I have reached the limits of my capabilities. Yep, I have. I am so mentally exhausted at the end of my day I am literally staggering to bed each night.
My day starts at 6am. I work between 8-10 hours for my day job, another 2-3 on my side hustle, then spend another 2-3 hours on homework. I often forget to eat lunch and end up scarfing a sandwich around 3. I do make an effort to take a 30 minute pause for dinner.
I try to fall into bed by 10:30 and I’m not exaggerating when I say “fall into bed”. My eyes and brain are so tired by the time I am headed to bed that I have trouble walking straight and more often than not I can’t remember actually getting into bed when I wake up the next morning. I’m asleep by the time my head hits the pillow. And weekends? Yeah, they’re for catch up work and maybe getting the laundry and dishes done.
I blame algebra. I haven’t used the stuff for 30 years and I know I never will again once I finish this required class—if it doesn’t kill me first.
Seriously though, I’ve come to accept that I've bitten off more than I can chew. I’ve been going it alone for almost 4 years now, pushing to catch up on all the things I wasn't permitted to do before, and I’m really, really tired.
I’ve worked my way up from a menial manufacturing job to marketing director for a multimillion dollar company. I’ve done the work to set up my own retirement, healthcare, and life insurance—all those things that were once taken care of “for” me. I’m saving to buy a home. I’m closing in on my associates degree. I’m spending time with my kids, I’m traveling (or was when school was out). I am experiencing a truly beautiful life for which I am immensely grateful.
But right now, I'm also completely and totally exhausted.
My fear of being too far behind has me trying to do too much at once. I’m trying to do in 5 years what most people take 10-20 years to do.
I’m cramming in life, not just school, and it’s kicking my butt.
I’ve been doing a lot of study on miracles over the last year and it’s no coincidence that my studies right now are on the miracles performed by Jesus Christ, nor is it a coincidence that it’s right now when I’m overwhelmed and exhausted and need the reminder.
Here’s the gist of what I have learned about miracles.
Belief is what makes miracles possible…
I’m typing with burning eyes and have no idea if anything I am writing even makes sense but hopefully I can explain why this is such an important thing for me to remember right now…
Mark 9 has one of my favorite stories—the one with the father who brings his disabled son to the Savior for healing. The Savior says to him, "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth."
The father's swift response is, "Lord, I believe." Then he quickly adds, "Help thou my unbelief."
My recent studies on, and appreciation for, miracles caused something in particular to stand out as I read this story again this past week. Not the usual message, that faith precedes the miracle, but rather how the father admitted he needed help with his faith—he wanted to believe but felt his faith was lacking so he asked the Savior if he could rely on His perfect faith.
"Help thou my unbelief."
I have been working so hard to live with faith and to be better at surrendering to God. Letting go of the things that are no longer helping me grow. Letting go of fear and the need to control or know the outcomes, and just trust God and the plan He has for me. The Serenity Prayer is hung beside my bed on a post-it note, “God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can; Wisdom to know the difference.”
Sometimes I don’t do so well. Sometimes I don’t even realize I’m still trying to control certain outcomes.
Sometimes I forget I can rely on the Savior and His perfect faith when I'm struggling to find my own—even when it comes to my unknown future.
I admit it. I’m afraid of missing out. I’m afraid that if I don’t get all these things done now—school, career, buying my own home—that I’m not going to ever have them because I’m 45 and not 25 so I have less time to achieve them.
This is not surrender. This is not faith. This is not belief…
I know that God wants me to have the most beautiful life possible. Just because I didn’t get to start school when I was younger, or that had to learn all of the how-to’s of life on your own in my 40’s, doesn’t mean I need to fear that I won’t experience all I am meant to experience in life.
The Savior’s power of belief is evident in the miracles he performed. He had no doubt he would get what he asked for. His belief was perfect. It was pure knowledge.
Right now as I struggle to believe in myself, in my ability to surrender, in my ability to become all I am meant to become, to experience all the beauty I want to experience, I can choose to rely on Him whose belief in my future is perfect and pure and the rest will take care of itself. The miracles necessary for me will come. I have experienced so many miracles in the last four years that I can’t deny this truth. Miracles are available to all who believe... or who in their moments of doubt aren't afraid to say,
Savior, help thou my unbelief…