Every time we have completed a challenge, there seems to be a somewhat unpleasant phase that follows. This phenomenon has been no different for the Rise Up Commitment. What are the typical symptoms experienced during this phase?
The overarching symptom is an overall sense of feeling “off”. Off may be described as feeling tired, disconnected, tempted to withdraw, changing priorities and routine back to what was comfortable BEFORE, feeling “heavy”, bloated even – you know? “Off”… and uncomfortable. And it may include any combination of these individual symptoms as well as others not mentioned.
Why does this happen? I believe it has to do with being less intentionally focused, which leads to a sort of disconnect to God and our sensitivity to Holy Spirit. I too was feeling off. However, I felt it was because of a couple life events. First, I didn’t follow through on the intentional period of rest I knew I had been called to. This left me scrambling with how to fit other things in that I hadn’t planned for. Second, our 11 ½ year old, beloved black Lab, Zeppelin, was put to rest, and it left my heart and mind feeling heavy. His home going represented not only his leaving our home, a home in which he was the very fiber and fabric of, but also signified our teenage daughters leaving in just a couple short years, to live the lives they are called to. Can you say introspective much? That thought process spiraled quickly! Third, exhaustion set in like I haven’t experienced in a while. I’m still not sure if it is due to the day light savings time switch (Hello? Shouldn’t I be adapted after nearly three weeks?!) or my body rejecting the long distant running I have been trying to build up to for a half marathon in May.
I felt I had prepared for “post-commitment”, in order to dull the risk of the uncomfortable feeling. Daily devotions are just as natural as brushing my teeth now, so this area wouldn’t fall to the wayside. I had a plan in place for my nutrition for the next three months. I had a plan in place for my fitness. And I knew I was going to continue to spend more intentional time with my husband and daughters and others. As I write this, I begin to see the root. Heart connection to the Holy Spirit was already beginning to be dulled. That is what may cause many of us to feel “off”.
For me, I can see where my gaze quickly shifted from that of Jesus, and hence my uber sensitivity to His Spirit, now known as abiding in Him – according to my mind. I first began avoiding eye contact after not following through with His instruction to intentionally rest. Abide was also hindered when I began focusing on my broken heart, which snowballed to nervous anticipation about time left with my daughters. Regardless of where the exhaustion was coming from, it bothered me enough to provoke me to pray, assess and adjust to what I knew was best for this vessel.
Eat whole again, a commitment or challenge doesn’t have to be in place to eat well. Be ok with a change of plans when it comes to fitness. Get to bed on time (yes, that means some tasks will have to be left undone). Allow God to hold the tears of my sorrows, so I can let go. Trust Him to help me make the most of my daughters’ and I’s time together, rather than allowing sadness to damper when we ARE TOGETHER, TODAY. Ask forgiveness for disregarding instruction, and move on with what He’s asked. Continue moving forward, rather than looking back…
What about you? Are you feeling “off”? Be encouraged to spend some time reflecting, but be cautioned. When we feel like we “should know better” or become disappointed with how we’ve “let things go”, we have a tendency to avoid the very place we need to go most for conviction of heart, and wallow in condemnation, rather than run to the arms and throne room of the Lord. Sprint to Him the very next moment, or pile of moments, you find you have. Ask Him to reveal what is going on. Repent if need be. Ask Him to help you assess and adjust. Ask Him to show you the way to abide in Him, and stay there – day after day on this journey to becoming whole, not just during specifically intentional times. Be encouraged to be purposeful every day, for God, yourself and every single person you love and care for.
I pray this met you well, and if you found yourself feeling “off” the past couple of weeks, God has spoken to you in a tender and loving way. In His love for you and your love for HIM, I hope you allow Him to pick you up, dust you off, and get back in the vein of the vine.
Rising in Christ,