August of 2010 was when it happened.
After over a decade working in churches in Oklahoma, Texas, and Maryland… I was planting Remedy Church in Salisbury, MD.
And I was exhausted.
As the founding pastor and primary leader in a new people-oriented organization, I was asking much of myself… and so were the people I was shepherding. So I did the dumbest and wisest thing I could imagine::
For 30 days, I quit leading.
Stopped working on the organization.
Stopped tweaking the strategies and models of teaching, fund-raising, discipling, creating, mentoring, making, counseling, producing, visioneering, and leading.
Trusted the men and women who were leading with me.
Trusted the God who asked me to trust Him to begin with.
Started working on my heart, my character, my motives, my emotional baggage, my health, my goals, my wounds, and my hopes for the future.
Started BEing before GOing and DOing.
A decade of ignoring Sabbath rest… a decade of believing that I was created to make and produce and do… a decade of rarely saying “no”… a decade of accumulating skills and words and names and titles and hopes without pausing long enough to reflect on what that all might mean… a decade of living without healthy rhythms brought me to that place.
I had ignored the rhythms of my life for so long that I had to go into total detox mode.
Detox is never fun.
Nor should it be. We are addicts to so much.
I was addicted to performance. I was addicted to winning. I was addicted to the perceptions and affirmations of others. I was addicted to myself.
Taking a sabbatical was what I needed… but that month of “rest” wasn’t the utopia I imagined. It wasn’t anything like the heaven I hoped for… but it was the heaven I needed.
After two full weeks of sabbatical… I recorded the following confessional prayer in my journal where I was keeping careful notes of my sabbatical journey. It took me two weeks to finally and truly reach a place of desperation and vulnerability before God where I could actually write the words I had been dwelling upon for months::
The beautiful thing about reaching a point of desperation and vulnerability is the potential for hope and restoration and growth from that point moving forward. My journal from that 30 days in August of 2010 displays a process of radical re-alignment. It was much needed.
Weekly I set Monday aside as a day of obedience, remembrance, Sabbath. It’s a day when I give myself permission to quit. It’s a day when I am not the founding elder or lead storyteller among the wonderful people of Remedy Church. It’s a day when I am not a catalyst in the city in which I’ve been planted.
Monday is a day when I am Ryan Von Weaver. Beloved follower of Jesus the King. Son of a Weaver. Husband of Amanda Dawn. Father of two Weavers.
In the Old and New Testament Scriptures, healthy rhythms aren’t a suggestion for a happier life and more productivity… they are a command to be obeyed.
May you learn to Sabbath (as I am still learning) with the Lord of the Sabbath.