4 Steps to Overcome Being Soul-Weary
At the start of each year, I love setting goals. I like to set SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-based). So when I sat down with my husband to reflect over how things had gone this past year, it was easy to see why I have been feeling weary and hopeless. So many of the goals we had set for ourselves we didn’t even come close to reaching. Our 2022 December selves had thought these goals were SMART and with diligence would be attainable, and here we were sitting in our living room at the end of 2023 with not a lot to show for the efforts we put into these goals. I had set the goal to publish my first novel in April of last year, and it's the middle of December and I am still writing the first draft (yikes!). I had set the goal to grow in skills, in experiences, in finances, and in our family. And yet despite my best efforts, nothing seems to have grown. Looking back at the way this year turned out for our family feels discouraging, and disheartening. I can easily see why I feel soul-weary and worn down.
Sunday morning on my way to church I prayed, “God I don’t know how to feel refreshed, and I don’t want to be weary anymore.” and in my spirit I heard him invite me to abide in him. Not because he wants me to work harder, try harder, be better, more intentional, or strategic, but because he wants me to live in the abundance of his restorative, healing love. The invitation was to come, to bring our weary souls to him, and he will give us rest. Rest from our broken and flawed perception of life, rest from the ache of spiritual warfare, rest from the hurts of old wounds and new wounds. He said, “I will wrap you up tight in my blanket of reassuring love and open your eyes to see how abiding in my love and pouring it out for others and the world around you has healing power that revitalizes, restores, and renews both yourself and all things around you.”
When I considered this past year of my life with eyes filled with his love I saw that I have grown in patience, diligence, grit, and perseverance. I have endured many trials this year and yet instead of being worse for wear, I am stronger. I have had a year of being made strong: strong in my beliefs, my values, and my commitment to focus on spreading positivity and love.
Because of love, I worked hard each and every day to build a harmonious home for my family, filled with scents of delicious home cooked meals, music, and boisterous happy children. Because of love for my Heavenly Father, I was able to encourage others who were struggling to keep their eyes fixed on the only source of healing. Because of love I was able to have speech that was full of grace and seasoned with salt. Because of love, I was able to get up and face each day no matter what it might bring.
Love can change a perspective, it can energize you for the work on your plate, it can give you the strength to keep trying, keep enduring when you feel ready to give up all hope. Love conquers all. When Jesus invites us into a light load in Matthew 11:28-30, he isn’t saying you will never have to work or worry again. He is saying that a life energized by His love is a life so full of goodness that it makes all burdens light.
If you are looking on your life through weary eyes, I want to encourage you to do a few simple things.
Step 1: Go take a nap. I am pretty sure you need a nap. You can process and cope much better when you are well rested.
Step 2: After your nap, find time to go journal about the things that feel overwhelming, out of control, or wearying. I created a WEARY reflection journal to help you get started.
Step 3: Ask God to show you what his will is for your life in those areas and how to look at those people and circumstances with love. Write down what comes to mind.
Step 4: Ask God to pour his spirit of love into you and to open your eyes to the beauty of the life he has given you. I promise you, having walked through very hard trials that left me feeling breathless and bereft, even in the darkest moments, when it feels like you will never experience joy again within your weary soul, your life is still full of blessings and goodness. One gift from God that I take great comfort in (especially during trials) is that nothing but God’s faithfulness lasts forever. This too shall end.
My prayer for you, dear reader, is that God would fill your heart with so much joy that what you currently see as burdens, would become beautiful blessings in your eyes. Like how a plain looking person, once known and loved, becomes beautiful to behold, may God fill your heart and soul with so much love that your life would be seen as the miraculous gift that it is and that you would be so full of gratitude for the incredible life God has given you, that you would use it to bless those around you. You are a gift to this world and I pray that you are so full of joy and love that you are able to live authentically as you so that we all can benefit from you living a purposeful life.