Late Thursday evening, I made a difficult choice toward wholeness.
I dropped my accelerated Anatomy & Physiology II class.
[Before anyone worries too much, I'm picking it back up in the fall.]
I came to a point sometime last week that I felt I was drowning. Sleep-deprived, husband-deprived, peace-deprived, I toyed with the idea of dropping the class, but my pride held me back for hours. Maybe days. I wanted to be superwoman and conquer it all with ease.
On top of it, I've been going to physical therapy 3 days a week for some intense neck pain that won't leave me alone (probably a residual effect from a bad car accident I was in several years ago). When I shared my schedule with my therapist and admitted I was spending more than 12 hours in the car and more than 15 hours sitting in my class every week, he told me, "You're not going to get any better until that changes." Sitting aggravates the pain more than anything, and I knew he was right.
So when I brought up the idea of dropping the class to Shawn, he jumped on it. I still wanted to hang in there and finish the class, but understandably, he wanted his wife back.
As I dropped the class, I expected a great wave of relief to come over me. Instead, it felt a lot more like guilt. Shawn and I decided to watch a movie to celebrate that I didn't have to study for once, but I couldn't get my mind off of what I believed to be failure. I felt like a quitter, and that's the last thing I want to be.
Can you hear my pride talking? Yeah, me too.
Even that night as I tried to sleep, I kept waking up thinking about glomerular capsules and renal corpuscles, then quickly realizing that I didn't need to think about any of this again for another month.
The next morning, I still felt guilty. Guilty for the free time while my classmates studied 24/7. Guilty that I had "given up." I spent ample time in God's Word, something I'd neglected in these weeks. I dwelled in Psalm 37, one of my favorites, then read it in the Message, which always gives some clear perspective on a familiar passage.
At the end of the chapter, my sweet, sweet Savior blessed me with this confirmation:
Keep your eye on the healthy soul,
scrutinize the straight life;
There's a future
in strenuous wholeness.
But the willful will soon be discarded;
insolent souls are on a dead-end street.
The spacious, free life is from God,
it's also protected and safe.
God-strengthened, we're delivered from evil—
when we run to him, he saves us.
Healthy soul. Strenous wholeness.
Oh, Jesus, that's what I crave.
I can't say I'm there yet, but having a month "off" (just teaching painting classes and taking online classes) is a step in that direction. I can pay more attention to my husband, to my home, to my very neglected friends, to my Lord. What a privilege. I know the next season in the fall will bring new challenges as I'll be adding an extra class, but I pray this month-long hiatus will bring perspective and restoration.