Burn-Out…How to Let Go of What’s Not Coming Back

Burnout

 Have you ever suffered from  burn out?    I have and when I  was in the middle of it I didn’t  know what was going  on…until I talked with a friend,  who happens to be a  therapist, and she said it sounded like I was suffering burn-out.  

 I felt like everything was the same as always, but, in actuality I had been experiencing major blows of loss, emotionally, in my personal life….family, and disappointments and lack…that just kept happening with no end in sight. 

 And still is, actually.

 And when this happens we know that we don’t fight flesh and blood but evil wickedness in high places.  But knowing is not enough.  We still feel exhausted and weak.    One after another I felt like my walls of strength were being beat upon by an enemy who is trying to beat me down to the point of just not caring anymore.  

thumb_colourbox1908348 It seemed like everyone else was  experiencing  changes, good  changes, in their lives.  To me,  watching them, I felt as if life was  moving for them  and for me it  stands still. 

 And will it ever change?

 Your head says one thing and your  heart knows better, but you just feel
tired and kind of don’t care anymore.  Even though I know we are on a journey and being at this place is only preparing me for good things ahead it still “feels” tiring.

So, have you been there?  Or are you there right now?

 You just want to go to bed.   Or just zone out in a book.  (which can be good depending on what you are reading.)images (1)

 Here are the 4 things I have found that  is really helping me with this struggle  and I think they may help you too:

  1.  We can’t always control what happens  to us, but we can always control how  we choose to respond. It really goes  back to the choice doesn’t it?

 In those moments when I choose to stop complaining and instead give thanks to God for the good in my life, the parts that seem bad start to seem much less significant. Choose to keep a positive attitude and thankful heart regardless of what you’re going through.   Just keep standing and waiting.

2

 “Rejoice always, pray  continually,  give thanks in all  circumstances;  for this is  God’s will for you in  Christ  Jesus.” 

 

 

Remember that your struggles always lead to strength and faith.  Every difficulty in your life, whether big or small, is something God will use to produce more strength, faith and perseverance in you if you let Him! All your pain has a purpose.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

  1. Remember that God’s timing is always perfect.

 God’s plans are almost always different from our plans, but His plans are always perfect! Have the patience to wait on His timing instead of forcing your own.

“For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord; plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

  1. Remember that God will never leave your side.

 You may feel like you’re going through this struggle all alone, but from the moment you invite Jesus into your day and your particular situation, He will be by your side to the end so never lose hope!

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave  you nor forsake you.”Deuteronomy 31:6 545570_417758148257124_357419294_n-1

 I  have had some hard things to let go of  over the last several years. Of course,  embedded within us when the enemy  tries to destroy us, where thorns and  thistles prosper, we earthlings will always  have those things nearby to remind us  that this place in no permanent home. We  long for a better country.

 I believe in God’s faithfulness in raising to life what is dead.   I have seen it and I have experienced it.   Then I remembered the life giving force of Jesus, alive and well in the lives of all those I reach out to in coaching….

…and I thought how sometimes we have to accept what has died or refused to come to life or produce a whit of fruit… 

…and we have to let it go. burned-tree-iran

 Instead of staring at it for months on end as a  monument to our loss, we sometimes need to cut  it down, pile it up, move it out or let it burn.

 Because often God chooses to resurrect something that has died.

 But other times He wants us to call it what it is – dead – and let it go, knowing that He is good. He cannot fail to be good.

 That’s what Jesus said He does with what, over the proof of time, does not remain. It is “thrown out like a branch, and dries up; and such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire, and are burned up.” (John 15:6)

 He “takes away every branch that does not bear fruit” and He “prunes every branch that bears fruit so that it will bear more fruit.” (John 15:2)

He’s all about the fruit.

 That doesn’t mean you forget. Some things are too big to forget.   But I’m learning to quit begging him to bring back to life those things He wants me to let go of.

 Trying to resuscitate what’s not coming back to life just leaves you out of breath.

 God will not leave us comfortless. He will not leave us alone. He will not leave us fruitless. He will either resurrect the dead or grow something brand new.  tree

 I say this to you with deep compassion and empathy if you have experienced burn out from so many things changing or are just plain  gone….

..if it is gone, let it go.

 And I know with all my heart and all my faith that something new is coming. Both for you and for me.  Nothing stays the same forever. 

We are on a journey and sometimes we have to descend into the valley before we get to the mountain.

I need to give myself space to feel what I feel. And you will surely – as surely as God is faithful and Jesus is the fleshing out of life itself – live to see something you couldn’t have expected. Something hanging on could never have given you.

We’re here too brief a time on earth to spend days on end grieving what could have been. We’ll talk to Jesus about that when we get Home. We’ll have forever then. For now…

Let it go.

So something new can grow.

Water it with your tears if you must but release your fears that nothing but nothingness is ahead for you. Is God your God? As sure as He is, new life is coming.

All the deadness did not manage to kill you.

You are stronger than you thought. Stretch out your arms like mighty branches even if, for now, they’re little twigs.

tree2 It is to your Father’s glory that you  bear much fruit.

Christmas Nostalgia

Through popular demand I am reprinting a favorite of readers for this Christmas season.  Enjoy!!

18082_414036048670059_1097203773_nThis time of year turns my heart back to family, and those warm memories of when my kids were little and all the excitement of the holidays and watching their faces of wonderment as we decorated the tree and prepared for all of our family traditions.  I actually conjure up tears of longing for those days gone by since my babies are not babies anymore.  It was one of the happiest times of my life.

When they were little I never wanted them out of my sight.  I kept them so close.  I endeavored to build into them a confidence that I would always be there for them.  Beginning with that first step at around one year old; when a mom has that sense of uneasiness that already they are beginning to move away from us.  I sense it.  I was like any other Mom when their adorable child takes the first step.  You feel like they are the smartest kid in the world.  But deep down was this feeling of dread; that each new day in their young lives they would move a little bit farther away from me, until one day, God forbid, they would leave and start a life without me there.  Ouch!

67608_415530141853983_985983354_nMy determination became to teach them about Jesus every chance I could.  I would not leave it up to their Sunday school teachers, Christian School teachers, or anyone else to do my job of bringing my kids to Christ and to the best of my ability teach them how to live.  I wanted them to know that whatever came into their life they would always have Him and He would direct their paths and be their constant companion.    They both came to me at around 4 or 5 years old and asked if I would pray with them to invite Jesus into their young lives.  What a joy that day was!! 

Hewlett-PackardNow, as a Grandmother I have endeavored to be the same kind of example to my grandchildren.  

But I digress….

When my babies started school, this is how it went: Kindergarten and first grade when they would return to me at the end of their day, they were always full of joy to see me, we had a snack together and they would play and rest.  I would say, “I’m so glad  you are home”….and I meant it.

The following years came and went with each new year they grew a little more independent.  At first they wanted to be where they could see me, but not too hovering or clingy.  Every day when they would come home the instant they opened the door they always said, “Mom, I’m home”, and I would breathe easy once again because my babies were mine again, at least for that day.

Brother and Sister RunningThen came Junior High School; the time when I  became an embarrassment to them if they were seen with me in front of their friends.  And the time when you wonder if aliens have inhabited your kids.  One day they get up and they even look different.  Then they open their mouths and then you know for sure it is not them…and a part of you grieves.  You know that your babies are not babies anymore.  That time is past.  But wait, they still come home at the end of the day and yell, “Mom, I’m home”, and for a moment all is well with the world again.  They still have weak moments of reverting back on occasion and when no one is looking they would lay their head on my shoulder or hug me, and my heart would soar once again.

And High School followed.  This was a tough time for me because it was when my own life fell apart.  To learn more about that you will have to read my book, “Climbing Out of the Box” and you will find it on Amazon.   The kids’ Dad had left us and so we were driven closer together in adversity by having to move out of our house and into a tiny apartment, but farther apart because it was a time they tried to find their bearings in life, and it seems like they slipped right out of my grasp.  It was painful in not only the loss of my life as I knew it but also I couldn’t pretend my kids were babies anymore.  And I was alone; double whammy.  Now, we all went different ways.  But they still came home at the end of their days at some point, and I would always hear, “Mom, I’m home”…..and for a brief moment I closed my eyes and hung onto those memories once again.

suitcaseThen they left.  They flew out of the nest.  And oh, it was so painful to let my babies go.  All  you parents out there who have had kids leave, can relate.  A hole is left in your heart that it takes a while to figure out how to function again without your kids always being in the back of your mind and how whatever you are doing might affect them.  They have their own life now.

But then they would come back to see me and once again I heard that welcome phrase when they would walk in the door; “Mom, I’m home”……I realized, at that point, that to them, it wasn’t where I lived that was their home…It was the fact that home is where I am.

They are 38 and 42 today and when I look at them I still see my babies.  And they will flinch when they read this but, no kidding!   I think that is how God sees us.  Not by our age but because we are His children He always loves us as such.  Of course we have to grow up, even as our earthly kids do, and mature into an even greater relationship with Him.  And this is what I want for my kids.  My kids still say, “Mom, I’m home”, or sometimes, “Mom, I’m here”, always knowing that I will be overjoyed to see them at any time.

One day my life here on earth will be through and I will be in Heaven.  My vision has always been that on a given day in Heaven as I am going about my tasks that Jesus and I decide will be my calling there, everything will stop for me.  Suddenly an awareness will fill my being that something wonderful is about to happen.  I hear a distant familiar sound!  The anticipation and joy lifts me off the ground in awesome glory.   And then, I will hear it oh so clearly; the voice of my children is as familiar as my own voice.  “Mom, I’m Home”….”Home” now being our real home, Heaven, where we were always meant to be after this brief life on earth.   Oh what joy will fill my heart. 

jesus-and-meWe will never be apart but we will all be home with our wonderful Jesus and each other.  “Mom, we are home”….to dwell together for all eternity.  This is our heritage, dear parents.  This life with our kids is so short compared to eternity spent with them in God’s kingdom.  Tell your children about Jesus every chance you get for as they grow in Him He will be their stabilizing force!!  It is never too late, either, to share this good news with your kids if they don’t already know it.  There is a wonderful place we are all going to live after this life.   

“That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9 NLT

IMG_0758My children today!!