Last week I took a survey in my small nutrition group about what they needed the most help with and most of them answered that they’re fatigued and don’t know why. To get some insight I started digging into what causes fatigue. I have all of my notes sitting here next to me and I will share them with you later this week, but I think that right now, in this season that we’re in, there is one cause that outweighs the others by a lot. First, though, I do want to preface this with – if you are feeling fatigued, there could be a large spectrum of reasons why. It is always best to go to a functional medicine doctor to help find the root cause of your fatigue and see if there is anything physical that needs to be addressed.
From the research I did, the top causes for fatigue are stress, lack of sleep, nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalance, and cognitive (asking your brain to do too much). I agree with these but I think a few things were missing… a global pandemic, civil unrest, and off-the-charts spiritual warfare. These could probably fall under the stress and cognitive categories but what we’re dealing with here is different. It’s not the kind of stress any of us know how to navigate.
Yesterday morning I woke up, (If you can call it that), completely exhausted. I could barely open my eyes, my body ached all over, and I felt hungover but I don’t drink alcohol. It didn’t even feel like I had gotten any sleep at all but I had! I slept for eight hours! I got up for a scheduled zoom call that I have every morning at 7:30 and then decided that since I was so tired I would just go back to sleep for a little while after my meeting. I ended up sleeping until noon! I have been really focusing on my health, eating well, sleeping well, trying not to be too stressed, and going for walks. Plus, I had just had several labs run on my vitamin D levels, which were optimal, and my hormones… those still need some work but I still shouldn’t be this tired. When I got up the second time I prayed, “God, why am I so tired?”
God speaks to me in many different ways and sometimes I have to decipher what He is saying to me, but yesterday, His answer was pretty clear. He asked me why I was carrying the burdens that He was meant to carry. Eeek, Then He directed me to Matthew 11:28-30,
God showed me a few years ago a visual of a backpack and how I was carrying a backpack full of worries and burdens. Every time I “gave Him my burdens” I would take my backpack off and toss it at the foot of the cross…. but then I would go and pick it right back up again after I was done praying. Yikes! He showed me at that time that I needed to unpack my backpack… taking one thing out at a time, give it to Him and quit taking it back once it’s His to carry. I did pretty well giving Him all of my worries and burdens, but this past year I have some new ones that I keep putting in my backpack to carry around with me. He also showed me how angry I’ve been. Don’t get me wrong here… anger is a normal, healthy emotion when it is felt, and released in a healthy manner. There is also such a thing called “righteous anger.” Remember when Jesus turned over the tables in the Temple courtyard? Yep, even Jesus got angry and for good reason! Stuffing the anger down and eating afterwards is not that. Getting angry and snapping at your family is not that. Going to sleep and expecting to rest well… is not that.
I have never been good with conflict. Any sign of conflict and I will just sit and listen or walk away. I have to gather my thoughts before I can respond but I usually don’t have time to do that so I just don’t respond.. But I also have very strong convictions about what is happening in our world, our nation, and my state right now. I hate injustice. I am torn on the inside. Part of me wants to hide my head in the sand and pretend like all of this is just going to go away and another part of me wants to scream from the mountain tops… “STOP!!” and when I see injustice happening all around me I want to turn over some tables. But I don’t. I stuff it all in my backpack. I have been feeling this way for over a year. I have a couple of friends that I confide in, I journal, and I pray – even giving God my worries, but just like in the past, I keep “picking up my backpack” instead of completely giving God control. Whew. That is hard to do when you see the world around you crumbling and no one seems to be doing anything about it.
This past year He has had me in the Word like never before. Studying it with my pastor, reading it morning and night, doing Bible studies, (sometimes 2 or 3 at a time), and reading lots of books. I have never trusted God more than I do today. I can easily say that I am a new person, my mind has been transformed. I think differently and act differently. God has been preparing me and you our entire lives for such a time as this. He knew the burdens would be heavy and that’s why He is saying to us today to give Him our burdens.
So how do we give God control?
Below is from a 21 Days of Prayer & Fasting challenge that I ran a few months ago. I’m turning it into a book (I hope) but I think it’s very fitting for today.
Giving God Control
I don’t know about you but giving ANYONE control is hard for me to do. I am a single mom, a strong independent woman, raised in the era that taught me that women can do everything and we don’t need anyone’s help. Except that’s not Truth. We do need each other…and we need God! Do you have difficulty giving up control? How do you know? Do you prefer to just load the dishwasher/fold laundry/clean the kitchen/put the groceries away, etc. yourself because you do it “the right way?” Or do you get frustrated or offended if someone offers to help you because you feel like they either have an agenda or you feel like they think you are doing something incorrectly? Or maybe you are holding onto something so tightly because if you let go EVERYTHING will come crashing down. When I am trying to stay in control it feels like I am juggling the most precious things and if I let one thing fall, it will not only break but everything I am juggling will fall and break too. I put a lot of false responsibility on myself by thinking I can control things that I can’t. I understand how hard it is to give up control but in order to allow God to work in your life, you MUST give Him control over it. This doesn’t mean that you don’t have free will – God will never take away your choice or your Freedom. He loves you more than you will ever comprehend. He has plans to prosper you, not to harm you. He wants to do a new thing…. are you ready?
Giving up control is HARD. But trying to control everything that you have absolutely no control over is hard too.
CHOOSE YOUR HARD.
I acknowledge you. I am thankful for your goodness, your faithfulness, and your tender love for me. Lord, forgive me for thinking that I can control my world. I now know that I cannot control it, no matter how hard I try. I turn toward you, God, and I lay all of my cares, all of my worries, all of my anxieties, and everything that I have been trying to control at the foot of the cross. I seek you with my whole heart and I ask you to come rest on me. Rest on my home. Rest on my family. Settle my anxious thoughts. I take captive every thought. You have not given me a spirit of fear, but one of power, of love, and of a sound mind. I submit to your will, Lord. I know that you have plans to prosper me, not to harm me. I trust you fully and I believe in You and Your word but help my unbelief. God, I need you. I need you to come into every aspect of my life. I submit my thoughts to you, I submit my emotions to you, I submit my 5 senses to you, I submit my family, finances, and my career to you. I give you all of my fears and uncertainties. You are good and you will make all things good for those who love you and are called according to your purposes. I lift my arms up to you as an outpouring of my love for you and I offer up a sacrifice of praise to you. My lips acknowledge Your name. Jesus. I submit myself to You. In your mighty name, I pray. Amen
Here is a song you can listen to while you release control over to God:
Comment below and share with us either what is something that is really hard for you to give up control over or if you had a revelation today that you would like to share.
Stay tuned as we dig a little deeper into fatigue and what to do about it later this week.