Instead of letting me continue with my own ways, God loved me enough to demolish and rebuild me. As a result, I’ve grown in compassion and my ability to be present with people in pain. Through my experience with pain, my vocation has shifted—I feel called to be a safe place for others to be vulnerable about their own messy life experiences. As a spiritual director and a retreat coordinator, I invite those I interact with to be real with God and to discover that he really does love them.
Sometimes we just need to stop and ask for help from family, friends, or our church community. A spiritual director can help you process through your experience with God and explore the places where your professed theology differs from your practiced theology. Regularly practicing rest through the spiritual disciplines of Sabbath and retreat can also give space for God to confront the pride that so often underlies a frenetic pace of life. We may not naturally abide in Christ, but he is faithful to develop us into the type of people who depend upon him, using whatever means necessary—even trauma.
My brother was recently married, and I can’t help but stand in awe at how God has redeemed our lives. There were countless times when a day like this felt impossible. My burnout began as a traumatic, hopeless experience. It was redeemed into a surprising gift that I never could have fathomed—one that only our God can craft.
Jen Manglos is a lover of beauty and a red head. When not offering spiritual direction or facilitating retreats as part of her work at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, she can be found enjoying a cup of coffee or a flavorful meal with a friend. She blogs regularly on spiritual formation, culture, narrative, creativity, and soul care. Find her on Twitter @jenmanglos.