It’s been a while since I’ve written. It’s not that I’ve been short of words running through my head, they are always whispering in the background. But it’s energy that has been lacking. These past weeks and months have passed by in a blur of exhaustion. I have been living life aware that I am drawing from what feels like the end of my strength and energy. I would love to say this is an unfamiliar feeling. But I have started to forget what it felt like to have energy to spare.
It’s difficult to explain what this year has felt like. My body is exhausted from the moment I wake up in the morning until I go to sleep, with all the hours in between. My brain feels like it is full of fog, floating somewhere above my body. Forcing my brain to concentrate is like trying to keep your eyes fixed on the horizon in the middle of a blizzard. My muscles are tired and my legs feel weak, unwilling to stay standing for long. Every day I have the frustration of knowing what I could be capable of, if I had the energy, and then watching myself fall short again and again.
I am used to facing the week knowing I don’t have enough energy in reserve to get me through. I am constantly spending more than I have, building up a debt which I don’t know how I will be able to pay. Life is a balancing act between what I have the energy to do and what I need to do. I have learnt to view invitations through the lens of deciding if it’s something I’m prepared to get more exhausted for. And some days getting more exhausted just isn’t an option.
I am painfully aware of how little strength I have. And I know I am living constantly at the end of what I can do in my own strength. It is a vulnerable and scary place to be. A place where any little thing feels like it could tip me over the edge.
Yet I am finding that in this place of weakness, when I am forced to admit I cannot do it alone, I see God’s strength shine through more clearly. When life is going smoothly, it’s easy to believe the successes in our lives are down to our own efforts. We believe we have earned the privileges we have, that it is through our toil and hard work that we are successful. But when it is all stripped away, and you find yourself in a place where your efforts look feeble. Then you realise that our victories were never really down to us in the first place. We are God’s children and we are only capable of greatness with His strength and power working through us.
Whilst I may be living at the end of my own strength, my God has infinite reserves. He is in absolute control of my life. He is not baffled or frustrated by my fatigue. He could lift it from me in an instant. But until He does, I can trust that He will work through it for my good and His glory. God knows exactly what He is doing and I can trust Him completely.
The most important lesson I have ever learnt is that God’s character does not change with my circumstances. He is the same God when I am rejoicing in my good fortune, as when my prayers turn to tears and the darkness seems unending. The clouds may be blocking my view, but I still know the sun is shining above me.
Life doesn’t have to be trouble free in order for me to know that God is good, faithful and worthy of my trust. We can trust God simply because of who He is, not because of where we find ourselves.
I am not naive enough to think I will be able to keep going like this forever. Unless something changes soon, I will be forced to make some tough choices in the New Year. Choices that I don’t want to make. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared, that there weren’t days when ‘I can’t do this’ are the first words on my lips.
But I am resting in the knowledge that God’s strength will not run out on me. What would be impossible on my own, is possible with God on my side. And perhaps I will find that it is at the end of me that God begins.
” Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”