Dear Friend, Words for When Your Week Already Feels Weary

Last week, I was standing in line at a coffee shop and ran into an old friend of mine.

She is the director of an outdoor learning center where students and families gather to learn about agriculture and the food industry – how our food goes from farm to processor to table. This center was a dream for my friend, a seed that was first planted as an idea over 15 years ago and that is now in full growth. It’s a place where she thrives, and the center thrives right along with her.

While we waited for our coffee, I asked her about how their summer season went. She described a dozen or more weddings, seminars and school trips, board meetings and big fundraising campaigns, all leading to the most well-attended and successful season of events that the center has ever had. And those milestones were ushering in a busy fall season too! A harvest festival, another couple of weddings, and a big fundraising push.

Things have just been crazy,” she said to me. “I’ve been calling this the season of grit and grace.

Unknowingly, she gave words to what I was feeling in that moment. And maybe this is where you find yourself today, too.

Busy is where I’m coming from, and busy is where I’m going. 

Maybe the summer was fun and full for you, weddings and travel and everyday adventure breathing life into your schedule and spirit. Maybe the fullness of the summer was a sort of drug, making you feel light and free as you moved from pool to party and back again.

And maybe the fall looks just as full. Work is moving at warp speed, demanding that you keep up with it. Homecomings and fall break trips and big projects are on your horizon, and it makes you excited, but you get a little weary when you think about fitting everything into the limited hours you have.

Maybe for you, like my friend, things are good! You know that you’ve made good choices – brave choices – that have lead you to the important work you’re doing. You are living out of your dreams and gifts, showing up to for your work and meetings and loved ones, trusting that day-to-day faithfulness makes a difference.

Maybe there’s nothing really wrong. Maybe there’s no apparent trigger to the emotions, the weariness. Maybe you feel fine.

Even so, my friend.

It’s okay to feel the grit, and it’s okay to need the grace.

Even if things are good, even if you have the job and the full schedule, the community and the routine, even if the summer brought you sweetness and the fall feels ripe with purpose.

Even so. We are never, ever without a need to be held by God in the midst of it all.

Even if your life might look good from the outside, it’s okay to feel the restless ache on the inside.

A busy, full life – which is undoubtedly a gift from the Lord – is not a substitute for our actual, loving Father. The grit and grind of daily life – even in its goodness – calls us back constantly to our need for his grace.

As I wrote about last week, I am in an awesome Fellowship program this year, and in our small group meeting this week, I shared that I’ve been feeling  restless lately.

I confessed to my peers: “The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know. I have so many more questions than answers.”

And in reply, a friend said: “That’s how you know it’s real. The tension, the grey area. That’s how you know that God is working.

He’s right, isn’t he? Isn’t this the call of our life as God’s people? To wrestle, to surrender, and to keep bringing it back to God? To keep telling him how much we need him? To thank him for the good things, and to ask for his grace in them anyway?

It’s okay to feel the grit, and it’s okay to need the grace.

 

Even if busy is where you came from, and busy is where you are going, there is a new reality that is already yours in Christ. The grit of the world will rub against you, but the grace of his presence will see you through.

The grace we often fail to give ourselves is always offered to us from His hand.

This week, I have been humbly reminded of how these two realities are achingly real, and also deeply hopeful. In that coffee shop line, in small group, in conversations with my mom, in quiet walks through the turning trees.

The grit, and the grace. The dying of the old to usher in the new. Our busyness giving way to the bold love of the Father.

It’s okay to sit here, friends. Indeed, that’s what it means to be human. The tension of life – the middle of the grit and the grace – is uncomfortable, but purposeful.

And maybe, we don’t have to numb it or ignore it.

Maybe, we need to sit with the tension. Maybe it’s not trying to hurt us, or make us ungrateful, or cause us to doubt.

Maybe it’s simply inviting us back to the grace of the Father, as we transition into new seasons, as we greet each new day.

Maybe in the middle of full questions and full seasons, we’re called to remind our weary hearts to find our true fullness – ever and always – in our maker alone.

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