Ever been stuck in your pajamas? You wake up empty, and no amount of caffeine can rouse your spirits because you’re feeling low and haven’t got a drop of energy to face the day.
My mentor, Loretta, once said, “The year following my husband’s death, I ran on empty. I’d slide one foot out of the bedcovers and groan, ‘Lord, I can’t.’
And the Lord would nudge me out of bed by assuring me, ‘I know, but I can. My strength is made perfect in weakness.’” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Empty and weak. That’s how my other friend felt when an ongoing storm—with no end in sight—hit her family.
“Fatigue and anxiety try to take over,” she said. “Sometimes, it leaves me numb and paralyzed. Yesterday, I couldn’t get out of my pj’s. Today, I wore them till noon. I couldn’t help myself.”
Life happens, right? Personal storms, that drain us, become the new normal and threaten to crush our spirit like someone stepping on an empty soda can. We’re tired of being strong. And we’re afraid to hope because we’ve been empty so long.
So what can we do when we’re stuck in pj’s?
Put on Grace instead of Shame.
“I hate when I’m stuck in pj’s,” said my friend, “but I’ve stopped feeling ashamed. Now, I know it’s a marker to show me how I’m doing. I’ve learned to observe what’s happening and give myself grace in the storm. Knowing this too shall pass.”
Be Real and Willing to Receive
My friend cringed when someone knocked at her front door one afternoon. Dressed in her pj’s, without any makeup, and her wet hair wrapped in a towel, she said, “I didn’t want to answer the door. I wasn’t comfortable letting my friends see me this way. Vanity aside, it’s scary to share my struggles. I’d rather appear strong. But the ones who came to my door love me.”
If my friend had pretended to be strong, or refused to open the door, she would have missed out on their love and a much-needed (and appreciated) gift. “It’s awkward receiving gifts,” she said, “but it’s the perfect picture of God’s love and generosity. We’ll never deserve it. He simply gives and we accept.”
Freedom to Listen Instead of Sing
There were Sundays when my friend went to church, but she didn’t have the energy to sing during worship. So she remained quiet and listened to the people sing. “There’s freedom in letting words of praise be sung over us. Certain songs bring tears and help us stay yoked to Jesus. So I listen to praise music until I can sing.”
The storm isn’t over for my friend. She still struggles with emptiness. However, my friend knows God is present and working in ways she can’t imagine. For she told me, “I await the day when I can look back and trace God’s fingerprints all over this storm.”
What helps you in difficult times? Have you seen God’s fingerprints?
Photos: Pixabay Images