Are you ready for some honesty?
I think I may have hit one of the lowest points of my life at the start of this year. No I wasn’t feeling heartbroken or devastated or anything that alarming. Instead, I was feeling indifferent and lethargic and uninspired like it’s so hard to move and do anything at all.
And so I faced my responsibilities like a robot since the beginning of the year, and while I do get tasks done, I know I haven’t really been doing my best.
This is something unexpected, considering I ended last year on a high note and had a much-needed break in New York City. I looked forward to that trip, thinking it would recharge my batteries and give me the rest and inspiration I need to hit the ground running this year.
I mean, don’t get me wrong. Our New York trip was nothing short of amazing (for lack of a better word). I could talk about this experience for days, really! Except, the end of that trip left me feeling drained and even more overwhelmed than I already was.
Strangely, this blog has become a huge help for me as I processed my thoughts. Reading through past challenges and victories has reminded me that the God who got me through the worst and the best times of my life is the same God who is ever present and in control of my life today, whatever the circumstances may be. What a relief!
I’m still not out of the woods yet but by grace, I can finally see some clarity. I learned so much in this time of drought, and if somehow you’re going through the same thing in your life right now I just want you to know that—
It’s ok to not be ok sometimes.
We don’t need to pretend to be put-together all the time or to force ourselves to be ok. Concealing it is not going to make things better.
We often see “not being ok” as a sign of weakness, but really, it takes a lot of bravery to admit that you are not ok. You’ll realize that the sooner you admit this to yourself, the more open you are to asking for help and for prayers, and making steps towards the right direction.
It’s ok to prioritize yourself.
I don’t know where it started, the notion that prioritizing yourself is irresponsible and selfish. It’s not true.
A wise woman I look up to once told me something that blew my mind. She’s close to her 60s, very successful in her career, the breadwinner of her family, and managed to raise 3 beautiful children who now live successful and steady lives. People see her as a “superwoman”, and yet she admitted that one of her greatest regrets is that she didn’t take care of herself enough.
She told me that as a wife and mother, my list of priorities should look like this:
- Relationship with God
- Relationship with husband
- Relationship with children
- Taking care of myself
- Managing the household
- Everything else (extended family, career, friends, ministry)
What blew my mind really is the realization that wow, I’m actually allowed to prioritize myself?! I mean, my usual priority list skipped #4, as if it’s the last thing I should squeeze in my tight budget and schedule.
I never really looked at it this way; in fact, I often felt bad about thinking of my needs before my, say, ministries. It does make sense, to put yourself in your own priority list. After all, you cannot give what you do not have!
You can’t love others if your love tank is empty. And you can’t be strong for others if your strength is running low.
So whenever you’re feeling uninspired or burnt out, it’s probably time for some self-care. Get some beauty sleep. Read a book. Go to the parlor. Round up your trusted friends and ask for prayers. Separate your time for yourself from your time with your family. And don’t feel guilty doing so.
It’s ok to wander aimlessly.
I spent a lot of time wandering around, reading blogs, finishing a book, listening to music, watching TV—wasting time away, it seemed. It made me feel a bit guilty at first, not feeling productive with my time and not tackling on the things I was supposed to do. Soon enough, I stopped feeling bad about it. Instead, I became intentional about the blogs I read, the shows I watched and the music I listened to.
I was particularly drawn into creative channels that give me joy, stir my heart, point me to God’s Word, and inspire me to dream. I realized that time spent wandering resulted in my creative tank getting filled up again and getting me back on my feet. It was good.
It’s ok to talk to God about your struggles.
As someone who had human struggles that were far worse than we’ll ever have, He sure knows and understands our pain. So don’t be afraid, to be honest with Him, tell Him your frustrations, and ask Him questions. After all, He knows what’s in your heart, even more than you know yourself.
Sure we don’t hear His voice audibly like in Biblical times, but He does speak in ways that we can understand—through His word, the affirmation of people we trust, our own circumstances, and the still small voice inside our hearts. If you’re connected to His Word and through prayers daily, you won’t miss it.
So quiet yourself before Him and listen to what He has to say. He knows what you’re going through. And He knows the way out. You only have to take His lead.
Whatever challenges you have today, I pray that you will find comfort and assurance in these truths, just as I have. :)