How to Renew Your Faith When You're Tired
Recognize, Rule Out, and Renew
I see three types of tired in women who want to give up.
1. Physically Tired
When we are struggling with physical exhaustion, the first thing we think of when we wake up is: when can I go back to sleep? There are all kinds of reasons we could be physically exhausted, but when our bodies are shouting for a slower pace or more sleep, we need to listen.
2. Emotionally Tired
The emotionally tired start to get snappy at things we don’t normally care about. We become lethargic and feel like we are just going through the motions of life.
3. Spiritually Tired
Of all the kinds of tired’s, this is the one most threatening to a woman who might quit. You feel this kind of tired when your time with God has simply become a routine: go to church, pray, read a Bible verse.
As I’ve taken the time to look back on my quitting journey, I realized how much being tired has effected my illogical decisions to quit things.
In order to move forward in faith when I’m tired, I have to determine what type of tired I am. After that I can rule out the reasons I’m tired and then take the steps to renew my faith. Below are three steps you can take when you are having a hard time determining the cause of tired.
Step 1. Rule Out the Reasons.
I don’t mean googling your body symptoms and letting WebMD diagnose you. Not that we would ever do such things (wink). I mean, it’s time for a visit with your doctor. Sometimes a serious underlying issue is battling your body.
At my yearly checkup my doctor almost always says the same things to me: eat better, lose weight, get more sleep. I do deal with anemia so this is something I have to keep a check on when I start to get downright physically exhausted. But your doctor can also help you understand your body better. Do you need to drink more water? Do you have a food allergy you didn’t even realize? Are you depressed? These are all the things your doctor can help you understand.
And I know, as the expert quitter, your health is often the least of your worries. You can just pop an Advil, drink another cup of coffee or Coke Zero, and keep going. But eventually the quitting of health will catch up with us.
If your doctor gives you the all clear, move to the next step.
Step 2. Find Rest.
Believe me, I know your time is short and the idea of trying to find time to rest feels impossible. But here’s what God has shown me about rest: it’s incredibly important, and it allows us to produce more. I constantly fight the artificial reality that to do more is to be more. And if I’m not careful, eventually exhaustion becomes the banner over my life.
Yesterday I took the entire afternoon off. I spent time outside getting some Vitamin D therapy, holding my family close, and pretty much letting my house stay a wreck. And this morning I woke up with this chapter burning inside of me. I knew God had honored the time I had spent unplugging from the world and to just be present.
Maybe your rest starts with just a few hours, one day a week. Perhaps it looks like turning off your phone, reading a book that fills your soul with good things or being with your friends and family.
What are the things that refuel you? These are the things you need to do when you seek rest. Rest can be more than taking a nap.
I hope that one of the things you feel like refuels you is being part of corporate worship, whether it’s a Wednesday night, Saturday, or Sunday service. I know we live in a world that offers online church attendance, and this is great! I’ve had many Sundays at home, on my couch, with a computer screen and a Bible. And God has been there, and His presence is sweet.
But there is something incredibly valuable about coming together with other people who love God and joining your souls in worship and the teaching of God’s Word.
If your church drains you, it might be time to move on or reevaluate all you are doing within the church. I’m not telling you to quit church or your volunteer roles. I’m suggesting you find a rhythm with the church that allows your soul to be rested and renewed by your being part of the church.
After you’ve taken this step and you still don’t feel like you can move forward in faith, try step 3.
Step 3. Take a Day for You.
Pulling away from others to pull closer to God is not just something that is beneficial for you; it’s something Jesus did: Yet He often withdrew to deserted places and prayed. (Luke 5:16)
Often. I wonder how many times? Was it once a day? Once a week? Just when He started to feel exhausted? We don’t know, but we know He did this, and the Bible tells us it was often.
A lot of “big thinker” leaders are doing this. They are picking a day, once a quarter, to pull away from social media, work, their families and friends to remember the vision they have for their lives. In their journals they write down where they are right now, where they want to be, and what they need to do to get there.
I’ve not been able to take a whole day away to do this yet, but I have taken a half day, and it’s been so beneficial. I’ve also started taking an hour or so once a week to sit down and evaluate everything I’m doing. I ask myself some hard questions like: Where am I spending too much of my time? Do the people around me feel loved? What goals am I most focused on right now?
When we get caught up with the demands of life, we want to quit everything because we have forgotten who we are and what drives our passion.
Learning to move forward in faith is going to require some energy and effort on our part. I think there’s a misconception that to have faith is to have all the determination in the world. But there is a difference between our effort and His ability. The perseverance of our faith holds the mystery of mercy that to do less is to be more.
[Editor’s Note: This excerpt is taken from 5 Habits of a Woman Who Doesn’t Quit by Nicki Koziarz. © 2016 by Nicki Koziarz and B&H Publishing Group, BHPublishingGroup.com. Used with permission.]
Nicki Koziarzis an author and speaker with Proverbs 31 Ministries. Each week she helps lead thousands of women through P31 Online Bible Studies. She and her husband, Kris, own a fixer upper farm just outside Charlotte, North Carolina. There they are raising their three beautiful (but hormonal) daughters, a barnyard of misfit animals, and one slightly famous pug. After a broken experience in the church, Nicki is consumed with learning to lead her generation on the pursuit of truth and love.
Publication date: March 1, 2016