Burn out is a real thing that I think each of us encounter at some point in our lives. I’m a wife, mom, in full-time ministry, a business owner, daughter, and friend. Each of these roles can be extremely demanding but the Lord gives me the grace to function in each task accordingly. Each position I’m in requires different things from me at different times.
As a wife I want to make sure I am caring for and attentive to the needs of my husband with meaningful conversations, passionate date nights and maintaining a solid friendship. The role of mom is never ending. I thought as my children became adults, I’d have more free time but boy was I wrong, lol. My kids are independent, but I now see that they still need “mom.” Breakfast dates, tons of texts, travel to their events, late night calls for prayer or crying over disappointments are all a part of my daily role as mom. I love every minute of it!!! Ministry, business, being a daughter and friend are all demanding in their own right. Each requires prayer and commitment to the cause or person. I am learning more and more daily that my life is not my own, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
Why am I bringing out all of these points of responsibility? Because you too have responsibilities and commitments that you must fulfill. I find that it can be easy to start but not finish well or even quit in the process. No one wants to be the bad friend who can’t take the call to pray with a friend because you are too burdened with your own issues. Nor do you want to be the one who signed up for a project and have to go back and reassign it because you’re overwhelmed.
Unfortunately, these things happen and why? Well, one reason is, because of burn out!
I become burned out when I am not caring for myself spiritually. What I mean by this is making sure I am purposefully connecting with God daily without distraction. This could literally be a whole sermon, within itself, right?
My intimate time with God is my lifeline.
I’ve shared in previous blogs about how important spending time with God is, but I think we don’t take this serious enough to realize that it governs every area of our lives. The more time I spend with the Lord the more I respond like him, by becoming more merciful, patient and forgiving. I can’t do this in my natural ability. Normal me, without
spending time with God, is impatient, “hangry’ A.K.A. hungry, and way toooooooo blunt! After failing many tests, I realize my time with God shapes how I function.
I remember when my kids were younger it was very difficult for me to the do simplest task. Mind you I have six kids and they are all a year apart. So, at that time I had 4/5 toddlers all at once. Simply going to lady’s bible study in the mornings would have me in tears. By the time I got there I felt like I was falling to pieces. Between the breakfast rush, wasted cereal, fights, poopie diapers that leaked up their back, projectile vomiting in the car, and a mini nervous breakdown I’d finally make it to the church where I’d just want to collapse on the altar and cry out, why me Lord.
You may not have small kids to care for right now but maybe the job is stressful and burning you out. You accepted the promotion but didn’t realize the number of responsibilities that were involved. The deadlines, long meetings and daily fighting your feelings of inadequacy that seem overwhelm you.
Maybe you’re the single mom with a stack of bills and a broken heart as to why you suddenly became single. You shuttle the kids back and forth, barely get dinner on the table nightly and fall asleep from exhaustion before actually spending tie with the kids all to feel guilty and start it all over again tomorrow.
Ministry assignments can be so rewarding but they also come with fruit bearing trials. Miscommunications, carelessness, comparison and hurts build up and cause you to forget your “why.”
Does any of this sound familiar? I’m sure one of the scenarios are relatable to you and if not just plug your story in where it fits.
Busy lives don’t equal productivity and spiritual maturity. This was a hard lesson for me to learn and I often have to keep that before me because my life is BUSY. As I read more about the sabbath, I am beginning to see why it’s so important.
Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
Exodus 20:8-11 NIV
I want you to know rest is ordained by God and is not sin!!! I scrolled my Facebook memories the other day and noticed seven years ago I made a post saying I felt guilty for resting and not working on my “to do list.” Have you ever felt this way before?
Rest is just as important to your spiritual growth as reading scripture, fasting and praying are. It is so major that even God himself rested on the seventh day. Your world will not fall apart because you take a nap or slow down a bit. Have you ever thought that if you rested you could think clearly to find a more time efficient way to complete your assignment?
Rest can also look like stepping away from your phone, office or social media. With so many opinions flying around about the pandemic, government and other pressing issues; it can subconsciously weary you. Have you ever thought to just turn your phone off for the day? I know this seems unbearable and impossible but maybe start with an hour and then work up to a full day. The goal is to rest.
One thing I love about my pastor’s wife, Min. Monnet, is that she helps me balance. When I call her to share, she is like the Holy Spirit’s red flag for me to know it’s time to rest. Sometimes when you’re chatting with fiends or trusted leaders listen for the Holy Spirit’s red flag. God will often send us promptings, but we are so busy we miss them.
Life is filled with things we can’t do anything about. But the Lord has promised us that everything we face will work out for our good. Nothing is catching God by surprised and he is in full control of EVERY situation. Remind yourself of this when you feel like you can’t go on any further.
There are too many believers who are stressed out over life, problems, finances, health and so on. We have the God who is able to do anything but fail. So where is our peace? What I find is that I know all of this stuff in my head but applying it to “me” when issues come up is a totally different story. You and I must allow the things God is trying to imparts to us in our private time together come alive in us when trials come. All the time we spend with God should be to prepare us for the test. Way too often we fail miserably because we forget this.
There are other reasons for burn out but for me and I’m sure many of you, these examples presented are forerunners. I just wanted to encourage you this month to cut yourself some slack. Stop trying to hold yourself to an unbiblical level of perfection and allow the grace of God to flow through you.
Many of the responsibilities we have, we love but when they become burdensome that’s another indicator we are nearing or have become burned out.
Run into the prayer closet and seek the Lord. Ask, where you missed it and ask him to restore your joy and peace. Ask him to strengthen you to REST. If you are a doer like me you have to ASK for help with resting, lol.
God is concerned about everything that concerns us, Psalms 138:8. He isn’t just looking for us to be perfect, he is looking for us to the follow his process to eternal life. I’m not sure if we would obtain it if we were burnt out and overwhelmed.
Give that broken marriage to God. Give that lost child to God. Give your projects to God. Give your to do list to God. Ask him to govern these areas and to help you to be sensitive in how to move forward. Will it be easy, probably not but I know the end result will be amazing.
Don’t give up! Don’t allow burn out to stop you! Get out of that rut you’ve been stuck in! Depression gotta go! Overeating ends here! Now is the time to release every burden to the Lord because he cares for you.
It’s ok to REST.