Do you ever feel like you’re stuck on a hamster wheel? Sometimes you’re running so fast in the wheel that everything blurs and you think you’re getting somewhere. Then other days you can barely move and you recognize you’re inside the same cage with the same wheel moving around and around.
I’ve felt like that lately, like I keep circling the same kind of crap. I’m exhausted and overwhelmed. I stop running in the wheel and start to examine my feelings–which ones are founded in truth and with one are founded in myth and then I go through my “how to cope checklist.” It takes a little time for my feelings to reconcile with reasoning but eventually they do and I lighten up a bit.
Sometimes I just go, go, go and don’t stop to look at what’s bringing my spirits down. When someone asks me how things are going my best response is a shrug. That’s a legit answer because sometimes I have no idea. Last week I stopped for a moment and gave a quick recap to a friend all of the things that had happened in the week. Then I got really depressed, thinking about all of the tough stuff I’ve been juggling slammed me right in the face. No wonder I’ve been so exhausted lately.
When Sunday came so did all the tears. After church, I found myself sleeping the afternoon away and when I wasn’t sleeping I was crying. This is what I refer to as a case of the “sads.” I felt myself starting to shut down and retreat so I sat there and forced myself into praying. That’s tough to do when you can barely think straight. But I did it. (Thank you, Jesus.) Part of that motivation to pray was fear driven because I remember how long I lived in sorrow and that’s a deep pit to get out of. Of course I realize that sorrow was from losing Chris BUT that was a scary, dark place I never want to return to. Remembering that darkness of sorrow gives me enough motivation to look at my feelings and sort things out before they spiral out of control.
As I prayed and asked why I was feeling this way and what the real problem was.
What were my emotions rooted in? It came down to one strong feeling and it’s sidekick. I was feeling helpless and that helplessness was causing me to feel exhausted because I was trying to figure out a way to not feel so helpless. I was looking for something to do, some way to change this situation. I was looking for a means of control. (Crap!!! Not that again.)
Upon that realization I asked myself the following questions, just like I was talking with a friend:
Do you trust God in this? In all of these tough situations are you trusting God?
Yes, of course I do.
If you trust Him, then why are you worrying?
Because I don’t feel like I’m doing enough to help or I don’t know if I’m doing the right thing at all.
Do you know how stupid that sounds? It’s about where your heart is and how you put your hands to work for your heart’s calling.
What do you think God expects of you? What is He asking of you?
To do my best. But what if my best isn’t good enough?
There it is. You’re feeling unworthy again. Not good enough. And you know that isn’t true.
I promise I’m not crazy. Okay well I am but self-talk works for me and that’s why I do it.
I can tell you I feel lost. I’m struggling with putting balance into my life. I’m struggling with my desire to help others and with understanding what it is I need to be doing with my time. I struggle between expectation and reality. I struggle between hearing the world and hearing the Lord.
Each time I’ve felt this way (lost/confused), good things came afterwards. But the process of putting one foot in front of the other can become daunting. What if I’m going the wrong way? What if I’m messing everything up in my life by doing the things that I’m doing? What if I’m too busy looking the wrong way that I miss my next opportunity? What if I miss seeing the man I’m supposed to be with because I’m over here doing other things? And then I miss my chance at my family. What if I’m over here doing the wrong things and I miss the next step in my career? What if I have to go back to work that sucks my soul because I missed my next financial opportunity?
Here’s the thing. All of those what if fears are pretty much bullcrap, because those “what if’s” carry zero weight if I’m fully trusting God with my life. Sitting here on my couch writing this post, I’m having a difficult time seeing where this path for me leads, because our humanity often makes us shortsighted know-it-alls who actually know enough to be dangerous but certainly do not know ALL.
Since last fall things have been tough. Watching those I love fight sickness is hard. Watching the way people wound the ones they love (often because of their own personal fears) sucks. I’ve found myself on my knees praying and crying for others more than I can ever remember.
I’ve gone through days without hearing or seeing any kind of word or evidence of God’s workings. And I’ve gone through overwhelming days filled with vivid dreams, signs, and bold responses. Through all of this, I’ve found I’ve gained more compassion and new perspectives.
But Sunday, I was sad. And it’s okay to feel sad sometimes. My sadness didn’t keep me from enjoying a Sunday evening with my family and homemade ice cream.
So maybe I’m not really stuck on a hamster wheel. Maybe the troubles on this path are just taking longer to get past than I expected. Some lessons must be taught slowly so you don’t have to keep re-learning them. Maybe these are those types of lessons.
Am I still tired? Yep.
Am I still moving? Yes.
Am I attempting to find the sunshine in these clouds? Absolutely.
Experience has taught me the sun always shines behind the clouds. When things look gloomy, faith reminds me to carry my sunglasses because I’ll be needing them soon enough. 😉
May the sun shine upon us. And may we never forget that healing happens because love never fails. And love is what heals us.
Love, Hugs, Prayers, & Sunshine,