A4821D0F-284A-445D-B6B3-756D831B945FOkay, so you all know how much I love music and most of my feelings come from the songs I hear on the radio, mainly, Way FM, sometimes Klove. I was recently in the car and heard “Oh My Soul” by Casting Crowns and the song literally made me cry. I didn’t realize how much I hold in and internalize at times because I take on other’s people’s burdens, along with carrying my own!

This past year has made my entire being weary! Not in a bad way because all things are good and all situations are meant as a life lesson.

As we all know, my prodigal daughter came home last April and it’s been a whirlwind of activity and a flurry of emotions on any given day!! She returned “home” so to speak and in May my husband was ordained so he could perform the wedding of Olivia and Nick. Then in July Olivia was having some issues and had surgery, then in August Olivia announced she was expecting her first baby! In December, I “retired” from a job I adored and we (my husband and I) helped Olivia and Nick buy a home. Around the first of 2017 Olivia was experiencing some complications with her pregnancy and after a small scare of “her leukemia may be back” we found she has multi-factorial anemia and will seek treatment lifelong. Thank God it is something we can maintain – but the months and treatments that followed were a bit scary. She had one bad reaction to the iron – which sent a team of nurses running her way – and I was shocked at how calm I remained during this episode. In April, our Little Man (as I call him) arrived and I am over the moon with the love I feel for these three kids – along with my wonderful husband. And, in all this activity, my parents and I have take HUGE steps in reconciling our relationship. All good things, and all wonderful joys of life.

So why doI feel weary and worry? Why do I feel physically drained and almost empty at times? All through Olivia’s turmoil I was continuing to take care of my house, my husband, finish up my two year Bible course on Monday nights, Bible Study with the ladies on Tuesday morning, lunches with friends, trying to establish a new career for myself….I was feeling completely exhausted, couldn’t really focus on anything.  I went to the doctor in April as I felt maybe my auto-immune disorder was manifesting itself into ANOTHER auto-immune disorder – as these diseases tend to do.  It was during these tests and doc visits I learned I need to slow down.

I graduated from my two-year Discipleship Class in May and the day after that class was over (or at least one day during that week) I slept almost all day. Just exhausted.  And then I just stopped.

In the last six weeks I began to wonder as I felt my spiritual life was suffering from all the stress, commotion, joys – just life in general if I was becoming someone I didn’t want to be. Was I letting God down, and I was almost embarrassed to ask my accountability partners about this situation I felt. Instead of asking anyone, I began the countdown to my Annual Beach Babes Vacation of 2017!!! This vacation would be the renewal I needed. The time to Rest, Reflect, Renew!!

Then, the guilt started to kick in. My husband is awesome, my kids are doing well, Little Man is completely adorable! Why do I need to get away? Why am I wanting to escape? Then it all hit me like a ton of bricks. The reasons – if I am to be honest – fear of Olivia and Nick walking away from me because they “don’t like something I say or do”, maybe messing up and my husband wanting a divorce, losing friends because I’m not good enough, just giving up because of something from my past creeping in and Satan creating doubt! (It’s a daily cross I pick up). Being “there” for everyone and everything, never wanting to tell anyone “no”…it’s exhausting at times and taking a toll on my mental state!

I get worried, weary, fearful, I may quit reading my Bible, or doing a Bible study, but I keep listening to my music and praying – sometimes hourly, sometimes, moment to moment. I pray for strength, comfort, guidance, patience, empathy, heart softening, discernment, self-control, etc. On one of my many traveling sessions from here to there to everywhere, I heard this song…

Oh, my soul, Oh, how you worry (daily)
Oh, how you’re weary, from fearing you lost control (have I lost it yet??)
This was the one thing, you didn’t see coming
And no one would blame you, though
If you cried in private (in the shower always), if you tried to hide it away, so no one knows (my husband always does know)
No one will see, if you stop believing (my heart will know though)

Oh, my soul
You are not alone
There’s a place where fear has to face the God you know (I’m so glad for HIM!)
One more day, He will make a way (He always leads my way!)
Let Him show you how, you can lay this down (and not pick it up again?)
‘Cause you’re not alone

Here and now
You can be honest
I won’t try to promise that someday it all works out
‘Cause this is the valley
And even now, He is breathing on your dry bones
And there will be dancing
There will be beauty where beauty was ash and stone
This much I know
(thank you for this promise of renewal)

Oh, my soul
You are not alone
There’s a place where fear has to face the God you know
One more day, He will make a way
Let Him show you how, you can lay this down
I’m not strong enough, I can’t take anymore
(You can lay it down, you can lay it down)
And my shipwrecked faith will never get me to shore
(You can lay it down, you can lay it down)
Can He find me here
Can He keep me from going under

Oh, my soul
You’re not alone
There’s a place where fear has to face the God you know
One more day, He will make a way
Let Him show you how, you can lay this down
‘Cause you’re not alone
Oh, my soul, you’re not alone

I have a hard time, even now, remembering I’m not alone. Even in my prayer corner I’m not alone. He is always with me. Such a comfort to know that God knows when I’ve been worrying, anxious, stubborn, ungrateful, too emotional to get out of bed at times.

In the weeks since my beach vacation, I haven’t had a day of rest yet, I am plugging along meeting the demands of life but, I’m learning even when I am feeling this way, and beating up on myself, first and foremost God sees me and knows my heart. My heart is always with Him first, my husband second, and everyone else comes in third, fourth, fifth, etc. I don’t need to feel guilty for feeling tired, for feeling weary, for worrying.   So I take a deep breath, pray for strength and keep moving.  And when I look at photos of the Little Man, or read the note my husband leaves on the fridge every morning, I am refreshed.  I don’t feel so weary.  I know I have a future with a husband who loves me, and a chance to be a great Mom and Mimsey to the kids.  I get to see a better part of me for who God gave me to bless.

Isaiah 41:10 Don’t be afraid, because I’m with you; don’t be anxious, because I am your God. I keep on strengthening you; I’m truly helping you. I’m surely upholding you with my victorious right hand.

I need to let go of my fears, God does tell me not to borrow trouble, I need to let it all go and rest in Him first. My thoughts need to be in Him and Him alone and all else will be revealed in His time. My life, my worries, my weariness, it’s all in His hands. Therefore, I am not alone and can pray my fears away. He’s got this. I can be weary.  He’s got me.   I can be renewed.  He is my Provider. I can be restored.  He is my Protector. He will always show me the way. Oh, my soul, I am not alone.

Matthew 28:20 …And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.