one step forward.

It's been on my heart to write for quite some time, but for some reason I've put it off.  I guess it's because I don't have anything exciting or special to write about, just ordinary days filled with ordinary activities.  But maybe that's exactly what I need to write about - me, learning to manage my mental health challenges and still live an abundant life in Christ.  So without further ado, here's a little bit about my day.  If you find my experiences resonate with you even a little, I hope you take comfort knowing you're not alone in this journey.  I'm right here with you, and so is Jesus.

This morning I rolled out of bed at 7:21 AM.  (This was, of course, after hitting snooze at least a dozen times).  7:21 AM is a lot earlier than I normally wake up, but unfortunately today I woke up around the same time I needed to leave the house in order to arrive at a work function on time.  Needless to say, my morning was rushed.  (I did, however, take the time to make a pot of coffee and pour some into a travel mug.  This was definitely a good decision.)  When I finally arrived at the work function, I was already feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and exhausted.  To be honest, I didn't want to be there.  I really needed to be back in my office preparing for an upcoming workshop that I was facilitating, but I had committed to attending this function months prior and backing out wasn't an option.  So there I was, travel mug in hand, my work laptop in tow.  I spent the day sitting at a table, sharing flyers and other information about my agency with anyone who stopped by.  In between visitors, I opened up my laptop and spent time preparing for the workshop.  

By the afternoon, though, I was spent.  The workshop wasn't coming together the way I had hoped, and the work function still had a few more hours to go before its conclusion.  All I wanted to do was drive back to my apartment and take a nap, but that was wishful thinking on my part.  I sent a text to my fiancĂ©, telling him I felt overwhelmed and asking him for prayer.  He responded with a word of encouragement, and a short while later he called to check in on me.  It seems like such a small thing, but knowing I mattered enough for him to take time out of his busy day to make sure I was doing okay meant a lot.  

I finally headed home around 3:30 PM.  While I drove, I listened to worship music and formulated a plan for how I was going to spend the rest of my day.  The first thing I did when I walked through the front door of my apartment was water my plants.  (Since I was in such a rush this morning, I skipped watering them in favor of making coffee, because, you know, priorities.)  After that, I made myself some dinner and wrote out a list of all of the things I needed to do before I could rest.  At the top of the list was cleaning out my car.  While cleaning out my car, I listened to the Book of Joshua using The Bible App.  Even though my attention was divided, hearing Scripture read out loud helped to bring a measure of peace to my anxiety-filled mind.  By the time I finished the task, I was feeling more in control of my emotions and motivated to cross a few more items off my "to-do" list.  

I took 30 minutes in between my chores to go for a run.  I've been training for a half marathon, and today was my "easy" day.  Just a quick 2.5 miles to burn off some nervous energy!  Shortly after I began, I started to feel sick to my stomach.  I finished the run, but at a much slower pace than I had originally hoped.  I began to beat myself up for not pushing myself harder, but then I caught myself.  I recognized that in slowing down, I had listened to the needs of my body instead of the voice inside my head that says I need to do more, be better.  That in itself is an accomplishment.  

And now I find myself laying on the couch writing these words to you.  I don't particularly want to publish this post because I haven't really written anything worth sharing, but if I learned one thing from the Book of Joshua, it's this: sometimes, all God asks from us is that we take a step forward and trust that He'll do the rest. For me, a step forward is publishing a post that seems imperfect to my critical eyes. 

Lord, thank you for allowing me to be a vessel for your love.  Please use these words to accomplish your purposes in the hearts and minds of those who read them.