There could be many reasons for feeling like this. You might have a lot of responsibilities piling up making it seem impossible to ever see the end of your mile long to do list. You might be trying to navigate a new season in life and are unsure how to figure it all out. You might be dealing with some sort of loss; a dream or maybe even a loved one. You might be struggling through some sort of illness. Or maybe like me, you are simply struggling to get adequate rest.
Whatever the reason you are struggling, I want you to know that there is hope. It might not come in the way you expect, but there is rest for the weary.
My Struggle with Rest
I have shared a few small glimpses into some of my struggles but have been hesitant to go much deeper. I’m not sure if it’s because I don’t want it to look like I am fishing for sympathy or if I am just fearful of what others might think. However, I can’t pretend that I am perfect or that everything in my life is perfect. No one is perfect. Everyone has struggles. So if being a little more open about mine can help someone than that is what I want to do. I want to use this as a way to bring hope and encouragement to those of you who need to know that you are not alone.
For the past couple years or so, I have felt increasingly tired and worn out. It has become a major frustration for me because there is no, or at least I thought, tangible reason for it. I simply couldn’t understand why I was unable to get the physical rest I needed…and it seemed to be getting worse.
The Downward Spiral
I often go to bed and wake up feeling even more exhausted. Even if I sleep through the night, I rarely feel well rested. I have constant headaches. Most of the time, my body is so physically tired that I have to force myself just to do simple things like laundry and dishes. Frequently, I am mentally drained to the point of not always being able to think clearly. I even struggle with making time to read my bible or seek the spiritual refreshment my soul needs.
This lack of rest has caused me to fall downward into and vicious cycle. I am not eating regular meals, causing my body to not get the proper nourishment it needs which exacerbates many of my physical symptoms. Inefficient sleep and nourishment also contribute to a lack of mental clarity. Neglecting to make time to read my bible and pray leaves me feeling spiritually dry. Also, because I feel so exhausted, it is hard to keep up with a normal routine. I pour what little energy I have into keeping my home clean and dinner made for my husband but other than that I struggle to find the motivation to do much of anything.
The Breaking Point
About a month or so ago, I came to a breaking point. It had gotten so bad that I was anxious just to go to sleep at night for fear of what I would feel like in the morning. I felt so physically, mentally and spiritually drained that I began to give in to the lies that made me feel isolated and alone. I felt like I was fighting a losing battle and the strength to keep fighting it on my own was dwindling.
At one point, I laid in bed in tears unable to express to my husband what was wrong. I just didn’t have the words to explain it. He knew I wasn’t sleeping well, but for the most part I tried to hide the toll it was taking on me. Finally, I drifted off to sleep praying that God would show me a way out of this dark period of exhaustion.
Restoration and Healing
As I began to wake up, I realized that the losing battle was that I was trying to do it alone. The fact was, I could not fight it on my own. It became clear to me that I have people I can turn to who do care about me. More importantly, I have a God who wants nothing more than for me to look to him for comfort and rest. How had I missed that before?
I felt a sense of peace wash over me and the lies were replaced by a beckoning whisper to come to Him. I began to think of verses that helped bring peace to my weary soul. Specifically Matthew 11:28 that says;
“Come to me who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.”
The heaviness began to lift and I finally saw hope. Hope that I would not be stuck in this place forever. Hope in knowing I am not alone. Hope that the process of healing could finally begin.
I can’t say that things have completely turned around but it’s a work in progress. I know I still have a long way to go but I also know that I am not alone and that has made a huge difference. I am working on getting back into a routine and most importantly including regular time in prayer and bible study. Ultimately, I am working on getting myself healthy; physically, mentally and spiritually.
As I work through this process, I want to share more with you about how to find rest when you are weary. So I am working on making this a mini-series. The next part will be about physical rest. Then I will write some more about spiritual rest. Lastly, I will have a list of helpful resources. I sincerely hope that you will find this refreshing and useful.
Do you ever feel worn out and weary?
What has been most helpful for you to overcome your weariness?