I started out strong. I made sure I was getting in quiet time every morning and praying throughout the day and I even found a church within walking distance of where I was staying. I was able to maintain the tasks given to me and my relationships in a pretty healthy way. I knew why I was there and who got me there and I was so eager to start helping families start the process to get back to a safe and sustainable home.
Then I was asked to lead the team, which was honoring and humbling and not something I saw coming. I gladly accepted it and as I got settled into my new role that’s where it started to go wrong. Now I knew going into the trip that I’d be working crazy hours and may not have a day off. I quickly turned that into being a workaholic, which is something I’ve struggled with before, and started working 70+ hours a week. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved what I was doing, but I turned it into something much bigger than I should have. I was putting work before Jesus, before family and friends, and before just my own overall health. I kept telling myself I was doing a good thing, I was tangibly helping people, and it was okay. I convinced myself it was okay to not rest, to not keep promises made to people closest to me, and to just push through and not listen to my body or that still small voice inside me. I was serving people and isn’t that what we’re called to do? That was my justification for it all, that’s how I made it okay to keep going no matter how jacked up things were outside of my little bubble.
Now, being home for a little over 24 hours, I’m struggling. I don’t know how to slow down. I emotionally walled myself off, I damaged important relationships, and most of all, I distanced myself from God. It feels like an uphill battle. I know I did all this, and some things were intentional while others were unintentional, but regardless it’s still a mess that needs to be cleaned up.
As I write this I am on my way to my parents for a much needed vacation, which also gives me a chance to completely unplug and start picking up the pieces.
And I’m reminded of the adulterous woman. She got herself in a pretty bad situation and everyone around her knew it and was ready to stone her as the Law said. But then Jesus showed up and was compassionate, gracious, and saved her life. He’s done that for me before and has continued to show me only love, grace, and mercy and He won’t ever stop. I’m harder on myself than He actually is. Even when I mess up royally, He loves me and forgives me and asks me to forgive myself and to reconcile with those I’ve hurt or been hurt by.
So today I want to admit my wrongs and start making steps in the direction of healing and reconciliation. If you’re currently in the same place I am, know you’re not alone, but also that you are forgiven and you are loved. If you’ve been hurt by someone close to you because they elevated an addiction higher than Jesus and it’s effects are weighing on your relationship, also know that you’re not alone and I would encourage you to continue to show love and grace to that relationship, as best as you can. Lastly, if you’ve been where I am and have come through it I would love to hear what you did, how things changed, and any advice you may have!
Every day, His mercies are new.