Are you tired?
Have you been tired for a long time, but you keep pushing ahead because there’s so much to do and people who need your help?
You’ve been the responsible one—dependable. You feel you must do your part to make life safe and keep people happy. So, you work various jobs, you offer others food and encouragement, and you serve them in whatever way you feel they need. You stay vigilant, ready for action and ready to rescue. It all seems like the right thing to do; yet, you know in your heart you need rest. You realize you need to do a better job of taking care of yourself, but your needs and dreams always seem less important than those around you. You crave rest, but you don’t know how to do it or even define it.
You might even ask yourself: Why can’t I rest? What is rest really? Is it a vacation to an exotic island off the grid? That sounds dreamy. Surely, you could rest if no one could find you and you were on a beach far away from the cares of the world. But, where is such a beach? Who has the money to fly there, and what if your family, friend or job needs you while you’re gone?
So, you stay home, keep working, taking care of others, and you ask yourself:
How do I rest at home, with all the needs of my family, the demands of work, and the world in crisis?
If you identify with this mindset, you may be on a path to burnout.
Perhaps, you’ve already been there and keep finding yourself back on that familiar path.
This 30-day devotional book, I Can’t Rest Now, Lord! I’m Responsible, reveals heart-level beliefs about God and ourselves, beliefs that keep us tired. It is designed to share how those beliefs—which I call orphan thinking—can lead to burnout. The daily lessons are captured in personal experience stories and Biblical truths that radically change our view of our relation- ship to God, our Father. Each day has a theme, a revelation, scripture and words of wisdom, a restercise activity, and a closing prayer.
Burnout is not unique to women; men are vulnerable, as well. Although this book was originally written with women in mind, it can speak to men—as confirmed by the responses I’ve received. Sharing the daily devotional with your husband or a significant other can enhance the discussion and practical application. This book can be read by individuals or shared in a group setting.
Going deeper sections: There are additional questions for further reflection and journaling for individuals, couples, or group studies. Group studies may take six to eight weeks. Individuals set your own pace by listening to God’s heart, absorbing all He wants to say to you, until you are ready to move on to the next day’s encouragement and application. There is a leaders’ guide at the back of the book for group studies.
God loves you with an everlasting love. He desires that all know His unconditional love on a heart level, not merely intellectually. I pray that God will speak personally to you and help you to come to the full knowledge of how deep, long, high, and wide His love is for you. You are precious to Him, and to this world. He demonstrated His love for us by giving us His Son Jesus—Who calls out to us daily, “Come all who are weary, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28 NIV).
I invite you to share my journey to true heart rest and the recovery that awaits you and every child of God. May Christ Jesus fill you to the brim with life abundant and peace.
—Gena Bradford: a fellow traveler
WHAT IS BURNOUT?
Simply put, burnout is physical and/or mental collapse caused by exhaustion, stress, or overwork. It is a state of complete depletion of energy and strength.
The list of symptoms can be both physical and emotional:
- Constant fatigue and exhaustion.
- Lack of motivation, initiative, or enthusiasm.
- Loss of creativity and efficiency.
- Poor sleep patterns and change in appetite.
- Confusion, forgetfulness, feeling detached.
- Everything, even a simple task, takes much longer to do.
- Feelings of being in survival mode and treading water.
- Inability to meet constant demands and feeling overwhelmed.
- Wishing you could flee, run away.
- Other physical symptoms may include headaches, back pain, muscle aches, gastrointestinal disorders, tight jaw, chest pains, and lowered immunity leading to frequent colds and sickness.
- Depression, anger, quick change in mood, less tolerance, and tears.
- A sense of failure, self-doubt, cynicism, helplessness, being trapped, anxiety, loneliness, listlessness.