This week has been slow.
Hard work around the house, putting the rest of life on hold while I reset my focus and energy. Putting off my bussiness (mostly) to bring all of my attention to housework, scheduling, planning, etc., has been really hard for me, but my home and family are reaping the benefits.
I'm hoping that after a little bit of shifting, I can have a short time of rest. A dear sweet friend sent this blog over to me earlier this week and it was refreshing and affirming. I'm not sure where it's from, if you do, let me know!
" Am I Allowed To Be Tired?
This is a distinctly awkward and challenging time of my life. "Challenging" is the word believers use for an "this completely sucks but I gotta show I have faith" response. My extended family is in what is now, a chronic state of duress. Some things are being torn from me that I desperately do not wish to tear and I feel gutted about it. My husband is working so hard to start a new business that will provide for 6 people and 2 dogs. We don't know if it will work. If anything requiring an "emergency fund" were to occur, we would be stuck and it's been that way now for over a year. It feels ike tight-rope walking over snapping alligators. The world feels to me threatening and precarious. Lovely and viscious on a dime. I seem to arc between ok-ness and hyperventilation. (I'm not kidding, it has happened 3 x's now and it is highly inconvenient). I know the truth. I have been divinely set up, in my life, to have reasons to believe that I am seen, known and loved by God. I have been disconnected from misery and tied into hope repeatedly in my life. I know how, ultimately, this story ends. I know enough to never truly abandon my fiath. I know there are millions of folks who have more gruelling financial isues that I do. There are folks sick with disease who suffer like I have never known.
But, what of weariness? I have been thinking about weariness a lot lately. Usually, when I start to crater and doubt and when I take on a slightly cynical edge, I feel immediately guilty. "What about that stuff God showed you? Have you forgotten it? Did you let go of that truth? It probably didn't change you, if you are digressing now. You will most likely have to learn that again."
Here's my dilemna. Lately I sense this about my own troubled heart: I have not decided to unbelieve the truth God has taken the time to put into me. I'm just tired of holding on. I'm tired of quoting the truth to myself aloud several times a day. I'm weary of the battle against doubt. I haven't given up, I'm just tired. Is there a place for weariness in my life, without self-flagellation? I run some and I know the value of pushing through all of the way to fatigue. I know well the relief of a slowed pace after an extended push. The gasping for air. Just because I am tired and panting doesn't mean I am, in that moment, a terrible runner with lousy form who never knew anything about running. It simply means...I ran.
Remember Frodo at Mount Doom? He was bone weary by the time he arrived at his destiny, the destruction of the one ring. He was pale, injured, weak. Just because he was so, after his excruciating journey (stabbed by a wraith, bitten by a giant spider, endless miles of terrifying pursuit, the loss of some dear to him) doesn't mean he had been doing a poor job up until that point. Hard things are hard. Fighting is fighting. The result of hard physical labor is exhaustion. The result of hard spiritual and emotional exertion is no different. I think, in my own mind, where a few religious blinds still hang on the windows, there is no room for me to wear out. For me, there's shame in it. I tell myself, "You know Michelle, if you really were stronger, you could make it through this hard time without doubtful, weak thoughts". So little mercy for myself. So little acknowledgement of the cost of fighting on a heart.
So there is Frodo, he has fallen over the mouth of the wicked volcano rumbling inside Mount Doom. He is hanging by one hand. He has just completed the task Gandalf gave him, but he is too weary now to pull himself to safety. His hanging on the precipice is not due to any failure on his part, it is due to his exhaustion from fighting. Michelle, your hanging from a cliff edge, hyperventilating, worrying and crying is not due to you failing in your walk with God, it is due to your exhaustion from fighting.
Why would the Scriptures say things like, "He will RENEW your strength" if our strength never needed renewing. Things that need renewing are things that have expired. Come to the end of their term. Worn out. Used up. And what about "all you who are weary, come to Me and I will give you rest"? The writer doesn't imply there "all who are faith sissies who can't hold firm through anything, come to me for a a berating". He makes a way for fighting and He allows for weariness. It's a cycle, even in our human bodies, the machines that they are. So, if God does, who don't I? Who do I think I am? What prideful cape do I wear that puts me above tiredness in my own mind?
So, here is the conversation I will have with my own heart today. Michelle, you have been fighting for a long while. you have done well! You have fought with passion and fire. You have contended with your enemies and fought to hold onto truth. You have trusted the Trustworthy and used your weapons well. You have run, you have hidden, you have chased, you have cried out, stepped between and snatched some important things back from their destruction Now you are tired. Tired muscles weaken and lose their grip. That's ok. It only means it's time to rest. To renew expired strength. To give way to weariness. To succumb to it's place in the cycle of restoration. Let go of the shame you place on yourself in the slipping. It's not a sin to be tired. Deep down, accept that weariness is not a sign of weakness, but of strength. A muscle that has been worked to exhaustion is a stronger muscle, once it has been given time to recover. Feel a satisfaction of sorts for having used your muscles and give them a minute to collect themselves. Good job, now take a break.
Even as I speak these words to myself, I see the critical moment where Samwise becomes the obvious hero to me. Frodo is dangling over molten fire by a few weak fingers and Sam's stout hand stretches down to save him. Frodo clasps Sam's forearm with his mangled free hand and it is enough of a hold to drag him off of the edge. What follows is a feathered extraction to safety and a coma-like sleep that lasts for days and days. Frodo awakens form his deep sleep and not a single friend says anything like this: "Wow, you sure slept a long time. Do you really think that was necessary? We needed you. Could you please get busy around here?" Nope. Just more love for him. Joy at his health, restoration and laughter.
I have a fellowship, a cloud of witnesses who would pull me of off the cliff's edge and who would wait by by my bedside. I am a witness to many I would do the same for. If I would treat someone else who is exhausted with respect and tenderness, then I must turn this same approach onto myself. I must respect the Divine Provision for hard work, exhaustion, rest and renewal. I must never despise myself for wearing out on any level, ever again."
Having someone "allow" me to be tired and just tell me they can understand I would be took a huge weight off of my shoulders. These past few days I've woken up earlier than usual, with the day already planned, snuggled with this sweet little girl (instead of letting the greif of her wrecking my nights consume me) while she's still "the baby" and put all of my energy into turning our house around. I'm completely spent by naptime, but it's been fine. Dinner's already been prepped and I've had activities for the girls that they've loved (instead.of being babysat by tv til dinner). I have even.taken lots of YOUR advice and tips on how you keep your home tidy to help keep things in order.
Thank you for all of your prayers, keep em comin <3