I woke up hurting today, and it has not subsided in the last fourteen hours. There is this deep ache in my soul. More than a weariness, though it is that. It's more like the pain of someone who is be stretched too far. I feel like I'm drowning these days. I feel like nothing I do is good enough. It's like I've got a million moving parts that I am trying so hard to hold in place and if anyone comes up and makes me feel like they are asking one more thing from me I will either come out swinging or I will simply collapse into a puddle... or both. Because I have nothing left to give. I spend every moment of every day trying so hard! And these are all the thoughts I went to bed thinking last night and woke up with this morning. Another day of trying to hold it all together. Another day of a thousand cups that need to be filled and me running back and forth with a bucket full of holes.
And that's just it. I can't do this. I can't accept him and support him and love him and serve him and see them and hear them and teach them and inspire them and love them and receive her and pray for her and be selfless and joyful and faithful and gracious and forgiving and compassionate and be an exceptional teacher and plan a wedding and keep a home and prepare to be a wife and conduct the best choir in the district... I can't do it all! And she looks at me from across the table after only a portion of that rant and says, "That is a lot of weight to carry on your shoulders, girl." And it is.
And if anyone else were to say all those things to me, I would tell her to breathe. I would tell her to be still and to hear His voice say that she is beloved before she even gets out of bed in the morning. I would tell her that she doesn't need to do it all and certainly not do it all perfectly. I would tell her that the more she focuses on her own performance the more selfish and self-centered and self-hating she becomes and that no one can love from that place. I would tell her that she is putting those expectations on herself, that the people around her are much more gracious towards her than she is to the mirror and that she is so much more gracious to others than she is to herself.
I would tell her that if she would stop running for just a moment and go to Him with that broken bucket, He would seal it for her. I would tell her that she can stop being afraid that He's going to demand more of her, because He promises that if the weary will come to Him, He will give them rest. I would tell her that He is the only place to find true rest. I would tell her that she doesn't need to dig through scripture, she just needs to open it. She doesn't need to bake the Bread of Life, she just needs to come and eat. She doesn't need to go to the well with her broken bucket, she just needs to sit at His feet and drink in His love.
I would tell her that she does not have to stay in this cycle. I would tell her that there is an enemy to her soul who seeks to steal, kill, and destroy and he is hitting her hard and pinning her down, but Jesus will lift her up. I would tell her that she doesn't have to force herself to believe that. I would tell her that a mustard seed is enough, because she is deeply loved. I would tell her that it is not her beloved who is causing her pain, so she can feel safe enough to just close her eyes, throw her head back and open her heart. I would tell her all of this. So I do. And then I walk away from the mirror.