"We will never find our purpose in exhaustion.” – Maria Goff, Love Lives Here
My friend sent me this quote tonight.
If I’ve learned anything about myself in my mere 32 years, it’s that whatever I do has to have a sense of purpose. And, well, trying to live a purpose-filled life can be exhausting if we aren't careful.
Exhaustion strips my sense of purpose and skews my priorities quicker than my three-year-old can meltdown in Toys ‘R Us. When I become exhausted, these top priorities of mine suffer the most:
My relationship with God
My relationship with Scott
My relationship with my kids
My call to write
When I begin to feel exhausted, I can usually trace it back to my people-pleasing, perfection, or control issues. Maybe one, or all, of these is the reason for your exhaustion too.
3 Ways to Become Exhausted
I’ve been guilty of doing things because another human being thinks that I should. Then, I monitor whether I was successful by that person's satisfaction. Before I know it, it warps my mind into pleasing that person rather than God.
Happiness is a feeling that is ever changing. Chasing it in others will leave us weary, and striving to never let others down is humanly impossible.
It’s hard to say "no" and possibly let others down, but I'm learning that I don't always see the bigger picture.
Resisting people-pleasing frees me to rest for what God does have for me.
I was driving the other day and those exhausting thoughts starting swirling in my mind that I’ve worked so hard to rid myself of. I started listing reasons why I shouldn’t have agreed to write a blog post for another website if it wasn’t going to be done perfectly. I thought, “I need to find a way to take this over now.”
Then, I had another thought, "What if through imperfections I am able to show others Jesus?"
Luckily, I have had some growth in this area and my perspective shifted quickly. I gave it to Jesus. I found rest in my surrender of the article being perfect.
Suddenly, there’s purpose in what I’m doing. It's not always about everything working out perfectly.
I consider myself a humble person. I don’t have a strong personality or desire attention, but I am confident in my ability to get things done. Basically, I’m a soft-spoken control freak.
Control is a mirage that limits God. It stifles the work that He can do through us and others. I think that if I don’t do something that no one else will step up, or complete it as well as me. It's selfish, small-picture thinking that robs other people of opportunities for God to work through them.
I’m learning to give up the reins of control and not do it all. It’s hard, but I find so much rest in only following God’s call on my life.
Why Maria is Right
Maria’s right. We won’t be able to fully live in our God-given purpose if we are always exhausted.
Jesus says in Matthew 11:30, "For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
God doesn't call me to exhaustion, and it's not my responsibility to save (or organize) the entire world. Jesus already saved all of us by dying on the cross. I simply need to be faithful with the priorities right in front of me—my relationship with God, my family, and my call to write.
Time after time, when I’m tempted to take on too much, I hear God whisper, “Just write.”
So, I’ll be over here resting in the purpose and priorities God has given me and just writing.
What makes you exhausted? Comment below.
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