The day after homeschool ended last spring, my jaw started giving me so much pain that within 4 days I was continually in tears. I couldn’t eat and I had to make plans to fly to Texas to see my biological dentist to get to the bottom of the pain.
I didn’t realize what I was in for!
The Background Before My 3 Month Sabbatical
A month prior I had started a new regimen through a world-renowned clinic called Hope 4 Cancer to prompt my immune system to wake up and eliminate a few infections that had cropped up, and thankfully, it worked. The regimen helped my immune system detect an internal infection I didn’t even know I had!
What I didn’t know is that I had a severe “silent” infection going on in my upper and lower left jaw that would literally have me down and out until it was taken care of.
Thankfully, I was able to be seen by Dr. Nunnally, my biological dentist and Healthy Smiles for Life and get the infection taken care of holistically.
My brain was spinning with how I was going to continue to manage it all while recovering from this and putting my all into my H4C regimen. In the midst of a flare, it can become a part-time job to heal. This began God’s prompting of my heart to pray about and ponder the fact that I needed to re-design some parts of my life and take time off in order to do it.
Stress, Autoimmunity and Time Off
After my oral surgery, my body was now in recovery from two weeks of immense pain and lack of sleep. Due to those factors, and a burdened inflamed body, sadly, I ended up getting Covid as a result.
The stress from the pain, lack of sleep, lowered immune system and wearing all the hats I did was pressing and God was showing me that the life I had created before was not sustainable – especially if I wanted to get back to the high-quality life despite my autoimmune diagnosis. I also did not want to run the risk of getting another autoimmune diagnosis!
Since stress is one of the top reasons for an autoimmune diagnosis (along with infections), it was time to make some severe changes.
Through a series of circumstances, God showed me that it was time to take a significant amount of time off from work and honestly from life.
I decided to take a 3-month sabbatical.
What is a Sabbatical?
A sabbatical is generally a time when people take an extended period of time off of work and it is usually unpaid. Common amounts of time taken off are anywhere from 3-12 months. Some companies do pay their employees while on sabbatical which is a HUGE perk of working for a company that does that.
Sabbaticals for individuals can take on different goals. For instance, some people may choose a sabbatical for travel or to dive into studies they aren’t normally able to do. Others may choose a sabbatical to keep from burnout. However, the most common reasons for a sabbatical are to regroup and rebalance. While that can include avoiding burnout, changing your routines and environment through a sabbatical allows time to reflect on what is good in life and what needs to change in life.
Often people return from sabbaticals, refreshed, rejuvenated, full of new ideas, and ready to do life again with vigor.
In regard to taking a sabbatical to enable health to return, the same benefits I mentioned above can be a result, along with better sleep, more balanced stress response and blood sugar, and even better labs and lessened chronic illness symptoms.
The Sabbatical Opportunity
In choosing to take 3 months off, God blessed me with a beautiful gift that I would have not initially chosen had I not been forced.
In the beginning of my time off, I was deep in acute recovery mode and slept a lot. I got outside every day and spent over an hour in the sun with my feet on the grass, grounding. My husband would bring me beautiful smoothies chock full of superfoods and ultra nutrient-dense raw fruits and vegetables to aid in healing my mind and body. I truly had been through severe trauma both mentally and physically and this type of nourishment is exactly what I needed. The space I have in this blog post isn’t enough to share the details.
Within about two weeks my body was starting to heal and, equally important, my mind learned to calm down. Your parasympathetic state is a golden state of healing! Not only had I stopped the work I am so passionate about, but I stopped everything social for the first 5 weeks, went without ANY technology (including my phone) for a solid 3 weeks and I focused on healing therapies, journaling, spending time just being with my loved ones, participating in prayer and reading God’s word.
These healing therapies I partook of are also HIGHLY stress-reducing. (I will be teaching my Wellspring™ members all about those in November.) Unmanaged stress can literally hinder the body from healing fully even when the person is doing everything else right. That’s where I was!
When my Sabbatical Ended
At the end of my 3 months of time off from life, I was successfully able to reimplement homeschool in a much healthier way. I have been able to re-design my life to be able to do at minimum 3 healing therapies per day to sometimes 6 or 7! I love to choose from: Infrared Sauna, red light therapy, ozone, coffee enemas, castor oil packs, grounding, nutrient-dense food and hydration, acupressure and gua sha and lymphatic massage, walking/movement, Pilates, rebounding, Epsom salt/baking soda baths and more! Additionally, I am refreshed and rejuvenated with a mind full of beautiful ideas for my work and the beautiful women I serve. What a blessing from God!
In regard to health, I have experienced amazing improvements! My labs showed my Hashimoto’s antibodies in negative range. In a re-scan, my thermography results showed marked improvement. All of my ultrasounds have come back clean. My oral health has greatly improved and my thermography results for my mouth and teeth show an immense reduction in inflammation and only one hot spot!
The sabbatical was absolutely worth it!
Should a Sabbatical be in Your Future?
If you are feeling inspired and prompted to do a personal sabbatical, I would suggest praying about it first. Ask God all the questions:
- When should it happen?
- What will it look like?
- How long should it be?
- What would be the goal for your sabbatical?
- How would you spend your time during your time off?
Just because, in your mind, it feels like it may be impossible to take time off right now or in the near future, I still encourage you to pray about it.
Don’t get in the situation I was where I was forced to take time off. Of course, God can use and work through every situation. But how beautiful would it be for you to choose to listen to His prompting and trust He will work out the details before He decides to make you do it?
The choice is yours! You are reading this blog post for a reason and remember, there are no coincidences. God’s perfect plan is playing out right before your eyes!
Did I Remit Autoimmunity Through My Sabbatical?
I did remit my Hashimoto’s antibodies which has been something I have been working towards for a while now. However, with chronic illness, there is maintenance involved which will be a factor for the rest of my life. As long as I am living a high-quality life with a clear mind, good moods, able to sleep well and not living in physical pain, I would say this equals success. Praise God because that is where I am at now!
Though I still have some oral health areas to work on and I need to spend some more time with some systemic infections that are still slightly holding on, I am convinced that the healing progress I made was due to, first, God’s grace, second my obedience in taking a sabbatical even when it was very scary and unknown and I had to let go of several things that were hard to let go of, and third lessening my load and managing my stress in a MUCH healthier way.
I will be sharing so many more personal details in my Wellspring Membership Experience with my sweet members and teaching them about the healing therapies I did as well as how to actually take a sabbatical. I invite you to check it out!
For now, spend some time in prayer and at Jesus’ feet considering whether you should take a sabbatical. Analyze the cost of not taking one, versus the cost (and results) of taking one. What would your life and health look like in one year if you chose in between that time to take a sabbatical?
If you’d like to learn from whom I learned to be intentional about the time off called a sabbatical, this article is very helpful.