It was almost 9:00pm and there I was at the counter, chopping some pickles, finally getting around to eating dinner, if you can even call it that.
“It’s a comfort food kinda night, huh?” my husband said, eyeing the start of what we call “hot pickle-cheese dip” around here. I shot him a sheepish, knowing look. Yeah, it is.
Sometimes when I feel depleted, my soul has an insatiable desire to create: order out of the swirling chaos, or to combine a bunch of nothing together and make it into something.
The perfect storm of emotional triggers had finally worn me down: the chaos of children home for summer and constantly in my space, too many things to do in too little time, being stretched beyond capacity in multiple areas, lack of uninterrupted sleep, struggling neighbors, financial worries, and the rollercoaster of imbalanced hormones left me exhausted...and apparently craving pickles.
A deep surrendered sigh escaped my lips, evidence of the strain I could no longer keep hidden, and I minced some jalapenos to the soundtrack of helplessness playing in my mind.
This is all too much.
I can’t do this.
I’m already overwhelmed––how am I supposed to add on even more?
I know they’re struggling and don’t have enough. But what if we don't have enough to share?
Maybe you listen to these songs, too? When we carry the weight of the world on our shoulders, it’s heavy, overwhelming, and discouraging, to say the least. The paradox of reality is that you can be sinking while standing on the hardwood floor in your kitchen on an ordinary Monday. This is one of my personal deadly sins: that I try to carry it all by myself.
In what had to be a divine intervention, the book of Acts flashed through my mind, specifically how they all shared what they had with one another and everyone had enough. There was no needy person among them, it says. There was zero pressure to do more, acquire more, or figure out how to take care of everyone alone. All they had to do was simply share what they already had, and everyone received a portion. It may not have been as much as they wanted or looked exactly how they thought it would, but it was enough.
You see, when we stick to the basics of what is required of us, the yoke is easy and the burden is light. It strengthens our faith as we have the opportunity to behold Jesus making the little we have to offer into plenty. It draws boundaries around what we can and cannot do, and lets Him take care of the rest.
I also struggle with this assumed pressure in my creative life, feeling like I need to be or say or do certain things, giving people more of what they seem to want, manufacturing what I may not naturally have. And I suppose that’s a decent business model, a way of promoting a “brand,” but I’ve decided instead to simply offer what I have: my truest self and my story, and I’ll leave the rest to Him.
Jesus is the one who takes our meager offering and makes it into enough, not me. He uses our small sack lunch, which is really only enough to feed ourselves, to nourish the masses. So I can let go of the futile striving for my own glory and leave the impossible to Him. This is the everyday miracle of faith.