To The One Who Feels Burned Out,
Before I say anything, let’s take a deep breath together. Inhale, exhale.
Sometimes the best thing to do when we’re exhausted is to slow down and remember we are alive.
Now, the most important thing I want to say is that I get it. I know life is moving fast and sometimes it can feel like too much. I know the pressure can build up and the future can feel like it’s speeding at you quicker than you can blink. I’m feeling it too.
The tension of being so tired, so ready to be done but still having to sprint to get to the finish line can feel too hard at times. For me, it is college. Maybe for you, it’s the non-stop reality of being a parent or the long hours of a job you really want to quit.
No matter what, if you do feel burned out I want to encourage you today. Not because I have all the answers but because I am a reminder that you are not alone. And there is a really kind, really strong Father who offers us hope for relief.
So, stop what you are doing right now. Look up from your screen, shut the laptop for a second and just close your eyes. Inhale, exhale.
It seems silly or obvious, but I believe when we close our eyes and let His presence fill the space behind our eyelids it is a physical reminder of the life beating inside of our chests.
And when we lift our eyes from the exhausting circumstance that is staring us down and remember Who is carrying us through it all, we are able to catch our breath.
We say it all the time, “God is with us” but He really is.
When we choose to really believe it, it changes the way we see our life and the One who gave it to us- no matter how hard it might be in the moment.
He is in the breath that fills your lungs and the deep-belly laugh you were designed to have. He is in the ability to feel raindrops on your unique fingerprints and the vibrant colors that fill your eyes each day.
He is in your feet that carry you with each step you take and the journey that your taste buds take you on in every meal. He is in each heartbeat and the intricate brain inside your head.
He is everywhere, all the time, waiting to bring you the peace you need in the most desperate moments of burnout.
He is the presence that helps us stay present so we can experience the life we were created to live.
That’s what I am learning- God did not create us to live like burned out zombies. We were not born to live in the exhaustion and frustration that the world (and our own flesh) can pull us into so easily.
No, you and I were born to live in freedom. We are called to walk boldly into each new day, to live with love, joy peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. We were created to be alive.
Now, I know that sounds great in theory…but it is a lot more difficult to really live like that. To believe it when life is knocking us down over and over again is where the real, raw faith comes in.
Again, I get it. It can be hard to just get back up again sometimes.
I’m not saying to not have hard times, I’m just saying that God is teaching me when I feel the burnout and want to give up He has the strength to get me through.
He is the One we can lean on and can have confidence in.
And when we choose to breathe, step back, be present and live in gratitude He helps us escape the bondage of burnout.
Be grateful for the simple, detailed beauties of life you do have right now. I promise there are more of them than you and I will ever really know or understand.
Choose to rest in Him and create space in your life so you can catch your breath physically, mentally and spiritually. It is important and valid, especially in the seasons of burnout.
Most importantly, stop and breathe really, really deep. Just remember- you are not alone and He will get you through this. Keep your head up and watch how He brings life back into your soul.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me- watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” -Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23