The “I AM” series tells the story of God - one name at a time. The Bible contains the stories of thousands of individuals who all searched for meaning, purpose, and an understanding of who they really were. And in discovering God’s identity, they discovered their own. Here we echo those discoveries with the tale of our own journeys to discover the great “I AM.”
Let’s be honest with each other, shall we? I have more gifts and joys in my life right now than I ever thought possible, and yet I simultaneously feel worn down. Exhausted. Weary.
It feels wrong to write that. Perhaps it sounds like I’m not grateful for everything that God has given me in this beautiful, albeit challenging, season of life. Believe me, I am extremely grateful. Two beautiful children, an incredibly supportive husband, a roof over my head, loving friends and family, and good health. Yet in the beauty of life, I am becoming more acutely aware of its thorns. The brokenness of this world is undeniable, and I feel it.
Do you feel the brokenness? Are you tired? Overwhelmed? Overstimulated? Even in the middle of joy, do you carry a heavy burden?
I am more open to telling others about my struggles than I once was, because I now know that I’m not alone. I can tell you that I am grateful and joyful, while also admitting that I am overwhelmed and grieving, and I think you understand what I mean. I love my children more than I ever thought possible, but I’m heartbroken that I have friends that continue to struggle with infertility. I have a busy life filled with playdates and tiny voices and snuggles, but I’m more aware of my impatience, my need to control, and my weaknesses than ever before.
God’s light shines brightly in our lives right now, but the darkness that seems to be expanding and growing darker around me weighs heavy on my mind and my heart. Maybe you’ve experienced this darkness firsthand this year. Maybe through death in your family, a job that was lost, or trust that was broken. It might be hard to muster up joy when it feels like life has chosen you as its punching bag. While that is not my story right now, it has been, and what you’re feeling may be scary, isolating, and confusing. I get it. How does one hold onto hope when it’s difficult to come up for air?
I could tell you to count your blessings, and while that may be an effective tool for finding joy, counting your blessings doesn’t make other heavy and challenging struggles disappear. You could have all the blessings in the world right now, but that doesn’t change the fact that this world is desperately broken. That’s what I’ve been experiencing lately. So, here is what I’ve been doing when the burden seems too heavy, when anxiety begins to rise, and when the darkness creeps in unexpectedly…
I close my eyes, take a few deep breaths, and meditate on the truth that the same God who created the universe is the same God that I will literally meet face to face in just a few short years in heaven. While my circumstances on earth will never be a reliable source of joy, God calls himself my Everlasting Father and promises a reliable future in heaven because of the life he gave through his Son, Jesus.
I’ve heard it said many times… This world is not my home. But do I always believe that? The idea of “eternity” sounds fantastical and distant, but it is, in fact, very real and coming very soon, and I must remind myself of this reality constantly. Daily. Hourly.
When it’s time for me to cross over from this world to my forever home, I know that God will be waiting for me with arms wide open, saying, “Welcome home, Caitlin. I’ve always been here and I’m never going to leave. Ever. I am your Everlasting Father.”
While you may be feeling weak and tired, you have a Father fighting for you that never grows weary, and his love for you will last for eternity. There is no end to his love for you, and because of that you can be confident that you will never, ever, ever be alone. He is there for you now, and he will be with you for eternity. He is your everlasting Father. These aren’t my words; this is truth found in God’s own words to us. Check out Isaiah 40:28 –
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
Please, friend, if you’re feeling exhausted, know that you’re not alone. I am fighting exhaustion daily, and I’m doing it by setting my eyes on eternity, on my Everlasting Father.