If you have ever worked in a restaurant than you’ve more than likely heard the term “in the weeds”. This phrase is often used to describe when someone has taken on so much that they have fallen behind altogether in their work.
Struggle bus central!
The thing about being in the weeds is you often don’t see it coming; people don’t necessarily “plan” to bite off more than they can chew. It just happens. Somewhere in between the chaos is where you finally let go of your pride to accept the help but by that point, you aren’t entirely sure what else is left to be done other than the pieces that YOU have to do yourself.
Today we’re taking a stroll down a field of weeds that I somehow got myself tangled into this last season. If you have been walking this road with me for long enough then you know I try to keep it as real as possible- moments like this included.
[This blog will be a clear segway into “Overcoming Pharisee Part II” & “I don’t know how to be alone”]
Lets dive in!
there’s a few comments I constantly get, one of those being that I’m restless. I’m ALWAYS on the go; a woman on a mission…even when I’m not.
For example: last weekend my friends and I went to the state fair. You’d think that in a crowd of hundreds of people we’d know to stick close but somehow I kept losing them. Eventually my roommate looked me square in the eyes and said “Michelle, we’re not going anywhere right now. Slow down and JUST ENJOY the fair!” That much I could barely do.😳😅
She was absolutely right; I don’t really know how to slow down…I don’t like the mundane moments of nothingness. Perhaps it’s because I have yet to truly grasp the purpose-beauty that can come from those moments, like actually dealing with real life issues.
The last four months especially.
1 job change.
1 launched blog.
1 walk for freedom campaign.
1 trip to Florida.
2 flat tires.
1 change of address.
3 odd side jobs.
several attempts at finding love.
getting plugged into ministry.
tons of internal conflict.
and a whole lot of bills later… I’m ex-hau-sted.
I never had any epiphany that suggested I had volunteered or committed to too many things. Come to think of it, I didn’t realize I was overwhelmed until this season was drawing to an end. Up until that point I considered all the things I was apart of as “good”. In reality– what started off with good intentions — was draining me physically and killing me emotionally. When I finally let go of my pride, stretched out my hand and asked for help– the damage was already done.
I lost the trust of those depending on me.
I damaged the possibility of relationship(s)*
I got behind on my finances.
My spiritual walk was put on the back burner.
I ruined a 4 year friendship.
Gym routines became inconsistent.
My judgement was impaired.
I almost lost the walk venue.
I went back to old habits.
I hurt a lot of people.
I stopped seeing myself through the eyes of Christ.
I judged myself and others inaccurately.
I chased temporary highs.
I was fighting to remember who I was and what I believe.
I lacked vision!
I realized I was trying to fill my time with distractions to avoid what was really going on with me. Isn’t it ironic that we can convince ourselves that we are okay and create these distorted images, this false reality that we are actually doing these services- acts of kindness/mercy- for the sake of others…when in fact… it’s really a diversion FOR OURSELVES!!!
THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE- but FIRST- IT WILL HURT LIKE HELL!
Four months ago I was wrapping up my summer in Mumbai for anti trafficking ministry. In my mind I was coming back to the states preparing to return to
1. education in the fall. 2. blossoming romance. 3. potential new job.
4. fresh direction for my artwork. 5. financial freedom 6. a pure lifestyle.
Within the week of being home everything flipped upside down and every plan that I clinged onto had been thwarted.One setback- no problem. Two setbacks- I can manage. Six- and I am reevaluating my entire life. It was no surprise that when the opportunity for “change” or to take on a new project came about, I was all over it! The downside to my “busy” mindset was that not only was I avoiding dealing with the pain from those other plans not working out and giving myself time to resolve some of that conflict (heal)… I was not giving my spirit time to rest. I couldn’t say no.
One table. Two tables. Triple sat. Eight metaphorical tables deep. I was in over my head. The worst part was that there was people around me willing to help and work with me. I had people emailing me every week offering to help take on tasks to put together this walk. I had people offering daily-weekly council. I was surrounded by a family who loves and encourages me. So why I couldn’t I catch up? Why was I still in the weeds? WHY WAS I SO RESTLESS? The answer was under my nose the whole time.
I was refusing help because I didn’t want to admit that I didn’t have it all together. I was restless because I didn’t want to face myself. My pain. My rejection. I wanted to be strong and resilient. However, that wasn’t a true sign of strength. It was folly. We all know that you can’t truly help someone that doesn’t want to be helped. I had all the right tools. Endless resources. In this case, I needed to stumble on my pride to remember. Remember that it doesn’t start or end with me. Remember that there is nothing I CAN do on my own strength. Remember that in my weakness- He is made strong. Identify that I had some failures that I brought upon myself. Own my story but not let it own me. It was time to get out of the weeds that had been choking me. Time to cut them out.
People can’t change people. That’s why you have to want the change yourself before you let someone help you, even if that means falling a couple times before you’re ready to finally get up.Otherwise, you’ll never learn [generalized statement] and they won’t be able to genuinely help if the root of the matter isn’t identified. Identify.
Learn about yourself. Ask yourself the hard questions. Deceiving ourselves is only hurting us in the long run, so be honest. Learning your strengths and your weaknesses is half the battle. Understanding and being willing to walk away from the things that hinder or cause you to be weak– that is strength. It’s okay to say “no” to things despite how “good” they may appear. Not everything that is permissible is beneficial. Get real.
Ask for help. Once you are willing to admit where you are and can identify some of those factors, reach out!! The damage may be done but there is still grace. You may not be able to erase the past but we can bring those life lessons with us into the next chapter. Yes, each obstacle and every decision we make will have natural consequences but everyone gets a second chance. Reach out.
I know what I need to eliminate and limit. I am willing to now accept where I am to move forward to what lies ahead.
You may read this and realize that you too are in the weeds.
Full schedules but not full of productivity.
Good intentions but not good results.
Overwhelmed but not overwhelming joy.
Never fear, you may be in the weeds now, but it won’t be like this for long– lets get out of this mess, together.