For the past two weeks I have had severe tooth pain on-and-off, coupled with post-family-wedding exhaustion, and something that I couldn’t quite put a finger on. Seriously, I could only explain it like this: You know the feeling of tiredness when you wake up in the morning? Slowly your body wakes up, you drink your coffee, eat your breakfast, and then ready for the day– no longer weighed down by that tiredness. But for a fortnight, that feeling wouldn’t go away.
And so I tried not to blame myself for being lazy and good-for-nothing, just because I wasn’t sick enough to be bed-ridden. I could work, I still carried on house cleaning and spending time with family, but just constantly tired and dry.
What do we do when we are exhausted?
Well, one, get rid of that stinkin’ infection in your gums by going to the dentist. Yesterday I had a root canal, which needs to happen if a cavity gets to close to the nerve. Basically, they just kill the tooth by filling up the roots (or something like that– I’ve had a few and I really should know how it works more). It sounds horrible, but when killing the tooth and crowning it means stopping the pain you’ve been in for weeks from anything hot, cold, or sweet? I literally rejoiced at my dentist appointment. Obviously this is not ideal. Far from it– prevention is way better than repair. But weak enamel means my teeth are far more susceptible to cavities (for as long as I can remember), and every time this happens– I am reinvigorated to be crazy with flossing, Soni-caring, and so on.
Yet my tooth was not the only thing that was bothering me.
What do we do when we are emotionally exhausted?
Well, one, goodness gracious, rest. At university, in one year’s theme of leadership, they drummed into us… find out what fills your tank! In a profession such as teaching, it is easy to be burned to a snuff by just doing things that need to be done. Yet we were made to rest, too. And sometimes I think I have to look busy– I mean, come on, I’m doing DTS in less than two weeks and need to see a lot of money come in!
But what fills your tank, what makes you feel alive again when you feel the most parched? I sit on the living room couch, curled up with fluffy-blanket, watching When Calls the Heart on Netflix about a pioneer teacher and her romance. I find a new Pride and Prejudice sequel series on BBC, and read, read– read books like To Kill a Mockingbird (an American classic that escaped me in school, and instead was recommended to me by an Australian!) and then of course When Calls the Heart (because I always seem to read and watch in tandem). But still. Tired, tired.
What do we do, what do I do? I was still exhausted.
Instead of a book or a movie, last night I found myself staring at a different screen. My MacBook screen, late at night, Evernote open. I was writing to Jesus, because He was the only one awake in the house, and also because He’s the one who listens when every room is chattering loud, too. Then this comes on:
Over the mountains
Over the seas
Here, You come running
My lover, back to me
And I find myself crying.
When I feel the cold of winter
And this cloak of sadness, I need You
All the evil things that shake me
All the words that break me, I need You
I remember, I need Him.
Finally, this afternoon I found myself in the prayer room, because my good friend was brave enough to admit she wanted to go there, instead of continuing to just hang out and talk after coffee.
I agreed. I needed it, too.
And it was there I heard these words:
I’m serious about getting you here, Kayla Norris. It’s time to be serious about spending time with me because you can’t do this without me.
What do we do when we’re exhausted? Let go. Listen. And just be with Him. It’s in His presence I remember– Jesus is the only one that will get me through the upcoming week of raw, tearful, hyper-excited whirlwind marked by travel and transition. He’s the only one that will walk with me through every trial-filled adventure in the upcoming months of training.
All through the valleys
Through the dark of night
Here, You come running
To hold me till it’s light
It was quarter to eleven tonight, and I can’t say I wasn’t tired. That’s only natural– it’s time to rest. Yet, between waking and sleeping?
I see someone who is running
refreshing the driest part of me.