Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Long-awaited Return, Mental Breakdowns, and Where I am Now.

I know, I know...I'm terrible at keeping up with a blog, you don't have to remind me. But alas, I have returned to you my blog-reading friends and have come to share my profound (or maybe not so profound) thoughts.
I am currently about halfway through the first semester of my junior year of college and am on the downhill slide of a mental breakdown. Yes..I was losing my mind for a while. I think I've gained most of my composure back, but I can't make any promises. What caused this period of dilemma in my life, you ask? Well..mostly just me being..me. Allow me to explain.
As those of you know that have read my blog from the beginning (you know, those whopping four posts before this one), last semester I decided that I really want to be a children's librarian. My major is elementary education and I had decided to stay an education major and just get librarian certification later. Well for some reason, about 2 or 3 weeks ago, I started freaking out about what I'm doing with my life. I then started thinking that I wanted to change my major to English and not be an education major at all. So for about 2 weeks, I was overwhelmed with those thoughts and constantly worried about what I was doing with my life. After periods of being sure I wanted to change my major as well as periods of feeling fairly certain that I would just drop out of college and be a hobo with my roommate Aspen for the rest of my life, I finally regained focus.
Many of you may be thinking that by regaining focus I figured out exactly what I'm doing with my life and have a well thought-out 5 year plan of how to achieve those goals, but that is not the case. You see, my uncertainty about the future was never the problem. The problem was where my eyes had become fixed. They were fixed on the need I felt to be able to perfectly map out the upcoming years of my life. They were fixed on the need  I felt to be comfortable and qualified. They were fixed on my desire to accomplish the things that seem important right now. And mostly, they were fixed on when and how I was going to accomplish these things. Did you catch that? The biggest problem? Maybe you didn't. It isn't that noticeable. Look closely, though. The biggest problem with this is the word "I." I had taken my eyes off of the Cross, off of God's unfailing love and power, and I had put all of that pressure upon myself.
Hebrews 12:1-3 says "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter or our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."
Light bulb moment.
Finally, I get it! The place I am supposed to be fixing my eyes is JESUS. You see, my race has already been marked out for me, all I'm called to do is run. In my time of confusion and uncertainty, I had become so entangled in my desire to create my own clarity that I had essentially started standing still. I stopped running. The thing I really love about this passage is the analogy to running. I'm currently training for a half marathon, so I've been running..a lot. One thing that is very frequent to my runs is fatigue. Its natural, its human..we get tired. Running makes us tired. But did you see what is said in the last verse of this passage? Look at it again: "Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." Wait, did they just say I will NOT grow weary? Whoa baby, they did! That sounds incredible to me. Running and not growing weary. We can have that, but we must fix our eyes on Jesus. Remember those burdens I had placed on myself? Jesus takes those. He gladly takes them upon himself. Remember in Matthew 11 when Jesus tells us to come to him when we are weary and heavy burdened and he says he will give us rest? We get to take his yoke, take his light burden. Jesus wasn't just saying that to sound cool, he meant it. Our God is a God who keeps his word.
I hope that wasn't too much rambling for you. I just have a couple questions for you. Where are your eyes fixed? Are they on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, the one who promises to give you rest? Or are they are yourself and your immediate desires and felt needs? Don't let yourself get entangled.
Your race is marked out. All you have to do is run.

Much Love,