It’s almost eerie how paralleled my life has been with California’s drought these past few months. While California, its land, and its people have been in desperate need of rain, so has my life been in desperate need of a cleanse– to aid in both revival and personal growth. And when the rain came just days ago, there seemed to come rejuvenation in my own life.
I’ve been in a dry spell, no doubt, this season in my life. While I can’t name any specifically traumatizing or heartbreaking events, my emotions and overall well-being has mirrored a sine function (see below). For a day or so, my life is on the rise and my future looks bright; I reach a peak and utter climax of joy and contentment; then life takes a turn and gradually, gradually my emotional state declines; I finally reach a low, a meltdown point where I am forced to reevaluate. Then the cycle repeats.
It’s been boys, it’s been schoolwork, it’s been leaderships positions and work and daily responsibilities and my weight and fitness level and a lack of sleep and my relationship with God. They’ve been rocky. I am not riding the Jesus high like I was during the fall, I am not in shape to run a half marathon like I was not long ago, I am not rested. I just haven’t felt filled.
I just wanted to escape the sine graph and move to more straight line, with a steadily increasing slope. (More like the one below.)
Let’s just say, rain was long overdue.
Amidst a mini-meltdown on Tuesday night, one of my closest friends called me to help talk things through. Their support was invaluable and they listened to my every last complaint and worry and stress. This person (you know who you are) said one truly remarkable thing during that conversation: each day, try doing something new that will muster up joy. No matter how small that thing is, it will break a mundane and often depressing cycle of doing life.
So, I took them up on their advice. And my additions were indeed small.
Wednesday started on a high note. I took the hour between my two classes to crash in Starbucks, get comfortable, journal, and read my Bible. I wrote down all my issues and looked up Bible verses that would help me find solutions for them. For my emotional eating issue, I found 1 Peter 1:13, “So think clearly and exercise self control.”
I also took my Wednesday lunch break to sit down with a friend and help him study for a midterm. I didn’t rush at work, instead I processed my packages peacefully and listened to some worship music. I went for a run/walk later that afternoon and actually enjoyed myself, rather than feeling pressured to burn as many calories as possible in one hour.
Thursday, I took the bus rather than my usual bike ride to school. While on the bus and as I walked from class to class, I listened to a Francis Chan sermon. I liked that so much I kept listening while at work and ended up listening to a Matt Chandler sermon on Racial Reconciliation. (Which highly recommend! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjLZLvzW45o)
I also met up with a girl from my Bible study for a run in the rain.
Today (Friday), I decided to walk to class rather than bike… or ride the bus. It was raining, but I walked in spite of that minor detail. In fact, I enjoyed the rain. It gave me some room to think and find solitude… as most people don’t particularly like being out in the cold, wet rain. But the sprinkle that speckled my cheeks and dampened my hair brought me to realizing some cosmic truths about my current life.
The past few days, I tweaked and I added. And it worked. I think I might actually be riding that steadily rising slope. I’m enjoying joy and re-centering my relationship with Christ.
I certainly don’t believe that I am officially out of this drought, although the rain has been refreshing. More, consistent rain is certainly necessary to find restoration. But, for now, I’m pressing on. And I’m passing on my friend’s advice to you.