Burnout

Burnout!

Not a word I wanted to hear.  A few weeks before Christmas that word loomed loud and clear.  Shouting at me to “Stop”

I took the day off knowing that in the evening I was off to The Inspire Collective, http://www.inspirecollective.com.au (check it out -It’s the highlight of my quarterly calendar) but I was dog tired, everything and anything seemed to be weighing in on me. “Not today” I thought. I just want to breathe and enjoy this space and get ready to be INSPIRED.

“Life’s actually ok”, I whispered to myself.  Things had been looking up after what had been an incredibly long journey and although I must admit, everything still seemed to be punctuated by ‘before the accident’ or ‘after that accident’ things were going well.  The man I loved was back working and feeling good about life.  I loved seeing him feeling good about himself, enjoying the rewards of a working man.  For me, the relief on not bending under the weight of responsibility was like exhaling after holding ones breath!

 

img_6235 So “why do I feel like this, stripped bare, undone, yet again?”  These words filled my mind as I went about checking everything off the days ‘to do” list.

Hadn’t I just posted some words of wisdom on instagram about rest, about not duck paddling under the surface, about finding your rhythm?  But it wasn’t this.  It wasn’t that feeling of paddling like crazy under the surface, trying to keep afloat.  Oh yeah, I’ve been there but this was different.

It was the book I grabbed of the shelf early that morning to mention on Instagram that had set ‘things’ into motion.  The one about running on empty (Leading on Empty by Wayne Cordeiro)

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I sat on my bed thinking about what was happening to me and picked up the book.  Suddenly I realised that I was here again, only this time I wasn’t leading a congregation, I’d simply been leading my family through this storm and now that the winds had abated my strength seemed to fail, really fail.

I was empty.

Not God empty.

No, He was definitely still there with me. I was just ‘spent’.  Spent from constant giving, constant holding together, constant hoping for a better day.

Sometimes in life we find ourselves in a place like this and it’s unnerving.

This place of weakness, unsteadiness and brokenness can bring us to a point where we are internally exhausted. But strangely enough this is a sweet spot for God.  Its here He can often find an entrance into places that we usually keep tucked away from probing eyes.

 

I spent the day undone.  How the heck did I get here again?  I ponder again this BACA valley, this mourning, this sorrow and wonder why is it so deep.

This pool of tears has become my friend and that day it seemed to open into a cavern holding what appeared to be all my past moments of brokeness with my maker. I looked out to the beautiful well in my backyard and thought that if that well held all my tears it would be full.

I felt so sad just then.  I needed to run to the light, so I did.

I picked up my Bible and and turned again to that story about that well (psalm 62:8) and thought “yep, i’ve dug those God wells, I’ve dug them deep” and then somehow ended up with Samuel and Hannah at the alter in 1 Samuel 5:1-15.
There I was, just like Hannah weeping for my hopes and dreams.  I’d put them to rest through the storm and had begun to think they would never see birth.

I hadn’t had time to entertain them. We were just trying to stay alive these past few years but right there and then I felt God get them out and dust them off and say….

‘What are we going to do with them now?’ 

Suddenly I was there in the desert with Hagar, no water, looking at that little baby under the tree, about to die. You can find the story in Genesis 21:15-17 and  just as suddenly, I saw my God dreams there shadowed in that that baby and I heard my voice cry alongside Hagar “God don’t let me see my boy die” and me “God don’t let me see my dreams die”

Right then and there God did something in my heart.  He breathed life into what I had given up hope in and even tho I said Lord I’m so tired, I feel so burned out on so many things, I can’t do this, I felt Him say yes WE can.

 

So today, some months on I’ve seen the beginning of life in what seemed well and truly lifeless. A business blooming @thelongtable_perth    and my dream to share ‘My Story My Song’ coming alive again.  Stay tuned for that one – it’s a work in progress and remember,

YES WE CAN

Still Smiling
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8 thoughts on “Burnout

  1. So beautifully written and heartfelt. Thank you for sharing. I had much the same happen after Maurice passed away and I didn’t need to be strong for anyone. God never left me nor did He seem far away. I have never had a tightly held dream that I wanted to unfold with him, but just wanted to live life with a feeling of joy and satisfaction in whatever it held and where ever the journey took me. Look now a few years later and I am do happily married, I find it hard to believe. Both Ralph and I want to do whatever it is the Lord has for us in these “latter” years.

    I am so glad that you and God together are unravelling your dreams that you are running on full not empty.

    Lots of love Jennifer xxxxxx

    1. Jennifer!! You are an inspiration! I have watched you walk with grace and I have seen the Lord honour you in this – i am so happy to see you still living life to the full and enjoying a new adventure in these latter years! Xx

  2. Love this Steph! “Yes WE can” – I love that, and am so ‘with’ you on this road – like two walking along Emaus asking “What is going on (?)” – then Jesus appears and opens their eyes with the Word….THAT gives me hope!

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