Pushing through

Two months flies by in the blink of an eye.

The last I wrote I was fearful of the changes before me, anxious about what lay ahead, and hoping to settle into the rhythm of a new normal quickly. The passage of time can be a strange thing. When you’re in the midst of something hard, it feels like its crawling, but once your through it seems like it flew by.

And so, almost as quickly as they came, my days of full time work are done (at least for the present). It would be hard to overstate how glad I am to be done that season of life, for while there were many great and wonderful moments, and many positives to the situation, it was also exhausting physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally.

I tend to be the type of person that just pushes through times like that. If I have an end in sight, I just keep telling myself “You just need to make it to this day, or that event, and then it will get better/ be over.” And while this is helpful in the sense of giving myself a goal to reach, it also means that in the meantime I can often neglect things that are important for my health and life. And so instead of taking breaks, of knowing when to stop, I just keep pushing through until I feel like I have absolutely nothing left to give. And the unfortunate part is that it’s true –  if I am feeling empty in my heart and soul, then I can’t possibly give of my heart and soul to those who need and deserve it.

Today I was reading my Bible for the first time in a long time, and I read these familiar words:

f1becc9cd8a06f75ef879601a2e4246cThese words have become somewhat commonplace in my life, so that I don’t often really stop to think about what is being said here, and today as I reflected on them, and on the last couple of months, I realized that in not loving myself, in not making time and space to have my heart and mind filled, in living in the mindset of just pushing through, I have made it impossible to love the people in my life well. I have been impatient, unkind, and incredibly self-seeking. I have been rude, easily angered, and kept a very precise record or wrongs. I have not protected, not trusted, not hoped, and not persevered. And it wasn’t because I didn’t want to do these things, or be these things. It was because I was too busy, and too tired. I literally didn’t have it in me to give.

It’s been a matter of a couple of days, and already I feel like I have a different perspective on life. A big part of that is because I have finally made time to spend being filled by my Creator. For me, spending time reading the Bible, writing out my prayers, and being still with God are what bring life and love flooding back into my life. In the places of my heart where  I felt dry and desolate, I now feel hope and joy.

And it’s a relief.

But it’s also a hard lesson to learn, because I can’t take back those moments when I wasn’t loving my husband and my son, and my friends and family the way they should be loved by me. And so while I am relieved, and grateful for God’s abundant love that He so generously gives freely to me, I am also aware that I can’t let this happen again. I need to break my cycle of pushing through when things are tough, or life is busy, and I feel tired and overwhelmed. I need to learn to stop, and take time to be filled again, so that I can give to those around me. So that I can LOVE.

Because life can fly by in the blink of an eye.

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