An Island I Am Not

I have been taking stock of my daily routine as of late. More commitments are continually getting shoved into my stack of to-do lists. I find myself constantly running. I am also perpetually hungry or thinking about food, though I rarely get to it. I live in the vacillation between dopamine highs of task completion and soul-sucking lows of finding one-more-thing I forgot to do. All this is lived in a relative state of sleep deprivation and self-depletion. Right now, while my husband is working out of the state, it’s also done alone.

No, it is not healthy. No, it’s not pleasant. No, it’s not permanent. This is a season. This is a long, educational, find-your-bootstraps, lean-on-God’s-strength, learn-you-are-not-self-sufficient season.

No man is an island. In case you thought being a woman exempted you from that statement, go read your Bible.

For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. – Romans 14:7

One who has isolated himself seeks his own desires; he rejects all sound judgment. – Proverbs 18:1 

As my 4-year old son would say, “I don’t like that!” Yet, here I find myself like the middle line of the preschool song Bear Hunt, “Can’t go over it, can’t go under it, we’ll have to go through it!” I’m so much less enthusiastic than those preschoolers.

Three and some years ago, before we moved to Florida, before my life was flipped on its head, back when I had some illusion of stability in my life, I received a word from God. I should not have needed a man to come up to my husband at a conference and tell him, “I don’t know your wife, but this is for her.” It’s in His Word. Even now, I know better, though I struggle with its practice.

Apply your anxious energy toward prayer.

 

Mind-blowing, right? I’ll pause so you can soak up the full effect of this obvious, self-evident fact. I think they teach this on the first day of Sunday School. Anyways, turning off the sarcasm…

 

When I am in the mire, it’s hard to imagine there’s something in existence besides me and my muck. Yet, God says so simply, “Just look up, child.” It’s that simple. When I insist on looking at the mud, all I can say is, “Why is there so much mud!? Why are you like this?!” God does not intend for me to live there and it’s amazing what He can do with my willingness to look away from me.

But you, O LORD, are a shield about me,
my glory, and the lifter of my head.
I cried aloud to the LORD,
and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah.  – Psalm 3:3-4

Whether you find yourself in the muck or the hamster wheel, remember He’s there by your side. Jesus promised He would send us a better helper. He’s here. Look up and bring your burdens to God! He is your defender. He is your steadfast. He is the One Who acts on your behalf. And when you are too tired to lift up your head, ask Him and even that, He will do for you.

The magic is it’s really not about you. As much as you think you’re accomplishing something by driving in rubber-screeching figure 8’s around your life, you’re not. Take a minute to breathe today. Bring your burdens to God. Realize it’s not all about you. Heaven won’t be any more pleasant because you hyperventilated the whole way there.

 

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