“You won’t need the sun to brighten the day or the moon and lamps to give you light. The Eternal One will be all the light you ever need. Your God will provide your glory, brilliance for all time. Your sun will never set; your moon will never be eclipsed in shadow, For you’ll bask in the Eternal’s light and silver splendor forever. Never again will you suffer the dark night of despair and gloom of mourning.” Isaiah 60:19-20
Happy Summer, everyone! I hope that all of you lovelies enjoyed my last post. Thank you so much for stopping by to hear my heart today! I have another confession, I have an unfortunately low tolerance for stress. I honestly shut down at the first taste of feeling overwhelmed… Just one of the many reasons I am so thankful to have Byron as my almost-husband. I’ve never seen anyone who can deal with so many issues at once, and still shine so brightly without dimming under pressure. I’m getting better at handling the feeling that I’ve disappointed someone, or the stress of learning how to handle money, work two jobs, volunteer at church AND get ready for marriage! I know there’s so much more that a lot of you deal with on a daily basis, but just to be transparent here: most days I feel like I’m underwater.
When I was growing up, I never had pressure from my parents to be “perfect”. Never pressure from them, or church or friends. Just from myself. For some reason I operated under this microscope that I made for myself. It wasn’t until one random day in Australia, I realized I was actually dying under the hot lights of perfection I placed above me disguised as a halo.
I don’t know how this happened, but in my quest to please God, please my family, please these outrageous standards I’ve set for myself, I disconnected so much from not only myself, but from God. I didn’t want my family to know how much I was hurting on the inside, so I tried so badly to be happy and smile and make people laugh like normal. But in my private moments alone, I was so frustrated and displeased with myself that I would be surrounded by total darkness. I didn’t make room for the light of Jesus but was still trying to be “salt and light” in front of others. You know what? The energizer bunny is a perfect example of what I was. I was running around, beating my drum trying to be adorable and loudly sweet to distract from the pain needing attention inside of my heart.
The light I was shining was temporary, it was synthetic and too bright to be real. For me to want everyone to think everything was perfect and sunny and happy all the time was the contributing factor to being burned out. I was constantly turning my light on for people and off when I was alone because I was trying to conserve the energy I had. Maybe you can relate to this, if not deeply then maybe just on those random days when you’re feeling low. But either way, I am typing this to tell you I’ve been there. Sometimes I still go there if I’m being real!
The reality is, sometimes we feel so deprived of true joy, true friendship and light and we don’t know “what’s wrong with us”. Especially women, I find us giving out so much. Taking care of so many. Being married, working jobs, going to school, holding our families together … We don’t realize that we’re living off of batteries instead of being connected to the source of eternal and effortless light that is Jesus. I was definitely living off of batteries, just like that energizer bunny. So temporary, an external connection rather than an internal relationship.
It wasn’t until I connected myself to Jesus not just in my deeds, but in my faith. Not just in acts of christianity, but in a friendship with my Father. It was then that I was able to actually leave the lights ON. Instead of flipping them off and on to conserve what was left of myself for other’s. When you realize that your identity is in Him, you don’t lose yourself in the pressure of perfection…Because He’s perfect.You can leave the lights on not just to shine bright for other’s but in your privacy with God… He sustains you. His source never gives out, it never dims or dilutes. So it’s not your energy that keeps the lights on in your heart, but HIS presence that does.
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
This is just a reminder today to stay plugged into the Source, give up the batteries and pressure and fear of being “on” for everyone else. And let your Father keep you above the waves.