I felt as if I couldn’t get enough rest. My mind was in overdrive pretty much all day and night. Things felt heavy. Yet as I looked at my own life I couldn’t put my finger on why. I’m an optimist. I was cancer free after a year of surgeries. My marriage is sweet and good. I was surrounded by family and friends who I loved. There were lots of people who had harder things they were going through than me . . .

Yet those feelings were real. 

As Holley, Jennifer, and I were recording today’s episode of More Than Small Talk podcast (we podcast about 4 weeks out), we were talking about burnout. Something that was said in the conversation hit me between the eyes.

Burnout isn’t just about busyness. Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, or spiritual exhaustion.

And that’s when it hit me. That’s where I am. I’m burned out. Burned out from the weight of hurtful discussions in our world. Burned out from trying to make sense of all of it. Burned out from feeling protective over friends walking through such hard places. Burned out from isolation. Burned out from the pandemic and all that it means.

Maybe you feel that way too.

Don’t push down that feeling or make a list of why you shouldn’t feel that way.

Instead name it. When we name something, it removes the mystery. It allows us to talk to God about it.

Lord, I’m languishing. I’m exhausted spiritually, emotionally, and physically. You know my heart. I want to hold up all the good things you have done for me. I want to point out why I shouldn’t feel this way. Instead, I ask you to pour out your Spirit over these tired spiritual bones and bring life to me one more time. 

When we do this, we are bringing it to the Light.  We are holding up those places that are in flames to seek the water we need to put them out.

That will look different for each of us.

As I prayed, I realized I needed to intentionally surround myself with vibrant and life giving community. I needed to take a break from reading and absorbing all the things that were heavy.

I’ve been doing this for the past few weeks. I’m not there yet, but those burned out, bummed out places are filling up. Just yesterday Richard said, “Suzie, you seem more rested. I love that.”

If you feel bummed out, burned out, I see you. It’s been a really challenging year. There are a lot of weighty things we are grieving.

Name that feeling.

Ask Jesus, the giver of life, to show you the water you need in those burned out places. Give yourself permission to stop pushing through so you can pause and be refueled and refilled instead.

But most important, stop making that list of why you should be grateful or why you shouldn’t feel this way. God knows all of those things. He sees your grateful heart. Instead, lean into the Holy Spirit to find the source of that burned out, bummed out feeling for that is a courageous, strong, and beautiful move, my sweet friend.

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Resources just for you

  • God cares about how you feel

One of the most destructive joy stealers is the belief that God is disappointed in us when we are sad or struggling emotionally or spiritually. God not only created us to feel, but cares about how we feel. In my book, JoyKeeper: 6 Things That Change Everything You Thought You Knew About Joy, I share ways we can meet that joy stealer with truth. Read and download Chapter 1 absolutely free or find out all the ways you can get the book.