Friday, December 12, 2014

Tired and Weary

We did not make it to noon before I had reached the end of my rope. 

It was the Friday of an unusual week for us with lots of time at home, in each other's space and mess of who we are. I had an especially long day with the kids the day prior as my husband had a longer than usual workday.  My mind was full of all the ways I would rather be spending my time and energies which did not include the futile feeling of re-directing my children multiple times a minute back to their school work. It did not include sweeping the kitchen floor countless times to pick up the breakfast mess and then the craft mess and then the lunch mess...
It did not include saying, "Be quiet. Be quiet. Be quiet," ad nauseam nor chasing children down to clean up after themselves because they are ten and seven years old after all and really should be trained by now in picking up after themselves. 

This context is somewhat typical these days in my home. I can say, however, that by the kindness of God manifested through the modern wonders of psychotropic medicines, my response was atypical.  

By mid-morning, I stood near the stove, preparing food for later that day and an event the next morning and had an all too familiar feeling wash over me that I had not felt in a notable amount of time: depression. Depression that is a mix of agitation, despair and a sense of futility. There is also the guilt that accompanies it because it is just so selfish of me to feel sad about the life with which I have been blessed. 

** (I believe depression is such a complex topic. It is experienced by so many people yet so individual at the same time. I know that what I have and do experience does not compare to the ways others suffer with it, rending them unable to even function. Nevertheless, I want to share vulnerably here as I know how much it has encouraged my own heart and even helped me to function better when I have read and listened to others share their experience.)

I have learned on these days to stay as quiet as I can, speak as little and as softly as I can muster to squelch the churning agitation that rages inside my heart and mind. I know I need to do the right thing when I don't feel the right thing. I can say that because I have experienced bouts of depression (if I am even allowed to call what I experience depression) frequently enough and long enough to be able to identify it quickly and know what game plan needs to be employed. I put one foot in front of the other, and I know it will eventually lead me to the end of the day when I will be granted the merciful gift of sleep from which I will wake up to new mercies the next morning. 

On this day, I reached out to my husband and asked for prayer. He called to suggest a solution by which I would be able to pull away from the kids for the rest of the day, and the kids would responsibly be "in charge." I was agreeable desperate, and the kids were thrilled at the prospect. Terms were established, and once lunch was undertaken, I retired to my room to write, read and rest, thanking Jesus for an unexpected break, praying the plan would miraculously work.

The first thing I did after cozying up under my blanket was to look up Isaiah 40, a long time favorite passage of scripture of mine and one that God gently brought to mind when that mid morning wave of sadness and despair washed over me.

See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power,
    and he rules with a mighty arm.

He tends his flock like a shepherd:
    He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
    he gently leads those that have young.

To whom will you compare me?
    Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:
    Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one
    and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
    not one of them is missing.

Why do you complain, Jacob?
    Why do you say, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord;
    my cause is disregarded by my God”?

28 Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.

The weight of responsibility in raising and homeschooling three children, caring for chronic medical needs, managing our home, property, and other possessions let alone investing in and growing stronger all the rich relationships God has so blessed us with feels like it may crush me at times. a lot of times.

But, I have to say that my whirring thoughts and fast paced heart is first quieted; it is hushed and then stirred up again with fresh awe, wonder and worship when I think upon God. It really is not any more complicated than that. I think on God. I think about all HE is responsible for, all HE promises to sustain, all He not just manages but promises to work together for good (Romans 8:28). And, THEN, then, Isaiah tells me He does NOT grow tired or weary?! Whaaa?

I am of German/Irish descent. I was 'bred' to work hard and long and like it! I am surrounded by what I have heard is now being referred to as "try hards," what I always called, "over achievers." I once identified with these labels. Now? Not so much. Kids have leveled me. 

But, GOD is the ultimate over achiever. He finishes what He begins, and He does it with excellence. He has never experienced burn out or despair. All He does is with purpose and precision; nothing is futile or wasted. He never grows tired or weary. 

I pray these truths will surmount any waves of despair, sadness, or agitation you or I will face and carry us to a place of rest.