The Terrible Gift of Fatigue

Tired and Desperate seem to go hand in hand a lot. You’re desperate because everything is fraying around the edges, and everything is fraying because you’re tired and can’t keep up. If you could bring order out of the chaos, you wouldn’t be desperate. But it would require MORE energy. Which you don’t have. And to keep giving out of a scorched dry place will only make you more desperate.

And round and round and round she goes. Where she stops nobody knows.

But she stops. She always stops.

There’s always a big, fat, unwanted, inconvenient STOP somewhere right in the middle of everything.

You can sort of feel it coming… your body warns you…

Tired tells you to slow down. Desperate tells you to work harder.

I don’t know what the answer is. Except to do less. Do fewer things with greater completion. Little things with great love, or some such inspiring bumper sticker phrase.

Unfortunately it usually feels like the only things you could possibly cut out are the things that are giving you life (creativity, friends, exploration, baking). And the things that make you insane are the things you can’t abandon (Eames and Oliver).

This is the cycle that always spits me out on the shores of depression.

When I’m finally so tired that every emotion begins to feel like sadness… that’s when I know I’ve pushed my luck too long.

This is when I start to crave some WINS to lighten the load. So I hustle even more. But it’s inevitably when I start dropping balls and failing. Which helps absolutely ZERO. Which makes me emotionally exhausted.

I know there’s a Narrow Way that leads to life. Few find it, I’m told.

I think the Narrow Way is humility. Surrender. Sovereign rest. Humbly bowing to who we are. Because he made us. Knowing who we are and what we are capable of, and saying, “Ok” with as much grace as we can manage. Open handed.

Ok, I’m not everything I want to be.
Ok, I can’t do everything I want to do.
Ok, I can’t fulfill every need I would love to fulfill.
Ok, I can’t reach every goal I set.
Ok, I can’t control all the outcomes I want to control. Because limits are real. No matter what our culture tells us. And this irritating thing is true: “We plan our way, but the Lord directs our steps.” Dagnabbit.

The Narrowest Way there could ever be is to be exactly who we are made to be. With all the interwoven pieces of our strengths and weaknesses. No matter how much we want to reject the wibbly-wobbly bits and the incongruous.

Sometimes I have to physically act out this prayer with a very real bow of my head (or my whole self if it’s a particularly grabby day): “Lord, I accept. I bow in humble submission to the amount of energy you have given me. To the emotional capacity you have given me. To the physical ability you have given me. I trust that it is enough for the work you have given me to do. And when it isn’t enough… you haven’t given it.”

Maybe my deep emotional and physical limitations are the gate posts of the narrow way? My mightiness is lovely, but it is my limits that bring me into focus. Somehow, in some weird way, submitting to them leads to rest.

But I don’t wanna.




2 thoughts on “The Terrible Gift of Fatigue

  1. Brittany Lane says:

    I think when we, yes, I, too, often feel this way, is when we need to call on others. Despite the “I couldn’t possibly burden you,” people are here for you, us, when we are sitting tired and desperate in the uncomfortable, draining misery that seemingly keeps us shackled in a space. And it’s also love. We have to walk the path of parenthood with an unselfish attitude, it isn’t their fault that every piece of who we were before gets stuck in a jar on a shelf for a rainy day. Sometimes we are limping along without the grace that we hope we would carry, but our “people” know they are loved. Remember to be gentle with yourself too. Leave it undone, momma. Enjoy the day. Give thanks for life when you’re struggling for what to be thankful for. He’s always listening.


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