A few months ago, I wrote about how I was going to reevaluate my responsibilities and pull back from a few things. I earnestly asked God to show me what He wanted me to change, because I was sure that He would tell me I needed to do less. Unfortunately for my fatigue, I had a different realization: God was calling me to do even more.
You see, I wanted the world to stop so that I could finish working on my book. But as I’ve tried to take breaks and slow down, the reality is: the world will never slow down for me. If I want to make my dreams a reality, I have to fight through the struggle instead of waiting for the struggle to stop.
The greatest struggle I face on a daily basis is waking up. I don’t know if it’s because my bed is so comfy or because I’m just so tired, but I cannot get up like I used to. My entire life, I was a morning person. Now that I’m married and I have a comfy bed, I don’t want to get up early. But alas, I have work, and work is what wakes me up at six-thirty, with a jolting panic that is sort of like getting ice water dumped on my face.
One day, I came into work, already overwhelmed by all the stuff going on in my life. We’d had a busy week, and my weekend did not allow me time for rest (it very rarely does). Now, it was Monday, and I wanted nothing more than to restart the weekend and get another break.
I dragged my feet toward my desk, knowing another crazy week was just beginning. I had all these thoughts in my head, but the main prayer of my mind was: Take this from me, Lord. I want to have a day free from stress, busyness, and conflict.
After praying, my day was even more hectic, busy, and full of tears. I spent the day angry at God for not answering my prayers. I just wanted a break, but instead, I received more responsibility. Unfortunately, this was not the right way to look at my day. God was blessing me with a chance to grow my faith, and I was trying to do it all by myself.
What I needed to pray was: God, give me Your strength to overcome this day, no matter what comes my way.
Typically, when I am overwhelmed, I want to remove any and all objects, ideas, and people from my surroundings. When I’m having a panic attack, I need to leave the room, close the door, shut my eyes, and breathe; by doing so, I ignore every negative voice that tries to scream at me in my head. When there’s conflict between two or more people in front of me (even if the conflict is not including me), I walk away to ignore the people I can’t control. When I had a long work week, I typically want to spend my weekend doing absolutely nothing.
As healthy as it is to take care of myself, it is impractical to expect the world around me to pause so that I can catch a breath. As much as I don’t like it, society is still going to try to fill my mind with negative self-talk and fear. As much as I don’t like it, the people fighting in front of me are still going to yell even though it makes me uncomfortable. As much as I don’t like it, plans, and chores are still going to infiltrate my stress-free weekend, making each week blend together with the others.
All along, I felt guilty for being busy. I thought God was angry at me for giving in to the stresses of life. But while I’m trying to manage the crazy, the first thing I have to do is embrace it. And God’s grace is with me while I try to figure it all out.
God grows character out of pressure. When I’m in the fight of life, that’s when my faith grows. When I don’t have control, that’s when God gets to reveal His strength in my life. The best part is: God knew all of that, and He loves me enough to let me go through this crazy season so that He could show me His strength.
This week, instead of asking God to take away my busyness, I’m going to trust Him in my busyness. My challenge this week is to pray this simple prayer once every day: “Lord, give me strength.” Let’s see what God does when we submit to His plan for our lives. When we let God work out our busy schedules, we may discover that we weren’t so busy after all. (I’ll talk more about that next week!).
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