I was on the way to yet another funeral. The third in thirty days. I hate funerals. I do. But I love people, especially my people (family and friends that seem more like family than friends). I go, so they know I love them.
The light turned red and I put on brakes and stopped. It was then I realized this was the first time I’d stopped all week and in those few short minutes of stop, my mind and body decide to put on brakes too.
Suddenly I was hit with a heaping hurt of tired.
More than tired. Weary.
I hadn’t stopped long enough during the week to notice I had crossed my own boundary, gone over my own mark of what I could take without a break.
It had been one of those stressful weeks of deadlines and demands and unfortunate unexpecteds. I knew I had a lot to do but I had it all timed out to the minute so I thought I was good. But then, without asking permission, the extra stuff just jumped right in. Stuff I didn’t plan on, like kidney stones and funerals. And all my good down to the minute timing flew out the window.
When I get this way I want to bail out… of everything …fast, even the dreams God’s placed on my heart. Things I’m making progress in.
Right then, I don’t care, I want to unload the load. When I’m weary like this, I’m far more likely to make a rash decision than a wise one.
The road my mind was traveling down was all too familiar. I had been here before. But this time as the light turned green, I turned to God and started to pray.
I asked Him, “How did I get here? What do I do, because right now I wanting to bail on you”.
Immediately He spoke to my heart and said, “Persevere”.
“But how God, I’m beyond exhausted.”
It was then God reminded me of a simple word with a simple truth.
I needed to recognize the principle of HALT.
H.A.L.T. is an acronym for:
The same things that cause me to give in are the same things that cause me to give up.
You see, the things that cause me to give into temptation and sin, are the same things that cause me to want to give up on the passions and dreams God has given me.
We are most tempted to give up and give in when we are hungry, angry, lonely or tired.
Today I was tired. Overly tired. I was about to go over the edge. And that’s exactly where Satan wants me, wants us – on the edge.
But God doesn’t.
1 Corinthians 14:33 tells us that our God is not a God of confusion but of peace.
God wants us to be able to think clearly so we can make wise decisions and have discerning hearts. Living on the edge of what I can handle puts me in a vulnerable state of confusion with little or no peace. It only takes one small push to topple me over into regrettable places of poor choices.
Halt means to stop. Stop what I’m engaging in, back away from the edge. Reevaluate. Pray. Seek wisdom from the Wisdom giver.
When I’m overtaxed and overdrawn, physically and mentally, it’s time to take a mental health day.
That’s what I call it because it’s a day to relax, restore and reflect, and that makes me mentally healthier. When I’m mentally healthy I make wiser choices.
For me, a mental health day consists of a combo of things. It may start with a walk on the beach to hunt for pearly black sharks teeth, a perfect way for me to have alone time with the Creator. Add to the beach a good dose or doses of affordable retail therapy and that usually does the trick and gets me back on track. Even cleaning my house and getting reorganized re-energizes me. This weekend I did all of the above.
And this week? I feel like a new person with a new perspective.
Dear Lord, I’m so thankful you met me where I was. You answered me when I called out to you so tired. You told me what I needed to do to persevere. I needed to take a step back. When I did you gave me restoration. Your mercies are new every day. To you I give praise and glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen
What does a mental health day look like for you?