The past couple of weeks my motivation has been lacking. I haven’t felt the drive to do, really, anything. I’ve been just bleh. For the past few months, life has felt like scaling a mountain—treacherous at times, leaving you unsure of what’s around the bend. Although its had its moments of being painfully difficult, there have been unbelievably beautiful times. Like climbing that mountain, despite the difficulties of it, you know that one thing is for sure as you look out: you’re going up. That’s how life had felt. I was headed upwards—fulfilling my calling and working through my own personal flaws…
…until life just stopped going up…until it felt like I reached a plateau. I lost the motivation to put my all into my work, my writing, my relationships. A huge part of it had to do with the heavy-duty self-examination I was undergoing. A few weeks ago, I decided to start speaking to a therapist (I say that as I flip my hair and roll my eyes like a narcissistic writer who is proud to label herself as a high-end Hollywood basket-case, ha, just kidding). Having someone ask me the right questions that gets me to start wading in a deep, dark pool of my past hurts and current brokenness, has made me realize how much more desperately I need Jesus…more than I ever thought imaginable.
It’s been quite grueling, to say the least. But good grueling. Does that make sense? Like HARD. But good. I’m sure you’ve been there—going through necessary self-refining. Like my therapist (smirk, hair flip and eye roll) told me—gold needs to be put through the fire in order for the dirt and imperfections to come to the surface and be wiped away. But once the dirt is exposed and the surface is cleaned, the gold is bright and shiny and beautiful. Ah, yes, I hope to one day be that shiny and spotless piece of gold…but for now…for now, I’m a lump of dirty gold getting burned in the fire. It’s good. Hard. But so good.
Anyways, it’s difficult to be motivated to love selflessly, dedicate yourself to the growth and maturity of others—loving patiently and kindly—when you’re digging through the junk in your own heart. “I’m dealing with my crap here, people, leave me ah-lone,” has been my attitude. I’ve been as available emotionally as a cat (pun intended) on its afternoon of perpetual napping—lethargic and wanting to be loved and paid attention to, without having to do any of that myself. I just want to lay here, soak in my own self-pity and watch Pretty Little Liars. Don’t make me think. Don’t make me go any deeper than wondering who “A” could possibly be.
As I allowed a day's worth of time to keep ticking away, I continued telling myself, “Kat, you need to pray. You need to seek Jesus.” I knew it would be the only thing that would get me out of this funk. I well-intentionally made weak petitions and affirmations in my mind. I would say I’m going to set aside time to let the flood gates pour outta my troubled little soul, but…it just wouldn’t happen. Instead, I would work. Or cook. Or clean my room. Or exercise. Why? Well, I asked myself that same question.
And then it hit me: getting on my knees to get real with God means more soul-searching and more self-examination. I get deep when I get real with Jesus. And a part of me just didn't wanna go there. I didn't wanna get deep. I was comfortable doggy paddling on the surface of my mind. “Let me just bob my head at the tip, God, c’mon.” It’s like, you know you have to have that really serious conversation with someone—you know it’s necessary and you know it’ll feel so good afterwards. But, you just keep putting it off. Because, well, it’s easier that way. We all tend to like easy…as much as we don’t like to admit it...easy feels good. Easy is well, easy.
So after contemplating this aha-moment, I decided to just do it. I decided to stop getting away with easy. If I wanted to push through the bleh-ness, I needed to get uncomfortable. So, I got down on my knees and told God everything. I let Him in (even though He already knew) on all the ickiness going on inside of me. I let Him in on what I was feeling. I apologized for my laziness, my lack of motivation. I asked Him for some inspiration. It was a nice, long, partly grueling conversation.
And when I was done, I sat on my bed, opened my Bible, turned to the book of Ephesians and started at chapter one. When I read these books, I usually try and well, get deep, as is almost a given when you’re reading the Bible, but this time, I wasn't concerned about that...I just wanted to read. So I did. I read all the way through. And then I got to chapter three and it said:
“When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”
Exactly. What. I. Needed. This was Paul’s prayer, written to the people of the church in Ephesus. But God is so perfect and precise, that as I read it, I knew it was a prayer directed at me in that very moment.
It was then I realized that I don’t have to force myself to go deep. I don’t have to bend over backwards and do all the work. I just have to surrender. I just have to be there. I just have to be willing to let God do it. He will meet me there. When we are open and honest with Him, He will respond. He will provide the words. Like those verses promised, His Spirit will give you that strength that you need. It won't always come in a lightning-bolt from heaven kind of way, but sometimes, His Word will speak to you in a simple, straightforward reminder like in Paul’s letter: He will empower you with the strength through his Spirit. Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him.
His very essence is transcending. Just like it says in His word, His love is so wide, so long, so high and so deep that it surpasses my understanding. And sometimes, when I feel like being stubborn and doing everything else instead of give myself to God, those prayers that Paul prayed in the passage are still answered thousands of years later, and in my surrendering, I am filled with the fullness of God. Right there. On my bed. On a calm, Sunday night. And as His strength filled my broken little soul, I pulled out my laptop and wrote this down to encourage you, dear friend.
It was the perfect inspiration, motivation, and reminder that I needed in order to keep on truckin’.
So if you find yourself in a state of bleh-ness, fight through the temptation to do everything but seek Him. Because when you do, He will be found.