Yesterday morning I woke up in bad state. I was on edge. Before I could even wipe the sleep from my eyes, I was worried about what had to be done that day, about doing enough to make myself feel like I had accomplished something. It was an undefinable standard that bubbled up from within, and I didn’t really know what I could do to meet it. All I knew was that I had to get busy doing something; the voice in my head was screaming, “Get to work!”
It sounds extreme, but it’s the truth. I don’t know if you have ever experienced this, but I have learned that it is rather commonplace in my life. In fact over a year ago now, the very same kind of thinking landed me in the hospital. I had suffered from intense panic attacks to the point where I could barely move. I actually had to go on medication to help me calm down.
The result of that experience is that I’ve learned that more of us are one step away from breaking down and buckling under the pressure than we like to admit. When it happened to me I thought I was alone. I thought it was unique to me (even in my lowest lows my pride is evident), but I discovered tons of people who had had the same experience but had never talked about it. They felt exposed, as I did. The truth was out! We didn’t have it together. We weren’t able to handle the pressure. Our inner existence did not match the facade we had carefully crafted for everyone to see. It all had come crumbling down without our permission.
It was during this time that I really learned I had no control over my life . . . that I had no choice in the matter. If I had had a choice I would have certainly avoided what I was going through, but I didn’t have a choice. The experience brought me low, but in a good way. It brought me to where I really live everyday. It brought me to where I understood my constant need for help. It made me finally understand what unconditional love is, what the cross is. It’s when I am absolutely at my lowest low, when I have nothing to offer that I am accepted by God without hesitation.
As I said above, the truth is that I am always one-step away from breaking. Yesterday morning reminded me of this fact. I never really have anything to offer. Thankfully Jesus came to find us in those low moments when we are at our weakest, so that we might know the extent of His love for us.