She meticulously listed all the activities she was involved in, all the tasks she had to do or else. By the end of it, her eyes were heavy and they filled with tears. “My conviction just isn’t meshing with my reality. I feel trapped in this cycle that won’t go away. All I can seem to do is make it through another 24 hours but there isn’t enough energy left to think beyond it. And my blog. Ha. I thought I knew where it was going but —“
“I have a major problem. I can’t seem to be able to say no to people.”
“Oh?” I said, crunching on a tortilla chip, remembering all the times I tried to be everywhere like God.
“It’s bad. Every time I tell myself I won’t take on any new jobs, I fail to follow through. Can I borrow your cape?”
I replied with compassion, “We are not superhuman. You’re going to have to say no more times than you say yes or the scale will tip.” She was silent as she bit her fingernail. “It’s just so hard to let go.”
“I know,” I replied. “It sucks sometimes. It feels like we’re missing out on some really good opportunities. But what good will they be if we are stressed all the way through them? Can a good opportunity be good if it makes us sick?”
She sat there thinking for a moment. I could tell it sunk in, but she remained quiet. I handed her another bowl of salsa. She dipped her chip in and ate. “I just don’t know where to start.”
Falling Off The Bandwagon for a New Way
My eyes lit up like a Christmas tree. “Finish your current commitments, and begin making a list of your top 3 current needs.”
She looked surprised. “Isn’t that selfish?”
“What? To think about your human body?”
She didn’t say anything.
“We have to stop before we can go. Find out what the problem is before we can begin working the solution into our lives.”
Her eyes got big and she grinned. “You’re right. I do have some needs that have fallen by the wayside.”
“Yeah. I bet if these simple needs were met, my stress levels would go way down. For some reason, I’ve let the enemy tell me they weren’t important. That I had to put myself last in everything.”
I grinned. I knew what she was talking about. I had experienced setbacks in my own life, mainly from a wrong way of thinking. It’s like my theology got wadded up in the wrong pool and wrapped itself around my neck.
A happy realization for my friend meant progress in her life. It hurts when we see others suffering and feel like we can’t do anything about it. Maybe we can. Sometimes we have walked a mile or two in the same type of shoes. Sometimes it’s a good thing to have a playdate in the park and talk out our issues rather than stuffing them down for the sake of others. Sometimes they are waiting for permission to unstuff too.
While we were made to serve, we can’t do a very good job if we are inwardly withering.
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“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
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*Tips her hat, puts her phone on SHHH mode and makes a mad dash for the library*