My alarm cut into my too-short sleep, and I groaned. I snoozed it until a sliver of light slipped underneath my blinds. I sat up and peeked out the window. Snow blanketed the trees, and birds sang their hearts out into the cold. As I stepped into the air that froze my nostrils and admired the beauty, a sense of weariness dragged me down.
Now, almost a year later, I can understand why I was so exhausted. I had just temporarily moved from Ontario to Alberta, started as an intern at a local church, and entered a new job with a think tank. Throughout these transitions, the enemy was trying to steal my identity as God’s beloved daughter, and I was grieving many losses in my life.
During the church internship, my mentor would often check in with me by asking, “How’s your heart doing?”
That question soothed my weary soul.
So, I am going to ask you now:
How are you doing?
No, how are you really doing?
Chances are, like me, you are going through a season of change. Maybe you’re graduating high school, starting post-secondary schooling, entering a new job, or leaning into a new opportunity. You might be excited by all this change, but perhaps you feel that this is all taking a toll on your body.
Recently at the dinner table, I asked each of my roommates to describe their current emotions in one word. They responded positively at first because we were having delicious stuffed peppers for supper, but then I asked, “Do you also feel a general undertone of tiredness?” The answer was a resounding “YES!” This is a good example of my peers’ experience of constant exhaustion. If I were to ask you this question at the dinner table, what would your answer be? You might be surprised by what you discover if you dig into what you’re truly feeling.
One reason you could be exhausted is because of this season of change you’ve found yourself in. Might I suggest that this season is birthing growth in you, and that this growth is causing you pain, and that’s why you’re tired?
If this is you, I have two words for you: lean in.
Lean into this season of growing pains with your Father. Growing is hard work, yet know this: God has placed you in this season for a reason, however hard it might be. Lean into the hard times and the good times. Lean into your job when it’s exciting and boring; lean into your friendships when they’re frustrating and fun. Lean into your school assignments and the community that God has placed you in. Lean into these highs and lows while clinging to your Father for dear life. Because the more you lean into God’s call on your life and the more you take risks for the kingdom of God, the more you are going to grow in Christ. And when God’s restful presence is the power that fuels your life, pushing through hardships will be worth it because you’ll be doing it for the kingdom of God.
I’m not saying that this will solve your alarm-snoozing habit, but when you lean in with God even when you’re tired, your life will be more beautiful than you could ever imagine. For Jesus says in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”