By: Lysa Terkeurst
A few weeks ago I drove to the airport in the pouring rain. The skies
were grey. The day felt a bit gloomy. And honestly, so did I.
There were just a lot of little things swarming my thoughts. Feelings
of inadequacy stinging. “There are so many things I’m responsible for
and never enough hours in the day. I do enough to keep things from
sinking. But I just wonder if I’m doing anything well. I don’t think I
am – doing anything well.”
The more I focused on these thoughts, the more overpowered I became. The more overpowered I became, the more withdrawn I felt.
I pulled into the parking space and started the fight with my
luggage. My suitcase has two wheels missing. And of course I keep
intending to do something about this. But I don’t have time. So I make
do with a crazy suitcase and a crazy life and a crazy sense I should
just pack my family up and move out west somewhere. Live on a ranch
where we grow our own food and I cook beans in a black pot over an open
Surely that would fix everything.
Except that I know it wouldn’t.
Because the chaos isn’t from my circumstances. It’s inside me.
I boarded the plane. I stared out the window. I watched the grey clouds envelop us.
And then the grey broke.
Suddenly, we rose above the clouds and the sun was shining crazy bright and far wide and fabulously clear.
The clouds were just a temporary covering. They didn’t stop the sun
from shining. They just prevented my eyes from seeing the sun. And it
wasn’t just the sky that appeared a little brighter. My mood did as
I started to shift from feeling overpowered to empowered as I realized three things:
* Just because I feel it doesn’t make it real.
Just like I felt the sun was gone but it was very much still there, I
might feel like I’m not doing anything well, but it doesn’t make it
true. The fact that I have weaknesses doesn’t make everything about me
weak. I have plenty of strengths.
All I have to do is ask a couple of my friends or my family members
to help me see what I do well. I can celebrate those, and then get a
plan for bettering things that need improvement. I can start by
identifying one thing to improve on this month. And do a little toward
making that one thing better.
* There are a lot of people who would trade their best day for my worst day.
Yes, I have a lot to manage. And yes, sometimes things get a little
foggy. But that doesn’t mean I have to stay swallowed up in the grey.
That means I need to get my head above the clouds and see all the many
places where the sun is shining brightly in my life. So, I can start
making a list of things for which I need to be thankful.
* My mind needs some space to think.
If I always run at a breakneck pace, I’m eventually going to break.
My mind is a powerful tool, capable of seeing things that can be done
more efficiently and effectively if I give myself time to think. When is
the last time I just sat quietly with a pen and paper and asked the
Lord to help me think?
If the clouds have been looming close lately, maybe it’s time to
stop. Pause. Lift your eyes to an altitude that can rearrange your
And if you happen to know where I can get some good luggage with sturdy wheels, do tell.