Where these waters flow they refresh; everything lives where the river goes. Ezekiel 47:9
When Jocelyn was little, she was incredibly easy-going. Yet, every now and then, there’d be these meltdowns that came out of nowhere. When I say “meltdowns,” I mean she would sob and sob, inconsolably. Nothing I did helped. I finally would have no choice but to put her to bed, even if it were two o’clock in the afternoon.
Lo and behold, she’d wake up happy. That’s how I finally linked her meltdowns to invisible exhaustion (because really, there were no outwards warning signs at all).
She’s been having more meltdowns lately, even at seven years of age. However, I discovered a whole different invisible reason in this phase of her childhood.
A few weeks ago, right before dinner, she melted down to the point of hyper-ventilating. She claimed she wasn’t hungry at all, and begged to go to bed. I have no idea why, but I denied her request and forced her to eat. Lo and behold, by the end of dinner, she was laughing and telling jokes. Despite not feeling the slightest bit hungry, it turns out she was starving, and didn’t even know it. Once her belly was full, she was transformed back to her joyful self.
It happens to all of us: We reach the end of our rope, and we melt down. There aren’t any visible cues to prepare us, but suddenly we’re crazy ladies, yelling and crying. When we reach this place, we wonder what’s happening to us. Since we have no idea why it’s happening, we don’t know how to fix it. In our floundering, we try our old tricks of self-consolation: We binge on food, social media, or alcohol. Consequently, we end up feeling worse.
I believe when we hit this point, we’re like Jocelyn, except we’re starving spiritually. We don’t even know it because the signs are invisible, even to us.
When we are starving spiritually, the only thing that can feed our souls is God. Like C.S. Lewis says, “He (God) himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on.” When we finally discover this, and turn to Him to fill our souls, everything gets better. Then we too are transformed back to our joyful selves.
Questions for Reflection:
* Do I have meltdowns that seem to come out of nowhere?
* What do I do to renew and refresh myself?