When You’re Worn

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During my nearly forty years on this planet, I’ve traveled through several seasons of life where only one word can be used to describe my state of being: worn.

The last time I felt that way passed by just a few months ago. Nothing catastrophic was bombarding my world. I wasn’t sick or clinically depressed. I was simply exhausted by an army of everyday burdens that seemed to have banded together with the mission of taking me down:

My husband and I were on a serious hunt to purchase our first home … and we live in one of the few “seller’s markets” left in the country.

As exciting as it was, a new house meant we would soon be moving again –bringing our stats up to 13 different addresses in 10 different cities, in 7 different states all in a span of 14 years.

Our six-year-old son was being bullied in school and our nine-year-old daughter cried herself to sleep every night because she dreaded the idea of moving away from the friends she had just made.

A dear loved one was battling a tremulous situation that threatened her safety.

I took on a few more responsibilities at work and was anxious to prove myself.

I was worn.

One soggy Saturday morning in May during this period of weariness, I heard my husband calling me from downstairs. I ignored him. Instead of sliding my legs across the bed so I could stand up, I pressed the right side of my face deeper into my lumpy cotton pillow. As I started to shutter the sun’s rays with my blanket, I noticed the pair of black pumps I had kicked off the night before. The shoes appeared to be in decent shape when on my feet, but from my vantage point that morning, I could see that the heels on each one were falling apart. There was even a small pebble imbedded in one of the soles.

“Hmph. That’s how I feel,” I thought as I closed my eyes and pretended that I didn’t hear my husband’s calls.

I’ve experienced other mental and spiritual wear and tear moments that were more traumatic than the day described above. Moments when breathing required more strength than I thought my lungs could accommodate.

There have been times when the consequences trailing my own grievous mistakes smacked me breathless. Days when rejection shredded my confidence and the hurtful choices of others knocked me to the floor.

There was once even a time when I had forgotten the existence of hope because grace, mercy and redemption were hidden far underneath a trash heap of lies I had no business believing.

Have you been there? I’m guessing you have been.

When a culture brimming with deadlines, conflicting priorities, information overload, and technical connectivity is thrown smack-dab into a broken, hurt-filled world, populations of worn people become as much a fact of life as sunshine and rain.

Living is tough business because life gets messy … even with Jesus. Sometimes, Christians don’t like to admit that … as if we’ll appear less worthy if we show actual proof that we need a savior. But looking straight at our weaknesses and admitting that sometimes even the “small stuff” isn’t so small is often the first step to rejuvenation.

When I’m worn … or even showing symptoms that I am heading in that direction, I know that there are two things I need to do: 1) Pray for strength; 2) Search for truth.

The prayer doesn’t need to be eloquent and verbose and the search for truth doesn’t require a concordance or Greek translator; because when your spirit is threadbare, baby steps in the right direction go a long way.

Here are five scriptures that I read and reread when my spirit needs refreshing.

Romans 5:1-5

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Hebrews 11: 1-3

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

Psalm 25:5

Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.

Psalm 119: 25-27

Cause me to understand the way of your precepts,that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds.
My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word. Keep me from deceitful ways; be gracious to me and teach me your law.

Each of those verses are precious to me in times of weariness because they are easy to digest during chaotic moments, yet are packed with the essential nutrients my soul needs to recover. They are filled with hope, encouragement and direction. And while reading these and other scriptures don’t change the circumstances that wear me thin, they do strengthen my resolve.

{Photo by Joel Olives}
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  1. 1

    Angela,
    What wonderful scriptures to meditate on. When I feel tired and worn, the Psalms are often where you’ll find me…they are a balm to the soul. It’s amazing how when life gets complicated and overwhelming, our heart draws us back to basics. Pray. Seek truth. I am so thankful for a God who is so complex, but yet offers help in such a simple and healing way. Thank you for great scriptures to add to my “emergency kit” for when life just gets to be too much.
    Blessings,
    Bev

  2. 2

    Amen, Amen, Amen. Thanks for sharing! My fav – “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Rom 15:13) Amen. God bless!

  3. 3

    I am going through a tough season right now. Worn is exactly what describes
    me right now. Thank you for writing this. God knew I needed to read this for today

    • 4
      Beth Williams says:

      Sarah,

      Prayers for you and your family. May God deliver you through this season and onto better things.

      God Bless!

  4. 5

    Yes…. worn. I can relate right now. Thank you for the Scripture verses to hang onto during these seasons… the Word is Life. Life to tired spirits, tired souls and tired bodies. Hangin’ onto Jesus is the only place to be.

  5. 6

    not just pray for strength but search for truth.
    not just ask for help but turn towards what makes all the difference. TRUTH.
    thank you for your transparency angela. it encourages. xo

  6. 7

    Thank you for this. I am worn. Worn, losing faith, hopeless, tired. I will ruminate on these passages all day today. My head knows God, but my heart has not experienced Him for a really long time. I’ll tuck these verses into my heart today.

  7. 8

    Taking these scriptures deep into our heart makes all the difference as we cling to the truth of God’s word, we will also be empowered by them and that is God at work doing what He does best!
    He will renew our strength, Isaiah 40:31.

  8. 9

    Excellent post. Thanks so much for verbalizing my own feelings in this season. SHALOM

  9. 10

    Yes, I’ve been there. Totally worn out. When I used to bowl and the thought of another flight to another country with six bowling balls to lug at sixteen pounds per ball. Two bags. It was a very big lift on to the plane and the busses. Then to find the right ball for the right lane condition and deliver the goods. A two hundred average. I was totally worn out. Just the thought. So, I’m not so fond of plane rides. When I was not bowling I was catching up on rest. Sleeping all over the place. I was totally worn out. Know the feeling.
    So home for me is beautiful and a resting place for my tired body. I do not get easily led out of my home. It is a place of rest and silence and stillness and where the LORD is …. everywhere.
    I’m worn out as well.

  10. 11

    Angela,

    Thank you for sharing, I know I can so relate. Your last line: “And while reading these and other scriptures don’t change the circumstances that wear me thin, they do strengthen my resolve” really resonates with me, and explains exactly how God’s word helps me through each day. Thanks again!

  11. 12

    LOVE this – thank you for sharing your heart – I feel this way often and will print out these scriptures to read when I need strengthing!

    Blessings to you!
    xo

  12. 13

    Thank you so much for these words of encouragement. I’m VERY worn at the moment. Overwhelmed with life, drowning financially, wondering where the money is going to come from to simply put food on my table for my family let alone pay the mortgage…. and then God shows himself through your encouraging words and His word and also through a blessing of a free trumpet book from a total stranger for my son for school that which I had no money to buy! So thankful God shows up even in the little things…like a trumpet book…I know He will carry me through…I’m just too worn to recognize it sometimes. Thanks for the gentle reminder!

    • 14
      Beth Williams says:

      SW,

      Prayers for you and your family. May God show His gracious mercy to you in ways you never expected.

      Father God,

      Please help SW with her finances and life issues. Shower her with your mercy and grace. Embrace her and the family with your loving arms. Give her reasons to continue having faith. Show her “God things” that will amaze her.

      AMEN!

  13. 15

    Thank you for the encouraging verses. I am feeling weary and heavy laden right now, but I am looking to the Lord for rest.

  14. 16

    All I can say is God is so good and His timing is ALWAYS perfect! He has used you, Angela, to speak truth to my weary soul today!

  15. 17

    Today, in this moment, JUST what I needed. God is so faithful…

  16. 18

    Yes, I was there this past winter. It was brutal but I learned things in the dark I never would have learned in the light. Starting to share about that darkness on my blog.

  17. 19

    I love hearing that I am not the only worn out momma in this great big world. Thank you for your words, in my prayers you will be! May God bless you and all the worn women struggling with hurt today.

  18. 20

    How about Hebrews 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declared the Lord, “plans to prosper you, not to harm you; plans for a future and a hope.” ?

  19. 21
    Beth Williams says:

    Worn is how I’ve felt this month, but mostly this week. Work has been super busy–seeing more patients than ever & tougher. Add to the mix not sleeping well, having to see my aging dad after work 1 day a week (making me home arrival time around 6:30-7) and going another 10 miles to church the next night for Bible study and you have a recipe for worn. It was so bad on Thursday I was having a sort of “driving rage” getting to work. It seemed everyone was driving super slow and I, of course, was in a hurry.

    God told me the perfect solution to my problem. I left work early on Friday (9/27), enjoyed the gorgeous weather, ran an errand, came home and just rested. Slept good last night and now worn seems gone. Thank you Jesus for seasons and times of rest!

    Prayers for everyone who is in a worn season!

  20. 22

    I was up till 2:am……..back to sleep and back up @ 4am….it is very comforting to know…..GOD is in control and only do what the Holy Spirit want’s me to do. I’m a “watchman” meaning I’m called to the “wee” hours to pray for others…….sound asleep. I do not advocate this type of prayer life to anyone.it’s just me and the Holy Spirit…….calling to my “watch”. i saw/learned this from the Book of Ezekiel. God always refreshes me the following day………amazing. The obedience to God’s call out weighs everything else……somehow through my personal trials…….I’ve learned this call for 23 years….God Bless you all. If you want me to pray for you while you sleep…….let me know……this is my calling and commission ………Amen…….Donald………..

  21. 23
    Psa1000 says:

    Physically and mentally exhausted…lost both parents in the past year….looking for relaxation now but so many loose ends to tie up for them.

  22. 24

    Your blog hit home with me today. Yesterday I struggled to find the words and passages for my blog. Thank you for another look at being worn and passages to help me through it.

  23. 25
    Malcolm says:

    Thank you for your encouraging words. I love the Romans 11 passage Thanks again

  24. 26
    Malcolm says:

    Thank you for your encouraging words. I love the Romans 15 passage

  25. 27
    Janet S. says:

    Thank you so much for your willingness to share this. Sometimes I find myself feeling like I’m the only one experiencing this . I feel a sense of shame that I am always feeling so worn. My family and I have been experiencing a very difficult season that has lasted several years. It’s literally been one thing after another. It’s been so bad at times that other Christians have asked us “what is going on with you”. So often I feel like maybe we’re doing something wrong. Reading this today has encouraged me so much. I know God put it here today to speak to my heart. It’s just what I needed.
    Thank you again for partnering with God in encouraging others. I pray I can do the same for someone else some day. God bless you and keep you and your family!!

  26. 28

    His mercies are new every morning. Great is thy faithfulness!
    I always look for the good and the blessing in everything.
    Jesus never said it would be easy-just that He would be with us!

  27. 29

    Thankyou so much for sharing and opening your heart. God had reassured me in so many ways that He is with me since the homegoing of my husband. But there are so many days that I am weary and worn amd your post has been one of Gods
    reminders. Thankyou!

  28. 30
    Rachel Kuru says:

    Thanks for sharing. The last six months have been an extremely difficult time. God has been teaching us to trust in Him alone. Through it all have found that there is a time to mourn & a time to dance. From a miscarriage in April to my husband being off work with work-related stress & only recently returning to work, have known God’s presence & support of precious Christian brothers & sisters upholding us in prayer. Praise The Lord! He remains Sovereign & in control of all of life’s circumstances. ‘Joel’ is safe in God’s hands & we will see him again when we are re-united in Heaven. God bless you for your honesty! Rachel

  29. 31

    Thank you for this! This weekend, I felt particularly overwhelmed and worn. I was transparent this morning in church with some friends and was encouraged by our Message and some Scriptures. Psalm 121 REALLY encouraged me to LOOK UP. My strength and help come from The Lord. I asked God today to help me to be vulnerable to TRULY BELIEVE that HE is all that I need…He was keep me…He will Guard me…He will watch over me…He helps me…He will never fall asleep on me….He will keep me from falling…HE WILL…NOW and FOREVER! THAT is pretty GOOD NEWS!

  30. 32
    josephine says:

    As a mother longing for God’s plans over my family during every challenges in my life I first call unto God as in Jeremiah 33: 3 and I hold on to his promises in Jeremiah 29:11 – and personalise and declare Ps 91 : 1:16 over all of us and I declare Proverbs 3 : 5-6 to build up my faith and walk with God daily. God’s strength through his word leads me on each day of my life. All glory to God. Amen.

    • 33

      What precious words of Scripture. That is me, and my husband to the letter! WORN!!
      But thankfully being filled and supplied by the Holy Spirit.
      Some days though I just want to give in and quit.
      Thank you for these, which I will print out and keep close, on those days.

      Blessings to you dear sister,
      Cindy

  31. 34
    Claudia says:

    Worn wouldn’t even be able to describe us without God…I think of all those souls who have rejected Him or do not know Him…let’s get on our knees today and intercede for them and give thanks to our Mighty God for who we are in Him….don’t forget who you are…and as we pray, suddenly the sun (Son) begins to warm us from the inside out and the worn edges begin to soften…. God speaks and we rest and all is restored…may He fill each of you with His amazing healing love!

  32. 35
    marie saldivar says:

    I am a senior of 79 yrs who feels like I have lived 100 yrs already. I try to encourage my nine
    children (all adults) who are all believers (except for three for whom I am praying). In
    this kind of world when people have much more than we 70+ers did, our children somehow seem
    to find it much harder to have peace and contentment. Your wise words prove that only Christ
    brings peace to restless and uneasy hearts: “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is
    stayed on Him, because he trusteth in thee.” My prayer to Him is “please keep my mind stayed on
    Thee”. We are so weak and fallible, with our best intentions we fail, but God is able to keep us.
    The comments I have read have heartened me so much. It is a testament to God’s mercy, not our
    merits. Great is His faithfulness. As long as I have lived, though I get weary of all the madness
    and downright rejection of God’s love, making me sad, I am constantly amazed at the working of God’s love&mercy. I pray that the young lady Angela will keep on blessing others, all to God’s
    glory. Keep on doing your Master’s business and playing your part in Kingdom building. God
    bless and keep you in His loving care.
    All of you who commented made my heart glad, indeed the selections from the Word is truth and life!

  33. 36
    Angela Gibson says:

    Let me first give thanks to God for loving me when I did not love myself, never giving up on me!

    Angela,
    This hit me so hard I was looking for the word of how I have been feeling the past couple of months and this is it. I know God to be many things and I know Him to be a way maker but I just needed this to pick me back up and put some words in my soul to know this to shall pass. Like some others I am a single mother finding it hard to make ends meet but I know sooner or later it will all turn in my favor no matter what the economy is. Once again you really don’t know ho God has used you and I thank you for sharing and I will keep you in my prayers and I ask that you keep me and my family in yours.

    God Bless you
    Angie

  34. 37

    This is great but yet very simple medication for all us. I earnestly pray that God Almighty will empower you for the supernatural in Jesus name.
    You are blessed and lifted.

  35. 38
    Joselyn says:

    Just what i needed! i was feeling so down and worn out, this week end. not at all ready to start a new week, till i read this!
    thanx

  36. 39

    Worn is a good word. This current time in my life is not that way, but I know what it is to be worn. Due to my ministry, job and calling. I moved EVERYTHING I owned five times in 18 months. Can I just say, I never want to pack and move again, but in the next six months there will come another move. (I hope it’s my last.) And a lot of changes in my life. Changes I have no control over, but I know, from experience, that I will be worn again. But sometimes being “worn” just means we are being used. And this is the purpose of our lives, to be used by God’s design.

    Thanks for sharing those verses and your story. God used it to remind me to lean on Him.

  37. 40
    Cindy in Indy says:

    I was looking for some encouragement on the web this morning and God brought me right here. What a blessing to read those time-worn scriptures of soul-healing. It’s also good to know I’m not alone. I’m 65, work full time and am a care giver for my husband. I am worn. I’m trying to figure out how I can retire and sew and make money with the creativity God has given me. There are many unknowns…. in any move. God is our hope and our salvation. He’s a very present hope in trouble. He is rest. No where else can we be content than in His arms. We are His children and He loves so, even when we stumble. Thank you all for sharing your hearts.

  38. 41
    Paula Matthews says:

    Angela, thank you very much for baring your soul and sharing your honesty. I am feeling so mentally and emotionally exhausted right now as a widow with a special needs teenager but your piece made me lose my guilt. Thank you so much

  39. 42

    Thank you for sharing your vulnerability. That is what keeps me from God sometimes is my refusal to admit that I need help. I find that any sign of weakness is a failure on my part. I put up such walls to not let others see my weakness and failures that I forget to let Him in – the only one who can truly carry me in these times. But I am feeling so tired and yes worn right now that maybe I can let go a little and lean on Him. Thank you for sharing your story

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