Tuesday, April 12, 2016


Someone told me recently, "You seem so much 'shinier' than last time I saw you." And only last week, an acquaintance commented, "You look like you feel good, like you feel happier lately."

I do.

For the first time in longer than I can remember, my outlook most days is positive, more optimistic than not. I admit that yesterday, which was cold and gray and Monday, I felt like a slug on morphine. But I felt alive and lively the day before yesterday, and the day before that; I am excited about today and looking forward to tomorrow. Gray, lethargic days are increasingly the exception, whereas they were once my norm.

People, I have been very, very tired - emotionally, mentally, physically - for a very, very long time. Tired like burned out ashes dissolving in cold rain in an abandoned fire pit. But now that my energy and attitude tanks are not so completely depleted, I want to share a few things I learned when I was living the tired life:

First, some seasons in life are just like that:  they are tired seasons. If you are the mother of small children, you run on an energy deficit much of the time; if you are going through a relationship crisis, you experience emotional weariness; if you run in mental overdrive at work, your brain fatigues. (A bit of good news:  Seasons change!)

Second, when you feel like life is running you into the ground, you will discover genuinely compassionate people who, although they may not be able to make your situation easier, they give life and hope by "coming alongside." People who pray for you and with you, who encourage you, who tell you stories about the beauty of sunlight when you've walked beneath clouds for so long that you've forgotten there even was a sun. People who, when you are simply too tired to dream, hold your dreams carefully in their own hands and hearts for safekeeping; people who keep your dreams alive when your strength fails, eager to hand them back to you when you are stronger.

Third, when you are bone-weary and have "forgotten the taste of strawberries," there are also those people who will look at you with tears in their eyes, grieved because you are so weary, and when you think you can bear no more, they will hand you a 50-pound sack of rocks to hold while they tie their shoelaces and go chase butterflies. These people don't tell you stories about the sun; they tell you all about how their own trials are so much more difficult than yours and they encourage you with trashy words like "it could always be worse." These people give you a sympathetic pat on the back, then point you deeper into the abyss.

(I suspect that both these kinds of people are motivated by love:  the first, by a love that transcends circumstances; the second, by a love that turns on the tiny axis of their own souls.)

Fourth, I have learned that God is faithful.

God is faithful.

God is faithful.

And today? Today is a shiny new day.

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