Sustaining Grace

6am. I can hear the melody of the birds through the window. I haven’t seen sleep because I have an addiction to pushing myself to the limits. I press submit, and wonder what life without procrastination would be like. Probably boring. Living on the edge by racing deadlines is as wild as I can get without sacrificing success.

Exhaustion is a relatable term, but I embrace it because it means I’m doing all I can. 4 weeks into the semester, and I realize that 18 hours of school and 24 hours of work a week isn’t as sustainable as it looks on paper. Coffee and dry shampoo are my best friends, and I avoid eye contact with the planner on my messy desk because my life motto is “Just Wing It.”

In the midst of it all, I have a strong desire to hide away in a secret place to escape from demanding realities for just a bit. I know the answer, but instead I yank out my earbuds in frustration when the tunes of the world aren’t satisfying my need for peace. I look for it in deep conversations with people that ride my same brain waves, hoping that knowing that someone can relate will create the safe space that I’m looking for. Maybe if there’s two of us searching then it won’t be as bad? Momentarily the similarities are encouraging, but the real need for rest isn’t met and the search goes on.

I know the answer. I have written about it many times.  I’ve taught on it many times. But knowing and realizing seem like two completely different things. I tend to flit about and avoid the source of peace and grace, and think of it as a last result because I want to do it on my own. I can do it on my own.

Lyrics fill the empty spaces around me, and I begin to wonder: why are you looking for love? Why are you still searching as if I’m not enough? To where will you go child? I fight to earn the only thing I never could. Striving for grace. Chasing the impossible goal of earning the unearnable. Exhausting myself and my resources. Hitting the bottom of my tanks, and realizing that beneath it all, His hands are still holding me.

Frustration builds again as I mentally beat myself up for needing to be reminded of the truth yet again. When will I learn? But then again, maybe that’s the beauty in it all. Grace is ever present and constant despite my short attention span. He is gracious in sustaining me, and reminding me that He’s still my source of life even when I don’t understand.

And then, again, I’m thankful.

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