I broke something yesterday

Something in me.

It just shattered and I didn’t see it coming.

I went to work like every other day and participated in my first series of meetings.

Toward the end of one meeting as I made my way to the next, I started to get visibly upset. You know… eyes reddening, choking back tears (or trying).

My leader could tell I needed a few minutes and pulled me into his office where I proceeded to fall apart.

I had completely run out of emotional energy.

There were a few things going on that were weighing on me but nothing that warranted that kind of meltdown.

I took a few minutes and composed myself, then slipped out for lunch with a friend.

I made it back in the afternoon, completed my work day and headed home.

On Wednesdays we meet with our community group from church so we did that, came home, got the kids to bed and shortly after, I made my way there too.

Only I couldn’t sleep.

Not because I was restless or deep in thought or anything like that.

I just started weeping.

I wept, and wept, and wept for hours.

It wasn’t the kind of weeping you do when you’re really tired. I wasn’t. Not any more than normal anyway.

There was no deep sadness.

Just an unstoppable flow of tears.

As I wept I thought about why I was weeping and tried to figure out why I had hit a wall.

Deep within me, I knew I had reached my limit.

The limit of how much energy I have to give. To my job. To my church. To my family.

I’m maxed out and I hate to admit it.

Feels a lot like failure.

As I lay there last night asking God to give me some clarity and wisdom to understand why I was emotionally falling apart, he impressed on my heart that there’s a part of me that I need to fundamentally change.

I realized I am really terrible at getting help from others, and I have to change that.

I’ve always had a hard time accepting, or worse, asking for help from people who want to provide meals when I’m sick, or help with a move, or anything else for that matter.

At the office that struggle is amplified!

I always feel like if I can do it on my own I should. I have become fiercely independent… to a fault.

I need to ask for help. I need to seek it out and welcome it. I have to admit my need and acknowledge my limitations.

It’s humbling.

I don’t want to need help…

But I do. We all do. Why should I be any different?

So yesterday I found out how far I could go on my own.

And it’s not nearly far enough.

I want so much more!

But I know just trying harder isn’t going to get me there.

I’m only going to be able to go further to the degree I’m able to truly partner with others, letting them pick up where I have to leave off.

I need to allow others to be strength where I'm weak.

I need to allow God to minister to me through them.

I need to admit there are things I just can’t pull off and seek out friends and co-laborers who can walk alongside me.

And the thing is, I already have them.

God has provided so many people who earnestly want nothing more than to lean in and help... if I would only let them.

Part of me hates everything about this.

It’s hard to admit my weakness and need.

It’s humbling to need other people.

But I know God has me where he has me as part of a group of people he’s using, not as a Lone Ranger.

So as I step out this morning with a newfound charter for my life, I have no idea how I’m going to live it out - but it’s not optional.

I have to make the change.

And if I’m honest - I’m kind of eager to see how it plays out…

Mark Armstrong

Mark Armstrong

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