On Sabbatical.

Hello dear wonderful friends:

After much reflection and prayer, I’ve decided to take a break from social media indefinitely, for at least a chunk of December.

In the last few weeks, I’ve spiraled into a depression and a big panic attack, for which I almost considered going to the hospital (it lasted nearly an hour and I thought maybe it was a heart attack). And at least partially, it has to do with being so unprepared for an increasing amount of hate-mail and harsh comments. Of course, I still absolutely love the online community, and really, it’s my own shortcoming that I let such things affect me so hard.

I’m a little embarrassed to be talking about all this: I know there are so many larger problems in the world, of which I’m trying be part of the solution, and my own issues are hardly a ripple in the pond.

In fact, that could also be why I’m so wounded, because I feel such a deep responsibility to change everything around me, and I get twisted up over how cruel the world can be. It’s like thrashing around in an ocean of burden, and it’s even become a selfish kind of death-grip on control.

Earlier this week, I spoke with a “viral celebrity” over the phone about how he handles both criticism in the spotlight and the burden to change things around him (by no means am I equating myself to him or that I have any kind of spotlight). He said that he still wrestles with insecurity, he still gets hurt by cruel comments, he’s still so careful about what he says in public, even after all his success. And to be truthful, I found that sort of a relief. It’s normal. It’s okay. It’s part of putting yourself out there, of taking a risk to move against the tide. We always live with a little bit of uncertainty, and we don’t go around it: we go right through it.

He also said, “I don’t want you to do this for another year or two. I want you to do this your whole life. And that means finding a way to keep going.”

It means to rest. To surrender the burden of control. To give over to the peace of God, who’s running the ship through this turbulent sea.

I’ll be checking back here occasionally to check messages, but otherwise: I won’t be posting anything new for a while. I’ll be working on a few new projects (like a new book) and recharging the best I can. In the meantime, my blog and books are still available.

May you pray for me as we pray for the world? May you consider fasting with me for some of the time?

And may we be kind to one another, to promote each other to our best, to say life-giving things that we ourselves want to hear, too.

Love you, dear fellow travelers, and thank you.
See you at the other end.
— J.S.


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21 thoughts on “On Sabbatical.

  1. Dear JS PARK:

    I will truly miss checking your page for new entries. I always take joy in reading and re-reading your posts for comfort and wisdom. Your words have helped me get through some of the bleakest periods of my life. You are a true servant of God, and I appreciate your fervor for serving His people. As you take this time to recharge and restore, please know that I will be keeping you in prayer and will be fasting alongside you.

    Thank you for always finding the strength to still spread so much joy despite what you have been enduring. I am so sorry, and I pray that you will heal and come back someday to grace us with your wonderful words of wisdom and love. May God shower all of His riches upon you and yours.

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  2. God loves you J.S.
    You are a great encouragement to many people.
    The first sentence is more important than the second. Your identity is in Christ. It hard to feel called and burdened to serve a lost and broken world for Jesus and not feel responsible to help people. The best way to serve God is do it as a healthy believer. Let Jesus just love you for awhile whiteout having to write about it, or tweet it or anything else. I will miss your posts as much as anyone, but to serve depleted will only make u ineffective and bitter towards Him in the long run.
    This is a move of maturity. Pastors, writers, chaplains, people take note. There are many reading saying, “Yes I need to stop myself.”
    God is still writing your story just like me and everyone reading. This will ultimately be part of your message. Be encouraged brother.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good idea friend. I have suffered with the same conditions all of my life. They can be deadly and one must care for one’s self and rest when these things come around. Not a bad idea to have a physical check up.

    Enjoy your break and enjoy you!

    God bless,

    Wayne
    Colorado

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  4. Prayers for you J.S. because the struggle is hard but the words yiu bring are life. I thank you for the encouragement you bring. I pray peace and Gods rest for you during this season.

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  5. Will pray for you, Mr. Park. Will miss your writing and the encouragement it is to me, but you need to let the Lord take care of YOU for a while. Just hang on, sir, and He will prove to be faithful as He always does.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, I will miss this blog. But even if you don’t write another word, ever, you should know that this blog has been instrumental for the changes God has done in my life this year. I am so thankful I stumbled over it. There are too many posts to name them all, but to name one, the words “the Holy Spirit is a person” set off a process that led to an encounter which actually has changed everything for me, every day, in every situation. I am learning to trust Him in a new way, and He has suddenly moved very very close. It has helped me start walking again, with Him.

    Mr Park, I am so grateful that you put those words here. Never think that your effort was in vain. Never think that God did not inspire you. I know He did. Never think the blog should never have been.

    I know a little something of depression, I have lived with it for some years (not me, but a person close to me). All depressions are not alike, but I certainly feel the sorrow welling up in me as I remember the old black, hopeless days. But He never stopped shoving hope inside me where I had none. To this day, He still does. My close one came back to life again – I do believe, with holy rest and holy revival, you will too, all in God’s time. By all means follow your friend’s advise, leave off blogging indefinitely. We have your books.
    There is precious little I can do from here, but I will pray. Love you, man! God bless you and keep you, and your wife too.

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  7. Sending you love and prayers! Take care, and rest. Strangely this whole thing makes me feel hopeful, not for anything in particular, but just in how great our God is, and how we are all part of the body of Christ. You have many brothers and sisters who love you and care about you!

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  8. I will miss all your insightful and god-filled and love-filled comments. You have brought about lots of change in my life and in many others, so please do not let that be overshadowed by the harsh remarks you get! I hope and pray you find rest that rekindles your passion in what you do. Best wishes for you and your wife.

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  9. Hey man, you got married, you run a great blog, and you love God. You have a lot going for you. And praise God for it. Rest up and rest well in HIS rest. I’ll be praying for you.

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  10. May God bless you with His comfort, peace, and hope during this season of Advent. Sorry to hear about all the haters. It’s your honest & vulnerable approach that impacts so many lives, but also leaves you open to being wounded by trolls. Know that there are many who deeply appreciate your ministry and insights!

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  11. I think everything has pretty much been said above. I’m truly sorry you have received hateful and hurtful comments or emails. In today’s world, I’m not surprised – NOT because you deserve it, but because of such cruel comments I see on social media. Freedom of speech and the ability to express our feelings behind a computer are a dangerous combo. God KNOWS your heart – that’s what matters. Take care and God bless!

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  12. Thanks for your update. Writing can be a lonely process and a draining one as well. I am learning that I need to have times when I am receiving as well as constantly giving out. I pray that you will know the Lord’s strength in your weakness. Paul must have felt wrung out at times but in those situations he felt the Lord’s strength – he wrote ‘when I am weak then I am strong,’ 2 Corinthians 12:10. May you know healing and refreshing. Stephen

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