05 Mar the power of perspective
Monday and Tuesday are the busiest days of the week in our household. These are days I work outside of the home, the kids are in school, there are extra curriculars (ballet and ukulele) and we participate a small group through our church. More than once on these days I have lost my cool running from school drop off to the office to school pickup, to finding and getting our ballet outfit on, to getting the perfect low bun, to practising that week’s ukulele piece, to preparing for recitals, back home to dinner, into pajamas for the kids, off to small group, settled at small group, then home late for a hasty bedtime routine. Then of course there’s school lunches to make, late night work emails, and some attempt at self care and personal hygiene before collapsing into bed. More than once I have made these days even harder for myself with an unhealthy cycle of inner dialogue telling myself “this is too much, you’re exhausted, you’re burning out, how will you manage”.
One Tuesday night after a particularly long day, I was reading a story about Shannon Casteel, a woman who was in full time ministry, a mother of 4, pregnant with her 5th child and running a women’s conference. She stood at the back of the conference during worship and confided to God, “I am totally overwhelmed.” I identified so much with her confession in my own similar state that night. I fully expected to read on about how God affirmed her feelings of exhaustion and told her to slow down. Instead she said He responded with a simple “No you’re not.” She was in shock, “no, no. I am. I am totally overwhelmed,” she whispered back. “No, you’re not,” God repeated, “the enemy has been lying to you for years telling you that you’re overwhelmed, but I’m telling you today that you are not overwhelmed.” God continued to assure her that although she lived a full life of work, ministry, a large family, many extra curriculars, that it wasn’t her lifestyle or schedule that needing changing, it was her perspective. He went on to tell her that the constant messaging to men and women everywhere that we are all on the brink of exhaustion and burn out, that we can’t possible manage all the day to day pressures of raising a family, running a business, being in ministry, is just another lie from the enemy to keep us from His promise of an abundant life.
After reading this story I just sat back and cried. I cried because I had let myself be tricked into a cycle of negative inner dialogue over the gift of abundant life I had been given and was missing out on. I cried because I felt so touched and affirmed by God through Shannon’s story. I cried with relief that I didn’t have to believe this lie anymore; I didn’t need to let it have control over me any longer. That the actual truth is that God has given me the energy, capacity and ability to live my life abundantly. I just had to have a God perspective and not a worldly one.
Now Mondays and Tuesdays are some of my favorite days of the whole week. The days are full, abundantly so, but all of these activities are fun and exciting, full of fellowship and life-giving connection. All that can easily be missed if I get lost in the lie that I cannot manage an abundant life, but thanks to God revealing to me through the story of Shannon Casteel, I now know the power of perspective.
“I have come to give you everything in abundance, more than you expect – life in its fullness until you overflow!” John 10:10
Story of Shannon Casteel referenced from
Cultivate: Volume 5, The Art of Connection.
Internal Gaze, page 97.