This is a post I’ve been struggling to write for a few weeks (you may have noticed I haven’t posted in a couple of weeks). As a result it is also longer than the majority of my previous posts. As I’m trying to discover myself and what I’m looking to do I’m also going to try some different styles of writing. If you take the time to read this and other articles I would appreciate if you want to reach out and talk to me whether it’s with constructive feedback or encouragement or even your own stories. And now for a story that most people have never heard, even if they somewhat lived it with me.
Sometimes life feels like a great big puzzle. Yet when you think you are starting to see the picture it seems like you find you are missing some of the pieces. Or it turns out that what you thought you were making was only a part of the larger picture. It’s even more interesting when sometimes you find yourself getting called back to a part of the puzzle that you are just now seemingly finding the pieces for.
Recently I discovered a piece that I hadn’t really seen in awhile. That piece looks and feels a lot like tiredness. Now I know for many people being tired tends to be a daily occurrence. Yet growing up that is probably one of the last words that you would associate with me. I was one of those kids that could play sports for hours upon hours and seemingly still have more energy. In fact there were even some days when I was in middle school that I would have 3 practices for 3 different sports. Yet I wouldn’t say that it really made me tired. Until one day I was tired. Honestly, I can’t really remember exactly what day that was other than the fact that it was one of the few times I can ever remember being tired.
After a night’s rest I was probably physically refreshed. Yet I can still recall something always being a little bit off at the time. In a way it is weird to look back and really only be able to remember a feeling. The reason that is strange is because almost every other period of my life can be told through various stories or events, but there is just kind of this haze that hangs over that point of my life. It’s also weird because throughout my life that feeling of being tired is one of the few points in my life that I can remember experiencing an honest feeling.
Sure at any given moment I’m probably experiencing some form of emotion, but for me most of them are just temporary expressions. Most of them are just me trying to get through one day after another. Yet there is something real about feeling tired. It is your bodies expression that it needs something. The longer you try to fight being tired whether it is spiritual, physical, mental, or emotional, the worse that feeling of being tired tends to get. That is in a sense what happened to me during this time. In a story that most people have never heard. One night during the summer between 7th and 8th grade I reached a point of complete physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual tiredness.
On this night I was attending a church camp I had gone to previously called Summer Games. It was pretty much a week of vacation bible school mixed with recess. You were split into small groups and you went around playing various games, singing songs, swimming, having bible studies, etc. Yet in the midst of something that should have been fun and exciting, here I was tired. Sure playing games and swimming in the middle of July will make you physically exhausted, but physically I was fine. Mentally I was a teenager so obviously I was a wreck, I mean what teenager isn’t trying to solve all of the worlds problems in a single day? Emotionally, again I was a teenager, so I was naturally going to be a wreck there as well. I mean I had a pretty good childhood, nothing major to complain about, at this camp I felt loved and welcomed, enjoyed playing games and getting to know people, yet there was always just some feeling or emotion that just wasn’t clicking.
Spiritually, I thought I was in a good place. I mean I was at church camp, I was surrounded by hundreds of other people, worshiping and celebrating and overall just enjoying what I thought it meant to really be. Yet it seemed like every moment I was at this camp I was just becoming more and more exhausted. Until one night I had a conversation with one of the pastors that was at the camp that week. I’m not really sure how or why or when exactly the conversation started. Yet I do remember that somewhere during this conversation the topic became about my uncle. You see within the past year he had committed suicide. I wasn’t really that close to him, having only met him maybe a handful of times in my life. Yet the thing seemingly making this different was that he was a pastor. In that moment I was trying to come to grips with the fact that people aren’t perfect. Not even pastors.
While I have no clue how long the conversation lasted. I do know at a certain point in time the pastor I was talking with mentioned the following, “We are all missing something in our lives. It is might be something different for every single one of us. None of us are perfect and as such we have something that we need. This very flaw is something that we can’t fix. We can try as hard as we want to but for whatever reason, this one flaw that we all have is beyond our human capabilities to fix. That’s what makes us human and that’s what makes us imperfect. That is why we need Jesus.” In a weird way in that moment everything seemed to just make sense. The odds of me being at that camp with that other person who was exactly the right person to talk with in that exact moment who without even knowing how I was feeling had the right thing to say. While I’m sure my body was tired and my emotions were especially a wreck, something changed right then. Instead of feeling tired, I felt this strange sense. To this day I’ve never felt this sense again. Yet the only thing I can really say to describe it was a form of peace. It was as if in that moment someone had taken my tiredness away from me.
The reason I’m telling this story other than because most people have never heard me tell it, is that as I mentioned earlier, recently I have rediscovered a feeling of being tired. I don’t know what is making me tired at the moment. I don’t know if this is something that will just be a temporary feeling. But I do know the last time I felt tired, my life changed. I also know that I can’t fix this type of tired on my own. Because I’m not perfect, and am just a flawed human. And for whatever reason I have this hole this feeling this thing that I can’t fix on my own. It may be frustrating at times, but sometimes like all good puzzles you just have to wait for someone or something to help fill in the missing pieces for you.