Living by sheer willpower no longer works for me. When life first became overwhelming, it forced me to find an alternative way to live. It launched me on a journey that eventually led me to discover a deeper well of life.
I’m not sure which factor became the last straw that finally launched me onto this journey.
Maybe it was my hormone and neurotransmitter levels being out of balance. I have the test results to prove this. Or it could have been my 20-year-old brain injury flaring up again. Maybe it was my sleeping issues or my soul’s ever-undulating emotions as I continued to heal from past trauma. Or maybe it was just because of the insane pace of life that a six-person family brings with it. “Jane, get me off this crazy thing…”
The reality is that ALL of these factors actually play a part in my well-being. My spirit, soul and body are a completely interdependent ecosystem, and each part of my triune being affects the others.
All of these factors ping-pong daily around my life, quickly exhausting my natural reserves of physical and emotional energy. I often short-out because of system overload. And having four kids? That’s just the cherry on top. If the younger ones aren’t fighting, then one of the teenagers is probably having an emotional crisis. Sometimes I just want to crawl into a hole where no one can find me.
I have actually hidden in my closet on multiple occasions for a quick break. On purpose. No shame.
Years ago, I used to be able to coast longer on my own strength. Pre-kids. When I was single and felt maxed out, I would just withdraw from community, do some healthy soul care and I’d revive pretty quickly. But these days? Well…my discretionary time margin with kids is basically nonexistent, and I carry a lot more responsibility now—so my coping tank is often blinking on empty.
I feel like I’m usually in the red.
Having four children that constantly pull on me to meet all of their needs is exhausting. I start to feel trapped and suffocated when my kids push past my spoken or physical boundaries to demand more than I’m willing or able to give.
They usually won’t take no for an answer.
The physical exhaustion and emotional badgering together ends up feeling like the abuse I experienced early on in childhood. I reach a sort of panic threshold—that completely overwhelmed place—very quickly. My body’s fight, flight, or freeze mechanism gets activated; and my kids’ normal developmental emotions often trigger my own emotions, which completely empties whatever is left in my tank.
I am just not strong enough to cope by myself.
Somewhere in the midst of all this life chaos, I finally had to concede: God, I can’t do this alone. I knew I no longer had my past luxury of self-sufficiency—where I could rely on my own abilities, giftings, or body strength to get me through life’s challenges. I couldn’t even do like a half-caff strength thing: half of mine and half of God’s. The bricks that I had been carrying around for so many years were too heavy and had finally crushed whatever was left of my own strength.
I was not only broken down; I was like a well that had finally run dry.
I realized that if I didn’t find another well soon, stress-paralyzation or self-implosion would probably follow. I knew I had to find a different way to live or I would be taken out.
It was then that I became truly desperate in my journey.
I’ve heard Author John Eldredge say that “Until you are desperate, you won’t seek God. Until you absolutely need His help, you will take His counsel as optional.”
It’s so true.
The trauma of life made me desperate. But desperation became the door through which I re-discovered life in a new way. I was re-introduced to grace: the lifeline of God’s enabling strength. And once we shook hands again, we entered into a new and stronger partnership.
I accessed a deeper place in God where I hadn’t been before.
In this place, grace transformed from being a mere Christian accessory to becoming my new lifeline and way of living.
I came to experience in the depths of my soul that His strength TRULY was enough to get me through any day or challenging situation that arose. Grace was no longer relegated to an ambiguous church cliché. It became a powerful force that now fueled my life.
Tapping into this deeper well and partnership with grace gave me new strength for the journey. It didn’t happen arbitrarily or overnight, but I eventually found it.
Desperation, tenacity, and spiritual hunger led me to it.
Hunger is the escort to the deeper things of God. Are you hungry?
Do you want to find the deeper well?
I believe there is a general grace that flows over each believer’s life that feels much like rays of sunshine. A broad coating of His goodness in our lives. I lived under those pleasant grace rays for many years. But when life piled up on me and I reached that place of desperation, I needed something MORE. The rays weren’t enough. I needed like a massive IV transfusion.
I found that more is ALWAYS available to those who want to go deeper in their experience with God.
The MORE that I personally discovered came through this new lifeline and partnership with grace, as well as discovering the place of abiding. Finding the secret place under the shadow of His wings and staying there—hidden in Him.
God’s deeper reserves of grace await each one of us in that secret place of abiding. Abiding is the door that accesses the deeper experience of all-things-God.
The truly desperate often discover its secret location and empowerment; the content apathetic will usually miss it. But to every seeking and thirsty soul it calls out to discover.
How about you?
Will you let your hunger or desperation lead you to this deeper well of life?
Will you let your spiritual discontentment with anything status-quo propel you into the MORE that God has designed specifically for you?
God always fills those who hunger and thirst after more of Him.
The deeper experience of life awaits you too.
“He that dwelleth in the SECRET PLACE of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge” (Psalm 91:1,4).
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matthew 5:6).
“I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in SECRET PLACES, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name” (Isaiah 45:3).