Yesterday I had just had enough. The weariness that people have been warning me about for months finally set in during an unfortunate moment. Fourteen hours at two jobs is too much on a sane person. Add to that working seven days a week, serious illnesses of people I love, no time to simply share moments with someone else, and a holiday for which I am most unprepared…and you have a mess. Oh, I was a mess. I slumped over the counter after being cursed at by yet another patient, and I muttered a few choice words at the computer screen. I felt the hot tears coming on, those tears you can barely stop that are shed more out of frustration than sadness.
“Don’t cry, Dana. Don’t cry. Not right now. You just can’t.”
Hot tears are hard to blink away on your own. I made a comment to my colleague in the hopes she would laugh right then and I would not cry. She did laugh…and I did not cry. Amen. The chaos, both internal and external, continued on for a few more hours but I DID NOT CRY.
It wasn’t until I limped into my own doorway late last night that I recalled a prayer I have been trying to remember to keep close in my heart these days:
Today is Your day, Lord.
You are in the midst.
I submit all of my actions, words, and thoughts to You.
I choose love.
I choose joy.
I choose peace.
I choose patience.
I choose kindness.
I choose goodness.
I choose gentleness.
I choose faithfulness.
I choose self-control.
I get so much wrong these days. Everything feels like failure. And I want to run off in a southern direction every morning. I remember the last time I felt this heavy-hearted. All too well. I ran then, too, and it saved my life.
But I did not know the fullness and depth of the Lord’s love then. I do now. I want to live it, breathe it, wallow in it, and rest. I want to choose to serve this God who knows my story and uses my dark places to create welcome space for others with dark places and lets me listen to their hearts and know their stories and be human and frail with them.
I will not always be weary. This is what I needed to know last night in the midst of having had enough: each day is the Lord’s. And in each day, I get to choose how to live. I choose love. I am an absolute failure, a sorry sinner, a mess of a woman with a too-big heart and too-thin skin. I shed a lot of hot tears. I choose love. This day and every day. Amen.