Whenever we are having a technological issue, after trying a myriad of problem solving techniques, as a last resort, we are often told, “well, back up your information and do a factory reset”. Why? A factory reset renders the device as basically new. It wipes everything as though you had not installed the zillion aps, downloaded a plethora of documents and so on. At the end of last year, I was beyond burnt out and exhausted but, you know me, I kept on going. However, I decided that in addition to the routine tests I normally get done for my annual physical exam, I would do some specialized tests just to see if there was anything more to the extreme exhaustion. When my EKG (ECG) came back abnormal, it was a bit jarring. I was not expecting that. Blood work was fairly normal as nothing pointed to anything cardiovascular or endocrine. An echocardiogram was done out of an abundance of caution and that too came back normal. So I asked the Lord to help me rest. To take some time away and rest. In verity, one of my focus words for this year is REST.
Unknown to most persons, I started the new year in a bit of depression. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I spent most of the day crying and sleeping. To my family, they probably thought I was tired…and I was. I don’t normally sleep in nor for extremely long hours, so when I do, I am usually resting and they usually leave me be. So, they did what they would normally do thinking I was okay. I had even decided to cancel doing our Snippets! But God! Encouragement came from a coworker who is also a friend. She reminded me that I wasn’t a failure and that there was nothing to worry about…I often think I am failing at life in spite of all the things that are going well and whatever success has found me. However, I said to the Lord, I need a factory reset. I am going to “back up” all that You’ve downloaded into me during the last two years, and trust me, it has been a lot. If you know me well, you know the growth that has happened. I told Him, Lord, I need a factory reset as only You can fix the intangible things in me that not even I truly know need fixing. I asked Him to choose what and who needed to be removed from my life and when. I asked Him to permanently fix some things that I have been struggling with. I decided I was going to go silent as I allow God to work in His own timing…to go silent and refocus. I did not put a timeline on it…so I did not know how long it would take.
So here is what has been happening thus far:
I have been more focused on building myself and my brand QUIETLY. I realise that I have been speaking way less to everyone. So stay tuned for all the things that will come this year (I don’t even know some of them as yet! But I am expectant).
I have been taking better care of myself, even if that means I am posting less regularly on all my social media pages. I know that a part of my calling involves encouraging persons but God gives wisdom. Sometimes I am tired because I am giving too much to others and not enough to myself. This contributes to my negative thoughts and feelings of failure.
I have been accepting that I cannot be all things to all people. It is an important acknowledgement to make. As such this year has been designated as my “selfish year”. A year to prioritize some things that I have long wanted to do. A year to take calculated risks and reap the rewards. A year to be bold and do what needs to be done. A year where I am venting less and declaring the results I am anticipating even when it seems like it will never manifest. Waiting on God is never easy. Knowing the promise is never enough. Yes it is hard to see people who didn’t even have the desire for certain things be granted the very things you have been desiring for what seems like all eternity. It is only by God’s grace, living by His Word and a steadfast focus on Him that will allow anyone to endure waiting…to keep serving as you wait…to keep living as you wait…to remain encouraged as you wait.
I have been coming to terms with my ever growing to do list which seems like something is always running over to the next day, or week, or month. Life happens! And it happens to all of us! We won’t always get to smash the goals in the timeline we want to. We won’t always manage to check everything off. However, were you productive? Did you eat well? Sleep well? Have me time? Was your day balanced? Did you stop to check in on loved ones? Did you go outside, away from your screen and just breathe? Even if it was for a second?
I have accepted who I am and I have accepted that not everyone will treat me as I have treated them. I have also accepted that I am a fallible human being who will inevitably hurt people and be in need of their forgiveness. And the same alacrity with which I want to be forgiven, I must forgive. I have decided to just remove the walls and love people. I cannot love God and not love people. However, it does not mean that I don’t have boundaries. And yes, proverbially, I have been given some baskets in which to carry water, and I have decided to carry the water. I will not patch the baskets, I will not try to make it waterproof, and I will certainly not spend time trying to convince you that it isn’t worth it. Whatever water you get when I arrive, that is what you get. Simple.
I am learning that sometimes people rejecting you can be a blessing. Especially if you struggle with codependency. God will make situations uncomfortable for you to leave. Leave! Walk away! He wants you to realise that you truly don’t need anyone and He doesn’t need any assistance. He will get the glory out of it and you will be better for it. Your relationship will be much better and you will learn to hear, see and feel Him more.
I have decided to declare that this year has already been successful. There are people who will walk out of my life and I will walk out of some persons’ lives. There are doors that used to be open that will close and vice versa. My best friend today (I have none) might become my biggest enemy in a month or two. The person I thought I would marry ( I am not dating anyone) might turn out to be”the best thing I never had”. What was good in last season might become disastrously dangerous in this season. And so on and so forth. However, regardless of what has happened, is happening, will happen, I will live by God’s Word therefore my success is guaranteed and it is well with and for me (thanks Pastor…as much as I dislike preaching, you always assign me the message I need to hear…well not you but…you get the point).
Lastly and possibly most importantly, I have decided to be intentional about my speech and my thoughts. I was always a realistic person. Always believed that things will find a way to work themselves out. I always believed that God had a way out and I was always determined. There is nothing I could not do once I put my mind to it. Life happened and I gave up hope…not on God but everything started being coloured negatively. I could no longer see the good in people or the things around me. I have decided to let that perspective go. Who I am is exactly that…I am the same realistically optimistic, driven, determined, person God created me to be. Life cannot takeaway the innate purpose related characteristics that God has firmly planted in me. I might not always see what everyone sees in me but even when I can’t I refuse to believe otherwise now. It is time to really walk in that which I am called. Time to let go of the things from my past that I allowed to define me for years. Time to free up myself to receive all that God is waiting to give me. Time to become all that He says I am.
So, are you in need of a factory reset? You don’t have to wait until the year is starting over. You don’t have to try many things first. God longs to have us see ourselves as He sees us. He longs for us to be free from the opinion and validation of others and to be satisfied knowing that He will not fail us. It will not be easy but we just have to be willing to try. Will you try today? What are some of the things that you need Him to fix? What do you need to “back up” before He starts the reset? What have you been learning so far during your reset?