When life operates at a normal pace, I can hold things together fairly well. We are busy, but we can manage to function. But when an extra thing is added to the mix--a performance, something for the girls, a project, etc--I feel my eyes start twitching and I start dreaming of days in which I can just sit down in silence and not make decisions. I plow through the requirements and turn myself inside out in order to just make it through.
And I know I'm not alone. After my last two posts, so many people came and told me that they, too, feel the pressure of dealing with the day in and day out of life. It's a unspoken problem so many of us are facing--and it's almost like we're too embarrassed to talk about it out loud. After all, so many people have kids in the hospital and cancer and losing their homes, and we're whining about feeling overwhelmed, right? Let me say this--at some point, everyone deals with a major life crisis like death, cancer, and/or a loss. And everyone deals with the day in, and day out worries. A traumatic event is immediately crippling, but we cannot forget the day in, day out stresses will completely wear you down if left unchecked.
Which is what I've done to myself, and I feel like many of you are tap dancing right beside me.
I have come to recognize the days following a large performance as a battleground. When the curtain closes, my brain stops thinking about the many items I must take care of for the event and it has all this free space to create new worries. I usually wake up the next morning and one of my internal shaming sentences will pop in my head almost immediately.
Remember that time you (insert terrible and/or embarrassing sin, moment, life decision)? If people only knew those moments in your life, they would see the terrible person you actually are and no one would like the real you.
And because evil knows how to kick us when we're down--when we're already too exhausted to deal with basic life requirements, and when it knows the words will hurt us the most--we can be inclined to believe the lies he wants us to hear.
It was almost like clockwork yesterday morning--I opened my eyes, thought about a cup of coffee, and a shame sentence popped into my head. I almost said out loud, "Are you kidding me? It's not even 8am and you're already starting in on me???" but then I remembered my husband was still asleep and would probably wonder who I was fussing with. I went into the bathroom and as I was drying my hands I decided that I was going to combat these feelings with the Word. I was not going to allow myself to sink into that hole and I was going to remember that I am redeemed and loved.
I read and tried to believe the words. I require a daily reminder that Grace is there for all of us, even me. I believe it so readily for the people around me, but I tend to foolishly believe that I don't need it as much as everyone else because I'm a hardworking and decent person who does her best to follow the rules. But if anyone else looked at my life, they would see I'm just as guilty as the next person and I've got a million mile list of faults and moments I'd rather erase.
I'm exhausted and tired. My brain, body, and heart hurt these days. I don't have it all together, and I'm doing my best to sit at the Table and just be. I cried with the tears of the broken last week in church when we sang about laying down our burdens and shame.
There's hope for the hopeless, and all those who've strayed
Come sit at the table, come taste the grace
There's rest for the weary, rest that endures
Earth has no sorrow that heaven can't cure
to be continued. . .