A Cry for Help
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."1
"I am a highly educated and capable man, but have been through the wringer for the past decade. I am completely overwhelmed with emotional burnout. I have come to the end of my rope and can understand why people drink themselves to death. Iím crying out for help."
Dear James (name changed), I'm sorry to hear that you are feeling so down. Sometimes life can feel totally overwhelming. I've been there. About 25 years ago I sat where you sat and at 2 A.M. one morning when I was pacing the floor in desperation I prayed to God, "OK, God. You win. I don't know what you are trying to say to me through my circumstances but I can't go on. You can have our new office and home [a home that I had built with my own hands that overlooked the city of Adelaide, Australia, and the ocean beyond]. You can have everything I own. I will go anywhere in the world if you will just give me peace." Then I added, "P.S. But God please don't send me to Alaska because I hate the cold!"
I think God must have a sense of humor as today I am living in Southern California with a wonderful climate and have an even better view of the ocean. However, my recovery didn't come overnight. I needed lots of counseling to work through and resolve my inner conflicts and failures, but today my life has never been more productive or more fulfilling.
The major turning point for me was when I literally begged God to confront me with the reality and the truth of what I was contributing to the conflict situation I was in. Once I saw this (my super codependency), I knew exactly what I needed to do. This is one of the most powerful prayers I have ever prayed.
I suggest that you pray the same prayer. Ask God to confront you with your reality no matter how much it hurts. This can be very painful but it's only as we see what we are contributing (and we all contribute something) can we see what we can and need to do. While we can't always change our circumstances, and never change other people, we can always change ourselves and our attitudes.
I also urge you to seek capable professional counseling. At times like these most of us need someone outside of ourselves to help us see what we are contributing to the situations in which we find ourselves and to help guide us on the sometimes rocky path to healing and recovery.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, in all of lifeís adverse circumstances please help me to hear what You are 'saying' to me so that I can grow and become a healthier, happier and more mature person. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."
1. James 1:2-4 (NIV).