by Dawn Lawless, LCSW, LSOTP
5:30 AM is too early to appreciate much-especially pre-caffeine, but on this special day, the stars were as clear as ever. Their perfectly positioned brilliance was breath-taking, and as I paused for just a moment, God gently reminded me of His perfection, His precision, and His peace.
Unlike my household on most days amidst the chaos of school, laundry, lunches, PERSONALITIES (2 teen daughters), and post-Harvey work, the alignment of this celestial view provided a sense of order and consistency that has been lacking in my spirit. How is it that we forget so quickly to depend on His stability and reliability?
Compassion Fatigue comes to mind…
With death and devastation knocking on our doors, the consensus is exhaustion. Our bodies ache, our minds scatter, and sadly, our spirits empty. We persistently commit ourselves to acts of service only to feel depleted and drained. We risk indifference, and we question, “Where is the joy? Where is the peace?”
Have you pondered your purpose recently? Have you felt resentment at the seemingly unending requests for support? Have you snapped at a loved one for silly situations? Have you found yourself eating more, drinking more, doing more of anything just to fill that emptiness?
Beware, Burnout is near!
I’m reminded of Apostle Paul as he writes “To the holy and faithful brothers in Christ at Colosse.” In the Book of Colossians, he is encouraging fellow believers not by building them up for their good works, but instead through Christ-centered appeals that focus on Our Lord’s supremacy and holiness.
Burn-out is birthed in poor perspective. When I reflect with transparency, this sense of burden at care giving is logical. Burn-out is the natural consequence of my pride, my poor perspective. I AM NOT GOD. I do not bring restoration. He does. The concept is simple.
Just like the stars in the sky, God’s perspective is perfect. He is orderly and stable. He is the sustainer. “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” (Ps 19:1). He is God. I AM NOT. He sees beyond our understanding of time and tragedy, and when this perspective is in the proper order, peace is present.
When I commit my efforts, “whatever I do, whether in word or deed, to do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him,” (Col 3:17), my ability to care give is actually increased. I am free to serve well knowing that there are limits to my abilities, but not God’s. I can confidently decline requests that are out of God’s will for my world knowing that my trust in His stability is what sustains me.
Lord, I pray your sustaining power over my life and the lives of those I come into contact with. In the midst of these tragedies, help me to remember that you are a God of order and you have a plan that includes Hope in your son, Jesus Christ. Help us not grow weary in doing good, whether at home with the children, or at work in the field, let us be sustained by only you. Amen!
BE COMMITTED. BE THE CHANGE.
WHY? MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS!
As we continue this 2017 campaign: BE THE CHANGE, consider how intentionally being committed will impact another person. Mental health matters to all of us, and when we all unify in agreement that loving on others through acts of kindness/volunteering/giving is for God’s glory, our entire community is transformed.
CALL TO ACTION
Stop the stigma of mental illness by supporting our efforts. Your input matters! If this were cancer, you wouldn’t just say, “Get over it!” Be a trend-setter, and make a difference by taking these few action steps toward a healthier community.
***To get involved and learn how you can BE THE CHANGE this year, contact us at charlotte@counselingconnect ions.org.
To connect with Dawn Lawless, LCSW, LSOTP directly, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org