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Women of Reverence welcomes Trisha Sandeman as a guest blogger.

If I had to choose a word to describe me I think it would be REVOLUTIONARY. When I look at life, the earth and all that surrounds me... if it doesn’t look like heaven... I become passionate about it being turned the right way up. This world system is in need of a revolution!

Being a dynamic wife and mom is a high value to me.

Co-leading our church community Every Nation Durban a joy and privilege.

Stewarding the body of Christ in our city with other likeminded men and women a priority.

Now that might sound like a strange title for a blog, especially one that endeavors to be up-lifting, but truth be told though, my psychologist was right when she said:

“Trish, people change because the reward to do so is worth it, or the pain not to, unbearable.”

Sometimes the change we need only comes through the pain we encounter.

When I reflect on that time of my life, everything inside me screams: “I NEVER WANT TO BE LIKE THAT AGAIN! Ever! Like NEVER EVER!

As you read these words, I hope you will be fore-warned and fore-armed. I hope you will awaken to warning signs that your body, mind and spirit may be sending you. I hope you p.a.u.s.e, ponder and consider well, where you REALLY are at... because I didn’t and the consequences took years to repair.

I’ve come to discover that our positive attributes can also become our stumbling blocks. For me, being hardworking, diligent and paying attention to detail can cause me to stumble into perfectionism, drivenness, pushing and expecting too much of myself, to mention a few.

When I don’t see myself leaning into the unhealthy, masking it all with the catch phrase... ‘excellence is important’, it’s not long before the memories of a time gone by shake me into sober reflection.

The year was 2015 and I was 36yrs old.

Married to an exceptional visionary (for those of you who lack vision or creative ideas, I think Wayne got your share). He overflows with innovation - it’s magical to be a part of, but also exhausting. One thing I’ve come to learn over the years is that talk of ideas doesn’t = me having to devise a detailed plan to out work them... what a relief... let’s just dream.

Mother of 2 rambunctious, adventurous, boundary pushing, mind of their own, awesome hard work, young boys...LOL!

Co-leader of an extraordinary church that seeks to bring together beautiful people from different cultural histories, economic situations and age brackets. Loving each individual one and caring for their lives, context and situation, while endeavoring to raise leaders to lead the nations and equip all to find their fit in advancing God’s Kingdom by co-laboring with Jesus as He builds His Church.

Big, beautiful, bold, bodacious life that went BOOM!

Warning bells began to ring when I was not looking forward to a new year drawing near; AND when the thought of going to church was a slog and not a passion; AND when I was often falling ill and feeling tired most of the time; AND when I began to wake, after only a few hours of sleep, resulting in lying, wondering for hours, if God was calling me to pray more.

DING DONG - RING RING...anyone listening... clearly I was not.

I told myself, when my bones finally began to ache, that if I was not feeling better towards the end of the year, then I would go see the doctor. Well, you can push your body only so hard before it says : “this far and no further”

For me, that day came in the October, a few days before my 37th birthday.

I came out of the doctors room, now aware, that I was broken. Doctor’s note in hand booking me off for 2 months due to a ‘Major Depression Disorder’ left me feeling like such a flipn failure!

But sometimes you can’t fix something if you don’t know how broken it is.

Helen Keller is recorded to have said these wise words:

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet only.”

Here was my invitation to develop some more character... and everyone around me too!

I slept for 2 weeks, then became strong enough to walk every 2nd day. Sometimes I would wake up from a full nights sleep still exhausted and have to stay in bed till mid-day. I couldn’t even keep my personal space tidy (not a good thing for a neat freak). My mind and emotions were a mess and it made me feel even worse to see my family and home taking strain because I was broken.

I cried a lot...

My soul had become saturated with demand, stress, responsibilities, tasks, busyness etc coupled with a spirit that was dry and thirsty because I was just too tired to have a fruitful time of intimacy with Jesus.

Psalm 51vs1 “Have mercy on me O God, according to your unfailing love, according to your

great compassion.”

I found a Christian psychologist who understood the nature of ministry, the effects of burnout on the brain and body as well as the role of diet and nutrition to heal the whole person. Close family friends came alongside Wayne and I as we journeyed the murky waters of recovery. I studied myself, I studied depression, I studied burnout and related illnesses and I prayed.

Being booked off removed me from the place and people that had been the stimulus for me to push on, thereby masking my true physical, mental, emotional and spiritual condition.

My journey to healing was a long one and from my initial unraveling to being strong, fit, healed, transformed etc took about 5yrs of my life.

Psalm 41vs3 “The Lord sustains them (those who are weak) on their sick bed and restores them from their bed of illness.

My brokenness pushed me to hunger for God more and my spiritual, emotional and physical health became my priority.

If you have any warning bells ringing, PLEASE stop, p.a.u.s.e and ponder this:

“Self care is a spiritual discipline”

Your love and care for yourself should reflect God’s love and care for you. The more healthy, strong, rested and peaceful you are the more you actually advance His kingdom. His yolk is easy and His burden is light... He is not a task master. His joy gives you strength. And the good works He has for you are to be walked in not rushed, burdened, squeezed into an already over committed schedule etc. To W.A.L.K. in ease, lightness, grace and joy. And as you embrace that life revolution may your reflections be “I dealt with my almost burnout before it dealt with me.”



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