Dear friends, I just felt like I needed to share from my heart with you today. To share what’s been happening behind the scenes here At the Picket Fence.
You see, every day for months now I’ve been pouring my heart out as I’m writing our book. We’re so humbled and thrilled that we have this opportunity that I’ve been hesitant to share the other side of it. The side that has been challenging and has pushed me to my absolute limit. It’s truly the most emotionally draining thing I’ve ever done. Early on, a fellow author friend advised me that the most important thing I can do while writing is to make sure that I’m staying in God’s word and getting replenished. But, what I’ve found is that as quickly as I am replenished, I am drained once again. And around and around I go.
I so desperately want to be sharing fun crafts and recipes here with you but all of my creative juices are going into the book (and oh you guys we have some wonderful projects awaiting you in the book!). I have stories I want to tell you and conversations I’d love to engage in with you but after hours on end of writing and creating I feel completely empty. Every last ounce of energy I have goes to trying to take care of my family and keep my home running so that by the time my head hits the pillow at night I find myself almost numb from the fatigue.
I’ve been thinking about David lately. There is no denying the anguish he is experiencing as he writes these words in Psalm 38. “All my longings lie open before you, Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you. My heart pounds, my strength fails me, even the light has gone from my eyes.”
David is weary. He is discouraged. He feels drained. He’s reached the end of himself.
And I get it.
Because right now, I’m weary. I’m discouraged. I feel drained. I feel isolated.
I feel as though I’ve reached the end of myself.
And reaching the end of yourself is frightening. It’s in this place where I find that I’m the most vulnerable. The most exposed.
When I am the most weary, the most discouraged, the most numb, I find that I’m also the most tempted to give into feelings that I know are not from the Lord. It’s there that all of my fears and insecurities rise to the surface and because I feel so emotionally depleted, I feel as though I have very little left to fight back against those feelings.
Regularly throughout this journey, I have felt as though I’m bobbing up and down in the ocean, my head just barely staying above the water line. And out of one corner of my eye I can see a huge wave looming in the distance, threatening to overtake me and pull me under. But, out of the other corner of my eye, I see a lifeboat on the horizon. The sight of it giving me hope of rescue.
2 Corinthians 4 says, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed but not driven to despair; persecuted but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifest in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.”
In that moment, when I’ve reached the end of myself, I realize that I have choice to make. I can either give into the doubts and fears and insecurities, allowing them to paralyze me. Allowing them to keep me in the same spot, bobbing up and down until the wave comes and crashes over me.
Or I can see that moment as an opportunity. An opportunity to experience ‘surpassing power’. It’s the chance to experience something so amazing, so miraculous. The chance to know, without a doubt, that as I am daily responding to this call He has placed on my life, the strength to accomplish it doesn’t come from me. It comes from Him.
Not only is He the lifeboat on the horizon, but His surpassing power will give me the strength I need to stay afloat until I can reach it.
The reality is that reaching the end of ourselves means we’ve finally reached the beginning of a new understanding of the Father’s love for us.
And let me tell you, this is where the really good stuff happens. The messy, hard, amazing, beautiful good stuff.
It’s in this place where I have continually had it affirmed that I am simply a vessel. A vessel which has been emptied of what was once there in order to be refilled by the Lord so that what is poured out reflects HIM and not ME.
So, why exactly am I telling you all of this? Because not only do I want you to be apart of this journey with us, but I also want you to know that if you have reached the end of yourself, well, I understand.
And I’d like to pray for you.
If you feel so inclined, please leave me a comment telling me how I can come alongside you.
We’re all in this together, after all. And while our circumstances might be different, the journey to the end of yourself is one that we shouldn’t do alone.
Thank you for letting me share some of my journey with you here today!
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”