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28 July, 2017

It’s a rarity for me to have Mondays off from my normal bible-study-hosting routine. But our team were still exhausted from a weekend packed with our youth conference, that we decided a day off would be a good idea. And yes, it was a great idea, and partly my own suggestion to the group. But being so used to the heavy-hectic-jam-packed weeknights, staying at home just like that just doesn’t seem right. I needed to find something useful and productive to do. I knew my best friend had a bible study happening near my house, so I thought: You know what, let’s do that tonight; let’s join her ‘Women’s Bible Study’.

The discussion that night was on Shauna Niequist’s book, “Present Over Perfect”. I have never read the book before, but from its description and a scan of it, it was about living a soulful life. You know, a life that isn’t so much about achieving and accomplishing all the time, but in the present. Or, something like that.

That night we were talking about Chapter 2.

In that chapter, Shauna talked about how we often live our lives unconsciously slid into roles that we weren’t meant to play. Like for example, the role of “the decision maker”, just because we are the oldest among the other siblings. Or the role of “the responsible one”, just because we are teachers. Maybe we are “the messy one”, just because we have an art studio with paint all over the place. Well, I didn’t feel like I experienced all that, until we hit ‘amen’ at the end of our 1.5 hours discussion.

I realized that I was unconsciously slid into the role of ‘the one who has it all together’.

I work as an English teacher and most of my students are toddlers. Four and five year olds. I heavily invest myself in the youth ministry, where I spend at least half of my week with junior high and high school teenagers. All this, plus pursuing Masters degree, social life and family life in between. It’s safe to say that to do all that I need to do, I pretty much don’t have time to fall apart. I have become ‘the one who has it all together’. And it wasn’t the first time I heard this said of me. I have had my friends in ministry come up to me saying things like: “I don’t know how you do this week in and week out”, I don’t know how you are always so together”, “I don’t know how you have the strength to keep at it, at full speed”.

Well, guess what? I don’t always have it together. I am not always together.

Most of the time, I am as messy as everyone else are. I am as confused, as in doubt, as tired, as angry, as all-the-adjectives-you-can-think-of, as everyone else. And that’s okay. Because I do fall apart on a regular basis. I do cry out to God in frustration and anger from time to time. I do feel like running away and giving up so may times. In fact, the reason why I believe this story is worth sharing is because I think most of us are feeling tired and worn out. And we think that we can’t fall apart, that we have no time to not be okay, to come to God just as we are.

Today, I want to let you know that you are not alone. It is human to feel all these things. And it is God being God to assure us that we are safe in Him. That we draw our strength not from ourselves, but from Him. And that’s why we can push through, that’s why we will be okay. That’s why we will look back and see it has always been worth fighting for.

Don’t give up just yet. God is still keeping you together and He is all you will ever need.

Matthew 11: 18
Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

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Written by
Levina Kusumadjaja

Levina Kusumadjaja is a writer, poet and teacher. She is passionate about Jesus, the youth and Engli . . . .

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