A few years ago, when a friend asked me what my New Year’s resolution was, I admitted that I didn’t really care to have one. I do think that some resolutions are important, but my decision not to add one more thing to my checklist was intentional.

I’d been dealing with unexplained health issues, and although I’d had some tests done, the exact reason for my struggles escaped me. Through prayer, it came to my attention that I’d been stressing over day-to-day things without realizing it. Anxiety was intertwined with my ‘episodes’, and I truly had been trying hard to manage everything. Everything.

My kids. My floors. My projects. My work. My exercising. I felt like a failure if one of these things wasn’t crossed off my list. I neglected connecting with others, and I rarely got out of the house because I just had too much to do. Surely all this work would pay off eventually. I was like a gerbil on a treadmill, wondering why I never felt like I was making headway.

I was on my way to burnout.

The critical thing I’d apparently neglected while trying to make myself feel accomplished … was ME! The hidden person of the heart. No time to rest, no time to recharge. My time spent with the Lord was always shoved into a guilt-induced reading session for a few minutes here and there right before bed. And of course, the tearful prayers at night asking God why I felt so unfulfilled.

Then there were the well-meaning, self-helping, motivational slogans that were actually sucking the life out of an already depleted me. “You can be in control! Love yourself! Take back your power! You can change anything if you just change your mind! Be the best version of yourself!”

In my experience, those are all lies.

Wasteland - photo credit Joshua Woroniecki

I had no joy. “Doing all the things” didn’t make me a better me. No amount of reframing or effort made me an improved version of anything.

Furthermore, I knew that Christians aren’t supposed to serve themselves. So I threw myself into serving others. Or at least, by all appearances, that’s what I was doing. To the point of utter exhaustion. At the time, I didn’t have eyes to see that I wasn’t really serving my family. I was serving my need to be acknowledged.

I was tired. And I was empty.

In one of my tearful nighttime prayers, I asked Jesus – no, begged him in desperation – to give me something, anything! I felt so empty. So meaningless. I longed for help.

Silence.

The following Sunday, the pastor had a message that turned out to be for me: “I guarantee God will speak to you if you read the Bible. Because they are HIS WORDS!”

So even as I kept busy, I began listening to an audio Bible. It wasn’t long before the story of Hagar (Genesis 16) pierced my soul. Nearing the end of her strength, God intervenes in Hagar’s desperate situation. And she confesses, “You are the God who sees me.”

In the middle of my desert, exhausted, and dying of thirst, God reached in with a simple, “I see you,” and it broke open what I’d been so desperately trying to keep together.

For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. – 2 Peter 1:9 (ESV)

Oh, I was lacking qualities. Faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love. I had lost sight of my Saviour. I had forgotten that I was already accepted and perfectly, completely, loved. I had forgotten that I already had everything I needed. In Him.

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who has called us… – 2 Peter 1:2 (ESV)

Although I need to frequently revisit the truth I learned that year, it was one more transformative step in learning to walk more like Jesus. I heard something recently that builds on that lesson: “The goal (of the Christian life) is not to lead a balanced life. It is to lead a surrendered life.”

I already have everything I need.

So, maybe I should resolve. Often. To let it all go. To look upon my Saviour  – really look – and see that He is enough for me.

I’m not enough, and I’m not supposed to be. Because He is. And I am His.

Jayna Snider

Jayna is the Communications Coordinator for Horizon College & Seminary

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