The season of life I am in is just crazy.
I have never been so active and so outgoing in my entire life until these past few weeks.
There was never a weekend that I had a complete cycle of sleep. Planning for friends surprise birthday celebrations and being physically present on the celebration day itself. Mind you, my friends and I here in Thailand live hundreds of miles away from each other. So if you really love them, be ready for a one hour to two hours drive away from Bangkok.
Everything just landed all at the same time. I have friends who have asked to hang out with me and got the same, generic response: “I’d love to! I’m crazy busy. Can we plan something in, say, 2 weeks?”
I’ve had two farewell parties, a new work to get used to, ministry events, a sister visiting from another country, picnics, playdates with my favorites kids in the world, family dates with some of lovely couples from our church, a half marathon thing that I have to conditioned myself into… and yes, my dirty clothes are now piling up. Like I said, crazy.
And, by no surprise, I’m going crazy. I’m sending messages and emails that have missing words all over it (Not silly typos, but actually missing important, hey-this-is-needed-to-make-sense, chunks of messages). I went to the grocery last Saturday to buy snacks for Kids Church, only to find out that I would forget to bring it the next day. Oh heavens, I ended up buying bags of new snacks. Imagine the wasted effort and money. Sigh. Let’s not even talk about the last time I forgot the sandwich I bought from 7/eleven. Ha ha ha.
I am desperately extroverted-out as I hadn’t had a second to myself in over 48 hours (Yes, all you introverts out there, I saw that shudder). I was pouring coffee in me like there was no tomorrow (I am not a coffee drinker which means this is a big thing), trying to squeeze in a few more meet ups this week, while answering emails and making a game plan of work for this month. I was wonder woman! Calling friends, scheduling plans, updating my parents from time to time, learning to pluck the guitar and hit the drums again,– watch out world, Joena can do it all.
Except, I can’t.
Today, I found myself looking at my planner. It is bursting out of erased plans, scribbles, and penciled question marks. I started laughing. So, it is true. I can’t do it all.
If you know me, you know how hard that is for me to accept. I try pretty dang hard. I try to do everything, to be everything. I’m the first person to volunteer; I’m the last to admit that I can’t help. I’ve found I use my faith as a crutch in this area, an excuse. Clearly, God wants me to serve others. Clearly, God created us for relationships. Clearly, God wants me in the church. I often think of that verse in Esther, “what if God has me right here, right now for such a time as this?” I can’t waste any opportunity, I should make the most of every. single. day.
Except that, more than anything, God just wants me to love Him – it is spending time with Him. He wants me to know Him. He wants me focussed on bringing glory to Him. Sometimes, yes, that is serving others. Not meeting up with friends only to not be present in the conversation because I’m mentally running through my check list for tomorrow. It’s saying no to the things that I want to add to my to-do list, so there is room for His to-do list.
That’s the key word here: I want to do so much. I want to be a super human. I want to be the best friend possible to every single person I meet, I want to serve in every ministry at church, I want to be able to say yes to every little thing.
But I can’t save the world. I can’t meet every need. I can’t host every friend who’s in town, I can’t mentor every high school girl who’s in need of a big sister, I can’t hang out with every person who I want to.
I can’t save the world. And I was never asked to.
I hear my Father encouraging me to rest. Relief will come from another place. Other people will fill those holes. Someone else will step up. If I will to die tomorrow, God’s work will still be going on in the world. I’m not as important as I tend to think. How often I forget that God doesn’t need me – I need Him. I’m learning when I feel like I need to save the world, I’m typically spending too little time with my Savior, the real Superhero.
So, I’m taking off my super hero cape. I’m fully acknowledging my limits – and even further than acknowledging them, I’m actually going to honor them. I’m learning how to say no (oh, what a looong process this has been). I’m leaving the saving of the world to the One who already has.
I’m going to take a nap. Literally. Figuratively. So many naps, in so many ways.