Have you ever suffered from burn out? I have and when I was in the middle of it I didn’t know what was going on…until I talked with a friend, who happens to be a therapist, and she said it sounded like I was suffering burn-out.
- I felt like everything was the same as always, but, in actuality I had been experiencing major blows of loss, emotionally, in my personal life… family, and disappointments and lack…that just kept happening with no end in sight.
And still is, actually.
- And when this happens we know that we don’t fight flesh and blood but evil wickedness in high places. But knowing is not enough. We still feel exhausted and weak. One after another I felt like my walls of strength were being beat upon by an enemy who is trying to beat me down to the point of just not caring anymore.
It seemed like everyone else was experiencing changes, good changes, in their lives. To me, watching them, I felt as if life was moving for them and for me it stands still.
- And will it ever change?
Your head says one thing and your heart knows better, but you just feel
tired and kind of don’t care anymore. Even though I know we are on a journey and being at this place is only preparing me for good things ahead it still “feels” tiring.
So, have you been there? Or are you there right now?
You just want to go to bed. Or just zone out in a book. (which can be good depending on what you are reading.)
Here are the four things I have found that is really helping me with this struggle and I think they may help you too:
- We can’t always control what happens to us, but we can always control how we choose to respond. It really goes back to the choice doesn’t it?
- In those moments when I choose to stop complaining and instead give thanks to God for the good in my life, the parts that seem bad start to seem much less significant. Choose to keep a positive attitude and thankful heart regardless of what you’re going through. Just keep standing and waiting.
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
- Remember that your struggles always lead to strength and faith. Every difficulty in your life, whether big or small, is something God will use to produce more strength, faith and perseverance in you if you let Him! All your pain has a purpose.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
- Remember that God’s timing is always perfect.
- God’s plans are almost always different from our plans, but His plans are always perfect! Have the patience to wait on His timing instead of forcing your own.
“For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord; plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
- Remember that God will never leave your side.
- You may feel like you’re going through this struggle all alone, but from the moment you invite Jesus into your day and your particular situation, He will be by your side to the end so never lose hope!
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
I have had some hard things to let go of over the last several years. Of course, embedded within us when the enemy tries to destroy us, where thorns and thistles prosper, we earthlings will always have those things nearby to remind us that this place in no permanent home. We long for a better country.
I believe in God’s faithfulness in raising to life what is dead. I have seen it and I have experienced it.
- Then I remembered the life giving force of Jesus, alive and well in the lives of all those I reach out to in coaching….
… and I thought how sometimes we have to accept what has died or refused to come to life or produce a whit of fruit…
… and we have to let it go.
- Instead of staring at it for months on end as a monument to our loss, we sometimes need to cut it down, pile it up, move it out or let it burn.
- Because often God chooses to resurrect something that has died.
- But other times He wants us to call it what it is – dead– and let it go, knowing that He is good. He cannot fail to be good.
That’s what Jesus said He does with what, over the proof of time, does not remain. It is “thrown out like a branch, and dries up; and such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire, and are burned up.” John 15:6
He “takes away every branch that does not bear fruit” and He “prunes every branch that bears fruit so that it will bear more fruit.” John 15:2
He’s all about the fruit.
- That doesn’t mean you forget. Some things are too big to forget. But I’m learning to quit begging him to bring back to life those things He wants me to let go of.
Trying to resuscitate what’s not coming back to life just leaves you out of breath.
God will not leave us comfortless. He will not leave us alone. He will not leave us fruitless. He will either resurrect the dead or grow something brand new.
- I say this to you with deep compassion and empathy if you have experienced burn out from so many things changing or are just plain gone… if it is gone, let it go.
And I know with all my heart and all my faith that something new is coming. Both for you and for me. Nothing stays the same forever.
- We are on a journey and sometimes we have to descend into the valley before we get to the mountain.
I need to give myself space to feel what I feel. And you will surely – as surely as God is faithful and Jesus is the fleshing out of life itself – live to see something you couldn’t have expected. Something hanging on could never have given you.
We’re here too brief a time on earth to spend days on end grieving what could have been. We’ll talk to Jesus about that when we get Home. We’ll have forever then. For now…
Let it go.
So something new can grow.
Water it with your tears if you must but release your fears that nothing but nothingness is ahead for you. Is God your God? As sure as He is, new life is coming.
All the deadness did not manage to kill you.
You are stronger than you thought. Stretch out your arms like mighty branches even if, for now, they’re little twigs.
It is to your Father’s glory that you bear much fruit.