My Name is Deb, Not Jesus
by The Word Weaver, Deb on May 5th, 2016
I’ve been on a bit of a journey with a learning curve that is steep and, well, highly curvy. Much of it has been under water, as I was tipped over and tossed about in the tide.
Since January, I’ve experienced recurring and increasing health concerns. The most consistent symptom being: Exhaustion. Every. Day.
Though doing several things I believed God called me to in a critically important season of our local church, I’ve felt spent. A headache shadowed me. Despite spending time daily soaking in God’s Word & presence, accomplishing other goals took pretty much all I had. And more. I’d surface, sputtering for air.
About a month ago, after feeling terrible during and for weeks after a beautiful vacation in Hawaii (who feels rotten in Hawaii, for goodness sake?), I crashed.
Finally 2 + 2 started to make sense, and we connected the symptoms with an alarming spike in blood pressure.
I am addressing my issues medically, but a long, hard look at my lifestyle has been deemed most critical. This wasn’t quite what I expected when I chose My One Word this year: Explore. It’s been a good thing though. Hard and unsettling, but ultimately good.
Being beached forced me to really look at my life—my past, personality, and tendencies—to lean in and listen closely to the God who created and calls me.
Thoughts and realizations I’ve been sorting before the Lord:
*My shoulders are not equipped to carry the world. For a girl who knows she’s not the Savior, why do I act like it?
*Perfectionism & People-pleasing pervade more of my decisions than I ever realized. Perhaps it’s time to revisit Jennifer Lee’s excellent book on the matter, Love Idol: I am preapproved; you are too.
*By default, I rely upon momentum, the passionate force of my personality, and stubborn determination to accomplish things more than God’s clear direction and divine power. Sobering discovery.
*The strengths God has given me are tied to the things He’s given me a heart to do. Focusing more on my strengths (connecting & expressing ideas and loving people) may be a more productive approach than continually practicing my weak skills (managing details & people) which drains my energy.
*My needs are valid. They’re not just preferences. They are important. That is a newsflash that came with the crash. I cannot regularly neglect my necessities and desires without consequence—even if it’s to meet urgent needs of others. In addition to time invested daily in the Bible and in prayer, my critical needs include:
- regular care of my body in consistent exercise, stretching, & rest
- learning to pace my time and schedule rather than careening full-tilt day after day, week after week, month after—yeah, you get the idea.
- providing for and protecting regular “free-range, non-productive hours of solitude” in which I explore ideas, places, and creativity without pressure or apology. Intentionally filling the well of my soul, so to speak.
I am deeply grateful that our gracious God called me into greater intimacy with Himself before revealing these things. Spending more time in His presence, contemplating His Word, and journaling my thoughts prepared me for this tumultuous exploration trip.
Yes, it’s been hard. But it’s also been important and essential. And ultimately, I anticipate, very freeing.
Thanks for walking with me. Join me next time for a peek at significant quotes from books that have been influencing my thoughts.
Posted in A Work in Progress Tagged with Journey, Tide, Perfectionism, Savior, Needs, Balance
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