Reaching the end of myself

The other day, I actually thought I might be dreaming. Shuffling into the break room at work to get some coffee,  I remembered, wait, I don’t even like the coffee here. What am I doing? And coupled with the fact that I’ve already had my double shot drink from Starbucks this morning, let’s see, I probably don’t need anymore caffeine. I might end up in the hospital if I keep consuming it at this rate. Or from an exhaustion breakdown. Whichever comes first. But I need energy! So let’s get some coffee. Actually no, bad idea… wait, is this a dream?

I pause my jumbled thoughts and give myself a little pinch to realize that no, it’s not a dream. Darn it.

I’ve been so overtaken by exhaustion and burnout lately that I’m not sure sometimes if I’m awake or asleep.

Everything inside me feels numb. I forget if I’m hungry, thirsty or neither. Exhaustion overtakes all of it – the desire to sleep for a very long time is all I can feel.

I think at some point all of us have become so exhausted we feel like we’re barely functioning, and we’re more or less going through the motions.

I can’t tell you how many times lately I’ve desperately cried out to God, praying for strength. There have been some tears. But usually, that’s when I feel Him wrap me in His loving embrace and tell me it’s going to be OK, that work will get easier and this is just a phase.

It’s amazing how when you reach the end of yourself – you’re totally dry with nothing left to give – that’s where the Lord can really work. You realize that He’s all you ever needed anyway. You can’t complete you. Only God can. It doesn’t matter how empty you have become, how deprived of strength you are.  He can fill you up completely. He is the only strength you need. He will carry you through.

Each time I’ve prayed these last few weeks, I’m reminded that God is in control, and that if I would just lay my burdens at His feet, He will take better care of those things better than I ever could.

Give your burdens to the Lord, and He will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall. -Psalm 55:22

The Lord has also been reminding me that when we go through hard times, it builds character, shaping us into the man or woman we need to become to do even greater things for His Kingdom. There there is so much more ahead than this moment. He has a plan for your life, even though hard time are part of it.

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. -Romans 5:4

When you can put it into perspective and realize that difficult things – exhaustion, heartbreak, physical or emotional pain – whatever it may be, are all part of the journey to carry out God’s plan for our lives, it’s easier to push through.

I can already see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m not going to give up now. And no matter how long it takes me to get there, my God is walking alongside me 100 percent of the way.