I've yet to meet someone who hasn't at some point expressed fatigue, weariness or that emotional thin-ness that comes with being human. Especially those who strive to live intentionally - and especially moms with young children.
2012 has been a challenging year for our family. The death of my father-in-law, long work hours for my husband, the inevitable marriage struggles, the work of raising a highly intelligent toddler, and my own spiritual and personal growth, have in truth left me feeling, well, fatigued.
With each challenge though, I see God's face and hear his voice. An encouraging word from my mother on my parenting techniques... An offer from a friend to use their pool... Friends that offer me positive perspective on my life... Hearing my son say 'I love you Mom' out of the blue...
With each encouragement, I hear Jesus whisper into my life, "Give that fatigue back to me, daughter. No need to carry it. Let me give you something lighter." And in those moments I exhale the fatigue, deliberately letting it go. Inhaling, I allow Jesus to fill me with hope and energy and purpose.
Galatians 6:9-10 says, "So let's not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don't give up or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith." (MSG)
As the mother of a toddler, I love that last part: "..starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith." It's a serious reminder and directive that our FIRST priority is to ourselves, then our family (the people closest to us) - spouses and children, then parents and siblings, THEN our church family, THEN our larger community, THEN... well, you get the drift.
If you're feeling over-fatigued, I would encourage you to check your priorities. If you aren't ministering in order, my experience is that as you realign, you'll find more energy. And if you still feel fatigued, it's time to make that conscious decision to give it to Jesus, looking for the hope and encouragement he'll be offering to you.
And claim that promise - "...at the right time, we will harvest a good crop..." God is in charge of the timing, but your efforts and energy will pay off.
Today, God wants to encourage you to never give up. Today, God wants to encourage you to recheck and if necessary, realign your priorities. Today God wants to promise you hope.
"We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well."
(1 Corinthians 10:24b MSG)