When you’re weary and merely going through the motions of the work you are called to do, you don’t feel strong. You feel weak. You think everybody must know how weak you feel and are.
You may travel this particular road for days, weeks, or months at a time. You struggle to find the motivation to do the work. You wonder if anything you do is worth the effort; after all, even the smallest of tasks seems to require herculean strength. You feel yourself pulled into the mire of discouraged thoughts – the thoughts that say you aren’t good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, funny enough, kind enough. The thoughts that say you’ll never make it or that you’ll always be alone. Who would want to work with you or be with you? You know, based on your day-to-day experiences, that you can be self-centered and altogether frustrating. You’re surprised when other people don’t seem to get nearly as irritated with you as you become with yourself.
You keep doing the work, though, and you hold onto the promises you have been given. You remember that someone does love you unconditionally. You listen to your friends who tell you you are amazing – even if you feel a niggle of doubt. You shut out the voices that grab at you and try to keep you in the darkness. You fight – second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour – for every glimmer of light. You hold onto that light. You use it to illuminate the darkness, and you find that you aren’t alone in it. Other people are just as trapped as you. Some of them are fighting, and some have surrendered to the darkness. You stoop to help those you can. You share what light you have no matter how pale and flickering it is. You understand, even if you don’t know how or don’t want to believe it’s possible yet, that you will find your way through this darkness and back into the light, and you want others to believe the same.
When that moment of freedom comes, you won’t hear any fanfare. No one will celebrate that you’re out of the darkness and in some sort of murkiness. No one, except your closest friend or family, may know the trial you have faced and overcome. No, on that day you simply will wake up, and your heart won’t hurt quite as much. You will find that the work again calls to you. You will wake up and find that you are strong.
Image: zimbamim (CC BY NC SA 2.0)