Here’s a heads up. If you don’t already know this, you probably should…
You are going to lose it.
Yep. It’s pretty much guaranteed. It may come during a global move or in the throes of culture-shock, in the thick of re-entry, or in the middle of a hard and unexpected season of your cross-cultural life.
Maybe you’ll experience it during all of the above.
But at some point you will reach your breaking point, whatever that looks like for you.
And guess what. That’s not the worst part.
The worst is when you beat yourself up and down for losing it.
The worst is when you look around at other women and wonder why they seem to have it all together.
The worst is when you feel like there’s something wrong with you that you can’t handle this, that you’re not good enough, not strong enough, not meant for this.
The worst is when you feel like a loser mom, wife, or woman for acting the way you did, and you pile on the shame.
The worst is this shame because it just makes you lose it more often.
The worst is when you keep it all to yourself, afraid to let others know how much you’re hurting, how fragile you feel.
The worst is when you don’t know where to turn for help, when you feel stuck and alone.
The worst is the doubt that slithers in, whispering, “It’s always going to be like this… Things are never going to change… You’re never going to change… God, he may not come through for you…”
THAT is the worst.
I believe with all my heart that everyone needs to receive the best possible training and be absolutely diligent in setting boundaries and investing intentionally in soul care. These will help immensely with the state of your sanity.
Even with the best training, boundaries and soul care, you will still reach a breaking point. Something will be more than you can handle. Something will blindside you, overwhelm you, leave you cracking.
I think if we accept this, we’ll handle it better when it does happen. We won’t heap on the shame or hide out in our brokenness.
What if “losing it” was not a stigma to avoid, but an acknowledged part of the journey? What if we could openly say, “I’m going through this right now, and I feel ashamed, but I also know this is life. I need you to walk with me toward Jesus right now”?
What if that was the atmosphere we created and lived in?
Maybe you want to share, but perhaps you don’t know how to articulate the root problem or identify the reason you are not okay.
I’d say people (myself included) reach their breaking points, they feel their sanity slipping, their well-being withering for one of these reasons:
- Something you did or didn’t do. It’s eating you up. The “if only’s” haunt you. Regret wakes with you, follows you, sleeps with you.
- Something someone else did. You’ve tried to let it go, to forgive, but the pain sneaks back, the bitterness silently boiling…
- It’s just too much. You are worn out. The stress doesn’t stop. You are the camel, and it’s that one. more. straw.
- You don’t believe in your completeness. All you see is lack, a need to be more, to do more, to be better. You are never enough.
- Loss. A dream. A plan. An idea of “this is how life will be.” A relationship. A community. An identity. A loved one. These losses can be an ache that won’t leave. And what about the losses that feel too “worldly” to grieve? Your home. Your possessions. Your comforts. Your proximity to family. Your financial security.
- Fear. The unknowns, they’re killing you. You see all the ways it could fall apart. You worry and pray, worry and pray. You ask, but deep down, you’re afraid the answer will be “no” and you’ll be left hanging with the life you fear.
I don’t dare have pat answers for any of these. I offer them as a means to help you identify what you’re struggling with, and to say that these are all very real reasons to reach your breaking point.
Which of these has caused a breaking point in you? What would you add to the list?
I know that when I’ve been at one of these points in my life, I’ve usually known exactly what I needed. To forgive. To rest. To grieve. To let go. To trust. To find help.
It’s usually obvious and easy to know what you need. It’s the opposite of easy to actually do it. To truly live and experience it.
That, my friend, can only happen through the unique road to healing that God has just for you, for me.
The worst thing is not reaching your breaking point, it’s not “losing it.”
The worst is believing that healing and hope are not for you. Because they are. Healing and hope are yours. They belong to you in the name of Jesus. Will you believe him for that? Will you cry out and ask him for healing and hope?
The Grove here at Velvet Ashes is a place to share. It’s a time to open up and find that you are not alone, that your struggles are real reasons to be “not okay.” It’s a place for us to come alongside each other and walk toward Jesus together.
We’re here to believe for you that healing and hope are yours.
What has you feeling like your sanity is slipping and your well-being withering?
Or have you been there in the past? What has your road to healing and hope looked like?
This is what we call The Grove. It’s where we all gather to share our thoughts, our words, and our art on our weekly prompt. So join us in the comments. Show us your art work by adding an image. And link up your own blog posts on this week’s prompt. Click here for details and instructions.