Pushing Past Burn-Out

I’ve been quite slow with my updates over the last week or so, but for a legitimate reason. I had 4 essays due in three days last week, I had to finish Canon 25 design and writing, I had a volleyball tournament on Saturday and the big school banquet was last week also. It was a busy week, but now, thank God that week is over. Now I have five exams and another essay to look forward too.

Over the last three years or so, since I finished high school I have been warned too many times to count to make sure I don’t get burnt out. I have been told I need to make sure I take time to rest, to learn to say no and not to take on too many things. I’m sure you have heard this warning yourself; if you go to Tyndale I guarantee you that it’s something that they constantly talk about. I have experienced burn-out once in my life. It was the worst experience.

I remember the day like it was yesterday still when Joe told us he was leaving to go to Calgary, besides the Outback Steakhouse dinner, the day sucked. A few weeks before that we found out Dom was leaving. Phil was going to be leaving for school soon. Lauren and I just broke up and so there was that whole mess that I was dealing with. I had just quit high school, and was working at the computer store. In my eyes it seemed like my life was falling apart. The friends I grew up with were leaving, my girlfriend was gone and I didn’t know what I was going to do. I still remember the day quite clearly where I was sitting on my parent’s bed talking to them about everything and I just broke down. I couldn’t take it anymore.

This was my one and only true burn-out experience. I think there are a few reasons why I broke down. The fact that I took everything upon myself to handle was the major one. When Joe and Dom were leaving, I took it as my responsibility to make sure things didn’t change and everything kept moving. I blamed myself for things that weren’t my fault. I was depressed because my friends that I haven’t been away from since I was four were leaving, part of my security blanket was being uncovered. I had no plans whatsoever for my future and everything was a blur. I burned out because I didn’t give anything to God, I kept it to myself, and I kept it my problem and my burdens.

I learned a lot of lessons through that. It was through that whole experience that my first article got published through Relevant. It was through all that when I got my job at the church. It was through all that when I decided what I wanted to do with my future. I learned more lessons in that time of my life then any other time. I was stretched more and broken more then than I had been with any other group of circumstances. God used all the crap and brought me to where I am today, and for that I am thank-full.

So what does this all have to do with right now, how I’m feeling today? Well, if I would have had a week like I had last week three years ago, I would have burned out again, and completely have wanted to give up on everything. I’ve learned a lot about prioritizing and balance that helped me get through last week. I had all four essays started on before the week started; in fact all four of them were pretty much done. I knew this week was coming two months ahead of time and had prepared myself for it. There were a lot of extra things that were thrown in my week yet I still was able to make time for them.
I will admit a lot last week I was stressed out and I wasn’t myself a lot of the time. I was always thinking about the next thing that I had to do. It showed in my friendships, volleyball and in school. I got annoyed really easy and frustrated with everything. Most things that came out of my mouth were complaints or negative remarks. I’m still not perfect when it comes to handling a lot at once, but I’m learning.

So with another crazy week out of the way, and with more lessons learned its good to know that whatever the outcome of the week, I know that I’m where I’m supposed to be and doing what I’m supposed to be doing. Sometimes its hard to remember that God is in control and that I can trust him, but slowly I am learning to surrender myself to his loving and trusting hands.

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