I’m all used up, I admit it. I have nothing left.
Apparently, this emptiness is called burnout.
One of the symptoms of burnout is a feeling of running on fumes. Responsibilities take me longer to accomplish, and the smallest mishap can make me feel like I’m going over the edge. I’m snippier when I talk to my family, and I’m out of energy by lunchtime every day. I feel incapacitated, unable to do even the littlest chore, even making my bed. I’ve been wandering around for the past few weeks, feeling incapable, inadequate, unproductive.
The problem I’ve been facing the past few weeks is that life keeps moving, and I can’t move along with it. That feeling registers as failure, and my first response to the feeling of failure is to just push myself harder. After that doesn’t work, I move on to the next response, which is shutting down completely.
Interestingly, that second response isn’t as bad as I thought it was. Shutting down completely has its benefits. It forces me to rest. It clears my mind from my troubles. Most importantly it makes me rely on the One who says He will restore my soul. That IS who He says He is:
Psalm 23: 1-3
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.
So if I take these words literally, I understand that He makes me lie down. He makes me take a break even if I don’t think I need one. It isn’t God who demands me to work until I drop. Those are my own demands, and are actually completely contrary to the way He created me. He created the Sabbath, and when I reject that rest period, I pay for it.
My weeks of wandering are over. I choose to rest in Him.
“Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28