we keep going. Until we are so weary we don’t really want to do it any longer. We begin to wander if it’s worth it. We fear our pace is destructive and we can’t keep going. …We killed it in the beginning. We told ourselves this was a temporary “extra-busy” stretch. 
She goes on to describe how we’ve got everything flying along at a hundred miles an hour, but the responsibilities don’t lessen, they increase… we can’t stop because then things won’t get done, people won’t get served… we believe in sacrificing for what we believe in… but we can’t stop because we will let other people down, because our faith is mixed up in it.

Somewhere along the way, we stopped being a world changer and became a martyr.

I don’t think I’ve gone that far, but honestly, I know I’ve said some of these things.  That this is just a busy season, that we’re just in start-up mode and it will get easier, that it’s only a little while that I’ll have to work every weekend and most week nights just to keep up.  It’s so tricky because I really do love what I am doing and don’t mind working crazy hours – because what I do matters! 
But ultimately, why I’m fixating on the word admission and why I ended up spending the last three days in bed is a wake-up call.  If I don’t pull back, find more balance, allow myself to rest and switch off, the next time the fall will be much more extreme.  This time it was just a couple days in bed, for which I am grateful.  The last thing I want to do is to come screaming up to the end of the field service and hate my job, this organization, my devotion, etc. 
So, I admit, confess, and acknowledge that I need help, I need to rest, and I will continue to do the best job that I can do within healthy boundaries of time and energy.  I’m so grateful for the nurses and doctors who have cared for me while I’ve been sick; I’m a stubborn, pathetic mess of a sick person and really what I need is a dose of humility – I hate asking for help but ultimately that is what community is for… so thank you, AFM ship friends and family, for your help, grace, and encouragement.

Reverse this crazy idea you have in your head that if you run yourself dry, you have given the most.  You will give the world the most if you’ll still be alive and healthy enough to serve tomorrow. You are more good to the world well.
(Quotes from Sarah Cunningham's book in italics - more info here)

1 comment :

  1. So glad you are taking care of yourself! Your body is a gift from God and the residence of the Holy Spirit. Hugs and blessings Krissy!


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