February 6, 2017
The transition from winter break into daily life has been a hard change for this teacher over here. No longer can I stay up late reading and wake up late after the sun has risen (as opposed to hitting the snooze at 5:15 nowadays). The days are getting longer, the daylight sticking around just a minute or two more with each passing day.
Typically, January brings about a sense of rush, especially because goals are written all over for all to see. We feel like we need to reach our goals with immediacy, so we hustle and dive after them with all the energy we've got.
I don't know about you, but that always leaves me defeated and exhausted. And I'm not just talking about New Year's resolutions. I've grown up with a mentality that success is defined by what you produce. Your GPA and degrees, your job title, your relationships and whether or not you have a ring on your left hand.
Time and time again, I try to measure up. I run, step after step, after each goal, each dream, each step up the ladder called life. I want to reach these milestones and feel like it's up to me to reach them. I have a hard time accepting and asking for help (I don't struggle with pride at all, obviously). So I try and achieve these goals all by myself, as quickly as possible.
I had good intentions, but my follow-through desperately needed a complete overhaul. I found myself in heartbreak, disappointment, and doubt in God's goodness in my life. I was relying on my own energy, my own abilities (or lack thereof), and my own pride to get me through it all.
This year, I'm realizing my need to slow down. I keep thinking there's a timeline for life and that I'm unsuccessful if I don't get married, if I don't make this much money by a certain point in time. I look at everyone else running this race called life and feel like I'm the caboose, the one lagging behind striving to catch up.
But I've had to undergo a mindshift to realize that that's not how life works. We're all running this race together, but we all have different running equipment, different hurdles, and different paces that we run. We all have our own stories, our own challenges, our own miracles. Our race ultimately ends in heaven and Jesus. But how we get there all looks different.
So I'm choosing to slow down my pace. Choosing to take a deep breath and walk. I'm tired of being tired. Tired of feeling like I'm stuck. At first, it felt like slowing down would keep me stuck in place, but I'm learning that it's the complete opposite. Slowing down is moving me farther and faster and closer to God than I've ever been before.
I'm discovering what it means to rest (hello, after-work naps!), learning what it means to savor the present, and learning to let go of my ideals and trust that God's plans really and truly ARE better than mine.
So here's to slowing down, just enough to catch our breath and enjoy the scenery and seasons we're in and blessed to savor.