These are the words that were placed onto my heart the moment I prayed to God as I sat on my desk at work. It’s been a rough month for me; Taking care of my family, serving my church, being a part of my church’s connect groups, blogging, writing, empowering young girls and women, helping out my community, running a business, jogging down ideas for upcoming events, taking care of my pets, working the graveyard shift full-time, finding time for my social life, etc. Whew! Hello adult life.
Often when I shift my focus on to others, I would forget about myself. But for someone with a chronic illness, doing so means that I pay for the consequences. I’ve felt extremely ill although I don’t show it. My body begging to rest and my mind is foggy because of that. I’ve poured out all that I can to the last drop. I would feel angry at myself and this small butterfly shaped organ inside of my neck. I would blame my thyroid for limiting myself.
Yes, I am hard on myself. I am always on the move. It saddens me when someone does not understand that I am ill and need to rest, so when I cancel plans know that it is not intentional. My days and hours are unpredictable. I am always there for others and even go out of my way because I love them that much. Yesterday I remembered why I took breaks so that I can renew my mind, body, and soul.
Be gentle with yourself, you’re doing the best that you can.
I flipped to a page in my book, A Sense of Hope, titled “A Note to My Younger Self.” I wrote a note explaining how far I’ve come and thanked myself for not giving up when I knew how badly I’ve tried to end it all as a child. I have a big heart that wants to share the love I have. I told myself that I need to pay attention to my blessings and to always give. I also said to be gentle with myself because of how hard I am.
The night before, I declared that nothing and no one would rob my joy at work. I routinely put on worship music and cried out to God. I told Him to fill me up as my cup was empty. His presence felt like peace and all my tears went dry. His love was filled into my heart, then I became silent. Joy over filled me after. I was then at peace.
A guest walked into the lobby and as I checked him in, we began to have a random conversation. It was nice to have a guest that wasn’t demanding, yelling, and threatening me. Once I finished, he gave me money and asked that I take it because he could tell I was going to deny it. He told me it’s because I was really sweet and that God has blessed him so that he can bless others. Once he left, I immediately thanked God and prayed for that man because he has so many health issues. I prayed for his wife and family as well because we talked about her. I thanked God for blessing me and never forgetting about me.
Going back to that note, it freed the stress and anger I felt towards myself. A lot of us are constantly at work but do not take the time out for ourselves to just enjoy life. You become overwhelmed and stressed out. You’re not able to love others the same way because you’re not the same. I grew up watching my parents pour onto others and doing all they can without resting. They eventually lost who they were. They shut the Lord out of their lives because they were physically and emotionally drained. They were also hurt when our old pastor kicked us out of the church simply because my parents gave way too much and he was done using them. Believe me when I say I pray for them more than I pray for myself. I pray that they get back in a church and surrender their lives back to Christ.
Be gentle with yourself. For those who are like me, remember you’re doing the best that you can and if God places you somewhere, He will guide you through that path.
Rest your heart.
In the midst of it all, you must find time during your busy day to spend with God. Don’t ever use being too busy as an excuse. He is in control and have the whole world in His hands yet still have time for us. Your excuses are as small as grains of sand. You cannot pour onto others from a cup that is empty.
You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings.