Isn’t it crazy how sometimes you don’t realize how sick you are until you start getting better? Like, when I have a cold, I don’t realize how much I can’t breathe clearly, or how foggy my head has been until I start to get better and those things clear up. And I think that most health is like that (mental, spiritual, emotional, relational, etc.), we do not realize that there is dysfunction in our lives until we begin to see function again and recognize how far away from that we truly are.
Over the last 3 days I took a quick trip to Omaha. I didn’t know what all to expect since it wasn’t very planned out, but I knew that I was going to get to stay with my friends Jacki and Cassie. We have had a wonderful time together and it got me to thinking and reflecting on my life as of late.
You see, without realizing it, my spirit has been growing so weary over the last few months. I felt myself striving and failing, and trying and seeing no progress, and failing over and over again. As much as I would try, I wouldn’t see any forward motion and I couldn’t figure out why or what was wrong. But over these past few days, I had an epiphany: I have been struggling with finding community that fills me up ever since leaving my job at Grace in May.
I was so incredibly spoiled there both with deep relationships that poured into me and deep relationships that I could pour into. These relationships were at that sweet spot where I was reaping the rewards of 3 years of investment as the RD; I had finally reached the point where I was past the initial investment of the small talk and get-to-know-you stuff. My relationships were deep and meaningful without requiring tons of effort.
And then I left Grace.
At that point, I had to build relationships again from the ground up. I met new people at church, I met new people at work (nannying, with TEAM, and at Sozo Coffeehouse), I met new people at Bible study, I met new people at missionary training, I met new people as supporters, and all of these new relationships required TONS of relational energy. This wouldn’t have been so bad except that they never really grew to the point where they no longer took so much work. And this proceeded to happen over and over again.
I finally was starting to make some traction with some of these new relationships and then I moved to Beatrice and had to start all over again. I had some incredible relationships in Beatrice, but I had been away for so long that in many ways I had to start over in building them up again, and again they took a lot of relational energy. Did I mention that during all of this I have been in a season of support raising where my ENTIRE job requires large amounts of relational expenditure? Needless to say, I have been running on less than fumes for so long and then wondering, “Why I am always exhausted? Why do I never feel full? Why do I never feel totally myself?” And then these last few days happened. I spent 3 days with 2 dear friends who expected NOTHING from me. We have so much history that there was no need for small talk, no social requirements. They allowed me to be myself and expend absolutely no relational energy and now I feel like I can take on the world!
Cassie and Jacki probably don’t realize how much they have done for me over the past few days because they were just being themselves and allowing me to be me in their natural environment, but God has used that simple being to transform my perspective and give me a freedom that I cannot even begin to express. So, friends, THANK YOU!
And for those of you out there today feeling down-trodden, overwhelmed, or not-quite-yourself, there is hope! God is probably teaching you something through this experience, and just like every trial, it has an end. God has not left you alone in the process; He is right there with you. And when you get to the other side, you’ll appreciate breathing clearly like you haven’t appreciated it before!