I tried to be the hero for a day
But all my super powers failed to save
So I turned in my ego and my cape
I was made to fly, but not this way
You’re my hero
You’re the only One
Who is strong enough
You’re my hero
You always pick me up
Before I self destruct
These words penned by Bethel Music Artist, Steffany Gretzinger, in her new album Blackout have been absolutely owning me. This song, Save Me, in particular has been on REPEAT. Seriously, girl… how did you get in my head like that? #spiritanimal
What I love so much about this song, is how incredibly gut level honest it is. You see, we have a chronic illness in the Body of Christ and it’s called “faker-itis”. This condition is diagnosed as the following: one who suffers from constant pretending to be okay when they are not, striving to prove oneself to others, God, or to themselves—mild to severe cases of perfectionism, negative self talk, and all symptoms related to the above. Side affects of every medication outside of Jesus, may lead to restlessness, self hatred, offense, bitterness, and a guaranteed case of exhaustion. (insert with soft music and birds chirping in the spring sun.)
After living so long with this illness, I was definitely suffering from all the above. Topped with a pretty red bow of chronic fatigue. Now hear me, from the outer world, most people would never guess that this was going on, because this condition does not bring alarm to one another until we hit rock bottom. Burnout. And the process of getting to that point is not pretty in the least. Maybe for you it’s not that extreme, but you know that you are not living in the peace, order, or consistency you so desperately long for. Well sister, I have one word for you, and you’re not going to like it…but it’s a massive key that we are missing in this puzzle piece and it’s this: VULNERABILITY.
Yep, the dreaded word that we as women especially have marked off the list. But until you realize that the Savior of your soul that already sees all, just wants for you to finally give Him those hurting places, the strength that your mind, body, soul, and spirit so desperately need will not come in its fullness.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30
We operate at our very best and strongest disposition when we are operating from a place of rest, but I cannot tell you of how many days off I have had and went to work the next day still feeling tired. Rest has two facets, physical and spiritual. You cannot have one without the other. But in a world that glorifies busy, both are usually highly neglected. Yet, we have Jesus telling us to come to Him and He gives us not a longer to-do list, but REST. His yoke is easy. His burden is light, but most of us translate easy and light to lazy. Yet we’ve never been so tired. Let’s stop the glorification of busy! We will accomplish so much more for His Kingdom if we operate from rest.
Where we are missing it, is that Jesus is saying, come to me, learn from me, I’m gentle and humble so you don’t have to put on the fake face— I will give you rest in exchange and teach you. But, so many of us just take that as a prayer, reading some scripture, done. No, sister. He’s so much more personal than that. Because if you’re honest with yourself, you have way more needs to be met than a quick prayer and reading a few scriptures. He wants to commune with you. He wants to show you His character and show you that there is more to who He is, and He’s just waiting for you to put down the fake strength, be vulnerable, and tell Him about the real burdens your carrying.
He’s not appalled, offended, or disappointed by this, He’s ASKING for you to do this. He can show you truth to every lie and give you a strength that is birthed from a daily vulnerable interaction with Him who gives you rest like no other. Not sure where to start? Here are a few pointers to help you kick off a journey of healing, rest, and strength.
- At the beginning of your day, give yourself some uninterrupted time to sit, put on some worship music if you want, and focus your attention on Jesus. Don’t go into prayer, repentance, or even journaling. I mentally will sometimes take every aspect of my life and hand it over to Jesus, and just tell Him that I give it to Him, until there is nothing left of me to hand Him and I’m just a daughter boldly and humbly approaching Him with no agenda but to sit in His presence. Don’t feel anything? No goosebumps? No worries. God is bigger than your emotions. In this moment, it’s not about what He can give you, but that we are willing to just empty ourselves and wait on Him.
- Journal out every thought, feeling, and emotion to Him. Then ask Him to give you ears to hear His voice, to silence your voice and any others, and ask Him what He thinks about what you have just poured out to Him.
- Write out your struggles. Sometimes I will list them one by one. And underneath each struggle, I ask Him to tell me what He thinks about this struggle. What is the lie I’m believing? Repent for the lie and then ask Him to tell you the truth. Write it down!
- Take care of yourself. Self care is NOT selfish. Take a nap, go for a hike alone, get a sitter and go get dinner with your girlfriends, buy a cute top, take a bubble bath, get your nails done, sleep in, eat healthier, give yourself time to work out once a week and build from there, start a hobby you’ve always wanted to try. Do something that brings LIFE to you. Binge watching Netflix does not leave you rested, it just checks you out mentally so you can escape what your reality currently is. (Yes, I did say that!)
The Lord is so kind and patient. But fakeritis won’t get you far with Him, yourself or anyone else for that matter. Let the walls down and give yourself permission to say, “I’m not okay.” “I have this need.” “I’m hurting.” “I am struggling with this.” to the One who holds the keys to your freedom.