Soul Weary

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Photo: Jordan Mitchell

This season of busy has taken over. The last months of my senior year has been full of thesis, final days of high school, parties, graduations, a wedding, and so much more. All beautiful, exciting, good things. I wouldn’t change this season or even slow it down, but I would change my attitude, my perspective, my approach to it.

The truth is, I’m tired. Not physically so, but soul weary. I’m weary inside. Worry has me worn and fear leaves me frustrated. The trying, striving, seeking has left me tired. The heaviness of carrying my own heart & soul hurts leaves me worn to the bone.

My insides ache from too much busy and too little still. Too much busy, building, buying and bearing. Too much emptying and not enough filling. My days consist of waking, only to jump to the first task as hand. Hurrying into my day before a moment of still, a moment of grounding, God-glory stillness. The day carries on from one task to another before I stop and still. Low and behold, it’s night again and physical weariness takes precedence over soul weariness. So I sleep again without the still.

I snap at loved ones. I anger inside. I get hurt deep and hold it all in. I place man before Almighty. I speak before thinking and hate before caring. Withdrawn and weary, I long for solitude. Not necessarily physical solitude, but rather solitude of the soul. Nothing pressing with plans or pain. Nothing vying for my attention. Nothing to chase after or desire for.

Seasons of busy come. There is no stopping them. Life goes on and we must continue living. But what about this weariness? What about this simultaneous emptiness and heaviness I feel? Finally, after weeks I stop long enough to hear Him whisper deep, “Arden, you’re striving after everything but me.” I jolt awake and think, “No, that can’t be! I’m doing everything for you. I’m reaching out to the hurting. I’m serving and listening and trying to love like you.” But as I sit in my weariness, I can see. With his eyes, I can see. In this season, I have worked, planned, executed these good God things and left Him, the very one I so long to glorify, alone. I have carried burdens with my strength alone. I have tried to do things for God, but not with God. I have sought to glorify Him, but I have not sought to include Him in the process.

God wants to be a part of the process. He doesn’t just want me to bring Him a freshly fired vase. He wants to help me make that vase. He’s a hands-on kind of God. He wants to be included in the rolling out of the clay, the spinning, shaping and painting of that vase. He wants into the process. He wants to be a part of the messy, tiresome work. That is what I’ve forgotten in this season. I’ve forgotten to include Him in the process.

My soul longs for the kind of solitude that sinks deep, refreshes my heart, recharges my fighting-for-the-heart dreams, and fills me with more grace and gratitude. I can’t find that kind of solitude in any amount of “alone” days. That kind of soul weariness is only reversed by including Him in the day to day.

You see, I can make that vase on my own. I know how to cut the clay, shape the vase, and fire it in the kiln. But making that one vase will leave me weary and worn. That one vase will drain me, if I make it on my own. I’ll be left empty, with nothing else to give.

Thankfully, I don’t have to make it on my own, and simply show God the finished product at the end. Jesus says in Matthew 11, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Do you hear that? His yoke is easy and He’s offering to trade with us. Our heaviness, our emptiness, for his lightness and His fullness. Our weary for His rest.

So, friends, let us not be those that live soul weary. We were made for more than that, yes? Instead, let us be those that sing a psalm of David, “You God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water (Psalm 63:1).” He has promised to satisfy and replenish the weary soul (paraphrased, Jeremiah 31:25). There is no need to live wearily trough trying seasons, just getting by and wounding on the way.

We have a God who WANTS to be a part of the process with us. He wants to replenish our weariness. We have water, real thirst-quenching, soul reviving, water. Let’s drink from it and live soul weary no more.

P.S. If you like music, here’s a song by Tenth Avenue North that has been playing while I write through my own weariness.