God’s Plan for Wellness

God’s Plan for Wellness, Getting Unstuck, and What Comes Next

By Kathleen LeSage

Do you feel like you almost don’t recognize yourself after the events of this past year? Life is filled with transitions, and change is inevitable. This was the case even more throughout 2020 and 2021. No one could have predicted how this year changed all of us. After all this change, are you turning it into something positive or staying stuck in a rut?

When I look at my life, I see some changes that needed to happen. The pandemic instigated change in areas that I had been stuck, but I didn’t always respond positively towards that change. Can you relate?

When I started writing my book, God’s Plan for Wellness, almost five years ago, my goal was to help people achieve the health and wellness that God intended. During that time, I worked with an editor to finish the book, received an endorsement from a former Miss America, and hosted a book launch at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C.

After owning and running one of America’s top wellness retreats over the past 15 years, I wanted to guide others in finding health and wholeness. In my writing, I shared my personal story and religious upbringing to encourage people in their own health journeys. The response was very positive. Before the book even launched, I was invited to speak in D.C.

Despite our business celebrating its 40th anniversary in the summer of 2018, I felt my focus slipping. Our wellness retreat vacation experienced explosive growth that summer, and I felt the pressure to help it continue growing. My family lived in Florida during the off-season and ran our business in Vermont in the warmer months. So, when we opened that spring, my husband flew there to get things running, and I made the 1,500-mile drive with my kids and dog in tow.

That trip was meant to be a time of East Coast sightseeing, college visits for my son, a visit to my hometown in Maryland, and my book launch in D.C. However, what began as an exciting road trip ended in an overwhelming onslaught of busyness and obligations. As this trip ushered in a season of distraction, I lost my focus on what truly mattered. Nevertheless, we arrived in Vermont after Memorial Day, and the wellness retreat season was in full swing so the busyness continued.

The problem with busyness is that it often brings accomplishment with it.  Accomplishment is a great feeling but can leave little time for self-care. That year, my husband had self-published a book for the business’ 40th anniversary that he gave as a gift to our guests. So after four decades in business, we had published two books and experienced our most successful year at our wellness retreat vacation yet.

When our 2018 season was finished in Vermont, we headed to Florida for the winter, as usual, to do the marketing and reservations for the 2019 season. We had such a successful year, and we wanted to continue growing, so I also started looking into expanding the wellness retreat even more. In the meantime, I was managing the family and answering emails from God’s Plan for Wellness.

Throughout 2019 we went through much of the same. We lived in Florida and Vermont, ran the retreat, and planned for growth and the future. Yet, despite all the achievements, I was feeling very “stuck.” I was running on autopilot, doing what needed to be done, not getting enough sleep, and frankly, not following my own advice. I needed to get “unstuck.” I needed clarity on how to move forward and which path to forge.

Then 2020 hit. Suddenly, I pivoted from being busy dealing with the business to scrambling to figure out what to do with the business during Covid. As I am sure you can imagine, running a hospitality business with a wellness focus during a pandemic presents challenges. Even more than that, our retreat is in one of the states with the most stringent shutdowns due to Covid19. In addition, I started experiencing a personal health issue (non-covid related) that also gave me a reason to pause and reevaluate.

I realized I had gotten caught up in the busyness of the business, books, and family life. Ironically, the things that took a back seat were my devotion time with God and my own wellness. For someone who had just published a book on “God’s Plan for Wellness,” I wasn’t living it out.

It brought me back to “God’s Plan for Wellness” and my intentions for writing the book. Now, here we are in 2021, and all of us have undergone changes from Covid 19. It might be something as simple as transitioning to working from home or something significant like losing a loved one or dealing with sickness. Perhaps you have lost a job or lost a business. Maybe all of this is making you ask, “where is God in all of this?”

What amazed me about the response to my book was the heavy questions I received. I just intended to write a little book about my faith, my own journey to wellness, and share some of our favorite recipes from dishes we served at the retreat. However, I received a ton of questions about topics ranging from depression to cancer to parenting issues. All of this made me realize that people are searching for answers more than ever before.

It has reminded me of Isaiah 55:8-9, which says:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

God has a plan even when we don’t see it. When we experience chaos, confusion, or conflict, God is still there. Even when we feel we’ve lost sight of God, He is still with us. When we get distracted, God is there. And when we don’t know what’s next, He does.

Through all the busyness and distraction since March of 2020, I found myself responding in ways that did not reflect a goal of calmness and focus. I was afraid I wouldn’t get everything done, I was overwhelmed with figuring out how to run the business during the pandemic, everyone was trying to do work and school from home, and I let the stress get to me. I didn’t know what was next, so I let myself slip into distraction and bad habits. As a result, my time with God suffered, and I wasn’t maintaining wellness and rest.

Now I see that it could have been different if I had anticipated these distractions and been intentional to prioritize the things that mattered most. When you look back at the past year, are there things you wish you would have done differently? As I reflect on this, it could be easy to be disappointed or angry at myself for getting so distracted. But, instead, I’m choosing to learn and be intentional about the coming year.

How can you seek God for your next steps? First, pray and seek guidance. Spend time alone in nature and get in touch with what really matters. Is your schedule filled with the things that are aligned with what is most important? Why are you busy, overwhelmed, and distracted? Are there ways you can spend more time meditating on God and taking care of your mind, body, and spirit? These are important questions to ask.

We’ve all experienced an unprecedented number of changes and unexpected circumstances over the past year. However, we serve a God who always has a plan. Our missteps and mistakes haven’t dismantled His plan for your life. So, what is the calling for your next step in life? Fix your eyes on God. There’s no better day to sit down and ask for His guidance in making an intentional, actionable, and achievable strategy for 2022. One year from today, I hope I can look back and see that I spent it doing the things that were most worth doing. What about you?