At 10 pm I found myself once again staring at a blank white screen, drained of every ounce of creativity and eloquence I once held. I’ve been running really hard in every direction except for the one I feel like I’m made for: to write. To share stories of adventure and heartache; of failures and victories. To illuminate the dark nights of your souls with words of truth and life.
But I’m so tired. I’m strategizing for a church plant. I’m in school. I’m working 30 hours. I’m trying to nurture my marriage and maintain my friendships in my little bits of spare time. Head space is not a thing of abundance in my life in this season.
So last night, I gave up. I felt like I had nothing to give, so I walked away in frustration and sat next to my husband on the couch and I pouted. When I get tired, I start to grumble — and friends, I am beyond tired in this season.
So there I was, exhausted and broken, discouraged and honestly grieving that I feel less than adequate to maintain this little corner of the internet that’s mine. And I think maybe this is the state God prefers me in — when I literally can not move forward unless He makes a way.
How fitting that we should be celebrating Thanksgiving this week. That in the midst of feeling perhaps the weakest I have ever felt, it is right to give thanks. It is right to fight complacency and inadequacy and discouragement with gratitude. What I’ve learned, honestly, is that gratitude is the only weapon I have for fighting those things.
I wish I could say I sat down and immediately started giving thanks, and everything was lovely from that point on. But… tired Sara prevails, and the grumbling was louder than the gratitude. So instead I found myself arguing with my sweet, innocent, loving husband for no good reason. I was easily offended because I was frustrated about other things. I was slow to be gracious because I felt entitled to something better than what I was feeling.
Ugh. I hate when I have moments like that.
We resolved our conflict and everything was fine. He prayed for me like he does every night before we go to sleep, and I went to bed while he finished watching a football game. My head hit the pillow and immediately tears were streaming down my face.
Lord, what is going on with me? I found myself praying that Psalm 139 prayer, “Search my heart and know me. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Whatever was in my heart that felt so heavy, I was ready to hand it over. I couldn’t carry it any longer.
I felt like He said, gently, “Sara, I am uprooting the selfishness that still lives in your heart. Are you ready to hand the rest of it over?”
I wept. I knew I had let my season define my attitude. I knew I had neglected the weapon that is gratitude and taken up bitterness and control like a shield, thinking they would be the things to protect me.
So I handed it over, and with nothing left in my hands, I gave thanks. And this morning, I woke up feeling discouraged and inadequate again. But I sat down here and I gave Him my few loaves and fish, and somehow in all of His kindness, He promises it will be multiplied.
A lot of days I feel like I don’t really know how to keep showing up for my life. Not in a morbid I don’t want to be here kind of way — but in a “I’m not sure I have the endurance to keep running this race” kind of way.
But somehow there’s grace. Somehow we keep going. Somehow we believe that every word from God is true, and just to believe and keep going is counted to us as righteousness.
So today I’m showing up. I’m giving thanks. And I’m letting Him do all the rest.