What I do when I’m losing my mind.

You’ve been stuck inside your house for so long you can’t remember what the sun feels like. Everything starts feeling really heavy.
You want to sleep, but you also don’t, you feel like everything’s falling apart.

Do you know what I mean?

Suddenly it makes sense to throw a 3 year old style tantrum and curl up on the floor until you find motivation to get up.
You just want to scream or cry or run away, but also do none of those things at the same time.

Anybody out there hearing this?

If you live in the Northeast, or know anyone who does, you probably know that we got a typical March Northeastern Storm this weekend. Upstate NY is used to it, but we still got hit with a solid 20 inches of snow, and it was heavy and wet enough to cause large-scale power outages across the state.

I took these pictures today, so things are already starting to melt and clear up. But yesterday went from being an exciting, novelty snow-day where my husband and I got to hangout together and be cozy in our apartment, to me feeling like I was trapped inside of a cell and I couldn’t get out.

Dramatic, I know. The brain is weird.

I had such great plans of getting my homework done early, spending time in the Word, finishing up a few projects, and watching a movie with my husband.

But then the power went out and I couldn’t do anything:

  • no homework
  • no projects
  • no productivity

As the sun went down, so did my attitude.

Even the next morning I had such a weight over me that I wanted to just give up (that was after a sweet hangout with my family and their generator, and my husband’s tireless love, praise God).

So, what could I do? I wanted to scream and cry and hide in my bed until I hated myself so much I slept for days. Real talk here.

But I didn’t. Instead, I did these 3 things:

1. I opened my blinds and let the sunshine in.

Honestly, I know myself, and when I can’t go outside and get fresh air or sunlight, I start to lose it. Yesterday proved that in a real way. SAD is a real thing, people. Just opening my blinds and feeling those rays made me realize I wasn’t completely dead yet.

2. I cleaned my kitchen table.

It wasn’t like my house was a disaster, but to me it felt like a disaster. So I cleaned my kitchen table off and made it look nice. Just that simple action of clearing a space and throwing away some trash made me feel so much lighter. I was reminded that I had today, a fresh, clean start to be productive and to get things done. Yesterday may have been a wash, but today was clean and new.

3. I turned on some worship music.

Classic spiritual warfare. I knew that a lot of my struggle was that I wasn’t reaching out for help. Instead, I was letting my negative emotions spill over and pour out on my husband (and it got kinda messy, yikes). I needed to change the atmosphere, and after doing the first two things I mentioned above, it was easier to focus on what was really necessary.

Turning on these songs helped me to remember that my struggle is not my own. It was like a baby step of obedience; by changing the atmosphere in my apartment, I was saying: “Jesus, I know You’re the One who can help me the most.

 

None of these ideas are new or revolutionary, nor do I consider this an exhaustive list. But, sharing my real struggle this weekend might resonate with someone. I don’t always have it all together, and multiple times I have to say, “Josh, I’m struggling”.

I realize that I am surrounded by grace, and I have a God that is so loving and patient with me. I’m thankful that my bad days aren’t who I am, nor are they the whole story.

Sometimes taking a tiny thread of motivation and doing something simple will help you remember that you’re not finished yet.

Finally, here’s a beautiful song that I feel sums this up completely; give it a listen if you want to be inspired.

 

Thanks for reading, you are dearly loved.

Walk.

I’m sitting in the cold church, with my laptop, on an office chair, at the table that usually holds snacks on Sunday mornings and chatting teens on Friday nights; my husband is painting the nursery just down the hall. It’s 8:46 pm and I’m working on theology homework, thinking about curriculum within ministry, pondering what tomorrow’s youth group will look like, praying for direction, and sipping cold LaCroix while I’m still wearing my coat over-top of my jacket because it’s colder in here than outside.

Isn’t this the life I dreamed of having? Aren’t these little moments the ones I lived for?

I remember being 17-ish and hearing God say something along the lines of “your life is not going to be normal.

At first I thought that meant a million exciting things, and I was ready to sell everything I had and give my last dollar away to the poor. I was fired up and nothing felt more worthy than the King of Kings, Jesus, and whatever plans He had for me. But “abnormal” doesn’t always mean “special”, unless you look at it that way.

Now I realize, when I’m staying up until midnight every night pulling together all the loose ends of my days that are full of a thousand things:

maybe not being normal means saying “no” to things that most would say “Yes, yes!” to.

maybe not being normal means giving away every extra minute to try and show love to people who don’t receive it.

maybe not being normal means giving away the things that feel comfortable.

maybe not being normal means taking the risks that don’t have explanations.

In 2011 we drove over the river to bring a friend home and I heard Him so clearly,

“Do you want to walk on water?”

I said, “yes!” and thus began the greatest summer of growth I’ve ever had. It doesn’t make sense to the human mind, I can’t explain it through science or logic or simple terms. But I know Him, I trust Him, and each step I take in faith brings more joy than I can explain.

So, this week as I walked over the river, again and for the thousandth time, I felt this same sense of asking:

“Will you follow Me, no matter what?”

How can I say anything but yes?

Stay tuned, friends.