Burning out for Jesus

Jul 17, 2014Find joy today

(Note: I wrote this a few months ago on Deeper Story as I was on the brink of burnout. This summer I’m taking a Sabbatical to help me reframe and rethink my life. Prayers appreciated!)

I wish I didn’t have to write this post. It’s a bit embarrassing, hard to admit to. I’ve often prided myself on being the girl who Gets. Things. Done.

This has worked for me most of my life. With the exception when I lived overseas on the southern shores of France and I lost my personality, my wherewithal. There, I struggled against PTSD, ushered in the aftermath of relational nuclear bombs. I came home friendship-shell-shocked, and spent two years trying to decide if I could trust humans again.

But then, alas, I came roaring back. I jumped right into the crazy fray of American life, which is pretty much about writing and crossing off t0-do lists.

I won’t go into the pressure of motherhood, teenagers, household running, exercising, health, money stress, ministry worry. Those are a given. But add in all the expectations on me as an author and I bend beneath the weight.

One thousand book promotion expectations.

And an impossible goal.

No matter what I do, no matter how many marketing, blogging, radio interviews, ebooks, webinars I do, it seems none of these contribute to that elusive goal of becoming a modest-selling author. I run on a treadmill of tasks, never reaching the carrot of book sales dangled hopelessly before me.

So hear I sit today, on the verge of tears, needing to know if it’s okay to stop the marketing world a minute. To burn a to-do list before what was Mary and what Mary is becoming = a burned out, spent Mary.

Have you ever been here?

Here’s the equation I’ve learned over the last year. A + B DOES NOT = C.

Herculean effort doesn’t mean success will come. (Click to tweet). And if you have that expectation of success (even in the slightest way), you begin to feel your effort means nothing in this world. And the flame of your wherewithal flickers in the wind, nearly extinguished.

I’m there. Feeling small. Tired. Needy. Worn thin. I am a girl standing in a snow storm with a thin veil of clothing, unable to pull it tight enough around myself to make any difference. I’m a well gone dry. A person with this vague sense that something or Someone is beckoning me, but I’m too busy running to the Next Big Thing to stop and listen to the whispers.

I love Jesus. But I’m scarily close to burning out for Him. I teeter on the edge.

Have you ever been there?

There’s no grand conclusion to this post other than to let you know if you’re near burnout, I feel your angst. I am not on the other side of it, offering splashy solutions or proven techniques. I simply sense I need to slow way the heck down and start listening to my heart again.

(And thankfully, this summer, I’m doing just that.)