Saturday night, my mind shut down. Like a computer’s CPU, my brain overheated and need to cool down. Was there stuff I needed to do? Big yes. Could I make myself do that stuff? Nope. At that moment everything became too much–the election, covid, life. I think everyone is experiencing something similar in 2020.
Around my fiftieth birthday, my writing took an exciting new direction. No longer a hobby, writing became a job I need to fit around homeschooling, family, and ministry. A couple weeks ago, precious family members caught covid, some requiring hospitalization. Our family considers illness a team sport–no one suffers alone. So, being cut off from them, unable to touch them or see them, was maddening for all of us. On top of all that, I was trying to pack for a trip.
Everything piled up, my stress overwhelmed me, and my brain turned off. I spent the whole evening mindlessly watching television. Nothing on any of my lists happened–no packing, no ministry, no writing. After a ridiculous number of sitcom episodes, I went to bed.
What did I do the next day when I woke up?
- I didn’t berate myself. I was tempted to beat myself up over the wasted time, but I resisted. Everyone needs to escape on occasion.
- I ran to my source of comfort–Jesus. At first when I realized how unprepared I was for the trip, I almost panicked again. This time I made a conscience choice to worship. I spent time in God’s word and recited my go-to anxiety scriptures. (Subscribe below, and I’ll email those verses to you.)
- I decided to focus on Thanksgiving. That’s what this week is about, right? Choosing to give thanks regardless of my circumstance changed my perspective. It reminded me that not everything in 2020 stinks. Some pretty amazing and wonderful things happened in my life this year. It, also, reminded me that God is in control, even when I feel out of control.
After I did these things yesterday, I felt better. I found joy in worship and didn’t totally lose my mind even though my family left two hours later than planned for the trip.
But what about today and tomorrow and the day after that?
My stressors haven’t disappeared, and I would be foolish to pretend they have. But, I realized something. I need to cling to Jesus during this season. If I’m going to make it through, I need to give myself a break, schedule times of personal worship, and choose to be thankful during it all.
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This is certainly an appropriate message now. We have to be good to ourselves so that we we can take care of others.
Yes, especially you!