Raise your hand if you are simply exhausted. Yep—I see you. And no, I don’t mean the I got to bed too late or the baby kept waking me up kind of exhausted. That’s surface exhaustion. I’m talking deep, thorough exhaustion.
What in the world is going on? Well, this is my take; see if you can relate.
Everyone has their own physical busyness. For me right now it’s trying to wrap up the homeschool year well with my three kids, researching and writing my next novel (fun, but it does require time and energy), and tackling my stuff to figure out list. And yes, that list really exists.
Now insert your own life responsibilities and I’m sure you know what I mean. Life doesn’t stop.
Not only are our lives full of physical busyness, they’re full of emotional busyness. If you have any meaningful relationships, you can’t help but carry their burdens to some degree, along with your own. And if you have kids in your life, another layer is added as you help them navigate their emotions. Add to that difficulties you may be having reconciling differences with family, friends, school, and church, and that’s one heavy load.
And so far we’re only talking about normal, non-pandemic life!
Now let’s consider the impact COVID has had. Last spring, when COVID shut down the country, most of us were ready to buckle down, wear our masks, and social distance while things got figured out. The virus was unknown and therefore quite intimidating. We were and are team players, wanting the best for everyone.
As last year drew to a close, the shut-downs became frustrating. Yes, the virus is real, and yes, it has taken lives, and I don’t for a second belittle the tragedy in each life lost. But even as stats began to show that the vast majority of COVID patients never needed hospitalization, and of those who did, the vast majority of them survived, society remained in a state of panic…or at the very least, indifferent to the restrictions that were causing so many problems.
Businesses closed left and right—forced into closure by mandates which the people had no say over. Mental health problems skyrocketed. Job loss is a huge risk factor for the maltreatment of children; without diving into research, we can make some pretty solid assumptions in that department.
So where does that leave us?
We’re left with a society who is feeling beaten and bruised. It’s like swimming in a lake with your bratty cousin who keeps dunking you. You try to come up for air and immediately get your head pushed back under.
You rise to the surface for a breath, and the arguments between democrats and republicans push you back down.
You gasp for breath again, and people try to convince you that you’re racist…you find yourself back under water.
You come back up, and find people trying to teach your elementary-aged children that their families are racist and that they should explore changing their gender, and you get pushed back down. The water is up your nose now and you’re starting to choke.
The president steps on our free country as he declares you must get vaccinated or wear a mask indefinitely…maybe this time you sink back down voluntarily for a bit. It takes too much energy to rise back up only to be shoved back down.
Here’s the thing. Destructive viruses are not new. Biased media is not new. Overreaching government is not new. Agenda-driven radicals are not new. Read any history book and you’ll see these things time and time again.
These things may not be new, but boy, are they ever exhausting. We’re being required to carry heavier burdens than most of us have borne before, with no end in sight.
Thankfully, there are four simple strategies for keeping our heads not only above water, but planting our feet on solid ground. This is how we can live victoriously in an exhausting world:
- Run to Jesus. Plain and simple, this is the most powerful way to be revived when life is pulling you down. Jesus says in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” He’s not kidding; this is life-changing stuff. And don’t forget that spiritual warfare is real. We can be victorious by partnering with Jesus.
- Connect. We were designed for relationships and community, and without them we aren’t all we were meant to be. If you find yourself lacking these things, seek them out. It just might change your life.
- Refuse to give in to hate and fear. Racism cannot be healed with more racism, and hate cannot be wiped out with more hate. The only way we can move forward is with an abundance of love and grace—for everyone, not just those with whom we agree.
- Turn off the news. Don’t be ignorant about the world’s goings-on, but maybe give yourself a limit. The more news we ingest, the more cynical we become and the less likely we are to find peace.
Give these four things a try and let me know if you see a difference in your level of exhaustion. And remember what my mom always says: One day at a time.
I’d love to hear from you, so leave me a comment to let me know your thoughts! Tell me how you’re dealing with this world of ours, and how I can pray for you!