Nothing was wrong.
But I was suddenly standing in the kitchen, by myself, and it was quiet.
Do you know how rare that is? Chances are, if your life is even a smidge like mine, and you clicked on this link because your days are long… then you know.
It’s like this everything-is-wrong, but nothing-is-wrong-feeling. You made it to the end of the day. You find yourself breathing again and wonder if maybe you breathed all day. There certainly wasn’t any room for it. Even the intentional moments you set aside to breathe found themselves filled with worry or planning or mindless scrolling.
This is where I found myself – needing a breath. Trying to catch the ones that seemed to elude me for fourteen hours now. God, in His patient kindness, has been dying to show me just how to breathe lately.
It makes no difference if your life looks like mine; with little children who need you for their every waking moment. With people and responsibilities and relationships and a house that is never actually in order and goals to be healthy but also take time for myself to rest. And Christmas shop and stay in budget and meal plan and stay in budget and honor my husband who is worthy of all of the pieces of my heart.
Hear me: these spinning thoughts, these endless and cyclical moments will always be there unless we make choices. In the rare, holy moments, silence can find us. The end of the night when no one else is in the room and you suddenly know what you’ve needed all along. To be with Him.
But more often than not, the quiet doesn’t find us. We’ve got to seek it out. And it may not even feel quiet or silent on the outside. But on the inside, in the deep of our minds where all the thoughts race – this is where God is waiting to fill all the needs we didn’t even know were there. All the places that feel empty and used and exhausted, but we just think that’s normal. Everyone else is exhausted and unhappy and living out of a place of lack, so shouldn’t we, too?
No. You were created by a Father who gave absolutely everything so that you wouldn’t need to just survive. Your freedom that He sacrificed His son’s life for? It was simply for freedom.
“Let me be clear, the Anointed One has set us free – not partially, but completely and wonderfully free!” [Galatians 5:1 TPT]
Doesn’t that sound so good? Completely and wonderfully free. That’s how I’d like my days to feel. Yes, please. But guess what? Sometimes the days are still long. Some days nobody naps and you have to wait an hour to see the doctor and you spend twenty minutes scrubbing broccoli off the couch. Some days are just long.
But guess what? God is not concerned that you lost it today more times than you’d like to count. Or that you weren’t sure if you’d make it. Or even if you doubted if He’d get you through. His concern is if He gets to do it all with you.
As you dig for your breath, this is what He’s dying for you to hear:
I know it was a long day. I’ve been with you, and I’m here now. My grace is enough, it’s all you need. It’s not something you can work for. It just is. It’s always been. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.* So let me do My best work in you, right now. In your moment of weakness when you feel your lowest – this is exactly what I’m here for. I am the One who breathes life; let Me catch your breath for you. Let Me hold onto you the way you didn’t even know you needed. Let Me in. I promise, if you let Me, you’ll learn what this whole living free thing is about. Maybe even more in these long days.”
We’ve heard it all, right? The days are long, but the years are short. In the blink of an eye, these long days are just memories we wish we had grabbed ahold of better. But the time passes no matter what we do. All we can do is embrace our weaknesses in the long days and the short ones. To allow our Father to be the breath that escapes us, the energy that is always out of our grasp, and the joy that we couldn’t come up with on our own if we tried.
So God, tonight, as we take a deep breath, and close up the day, we let You in. We confess for the millionth time – we aren’t Superman. Life has tried to convince us that maybe we can be. We want to celebrate every place we are tired and weak, and allow Your strength to come into its own. So fill us up, God. We give you permission: even as we sleep tonight, to be our everything. And we’ll wake up tomorrow knowing that your mercy begins all over again. What a good God You are.
*2 Corinthians 12:9 msg