To the woman who didn’t get a vacation this summer
Toes in the sand pictures. Windblown hair and sunglasses pictures. You don’t feel jealous so much as you just feel numb.
Jealous is what you feel when something could be yours, but you let go of glamour a long time ago. You want a roof over your head. You want more than five hours of sleep for once. You want health insurance. You want a second job.
Your big dream this week is thirty minutes of quiet in a hot bath.
I don’t know what weight is on your shoulders tonight. An old financial burden. A sudden job loss. A medical crisis. A relational breakdown. But whatever the reason, if you didn’t get a single day this summer to slow down, this post is for you.
It’s almost August, and you're way more tired than you were in May. Back-to-school sales are hitting, and your head hurts because this summer wasn’t a summer. Your head hurts because there’s no room to mess this up, but you don’t have the energy to do it perfectly.
Your to-do list is still a million miles long, but your brain isn’t connecting all the dots because it’s maxed out. You feel like a fool. You feel like a failure. You know that you just can’t get it all done—and yet, it has to be done. And you’re the one who has to do it.
Your neck is tight. Your shoulders are sore. The stress draws you in. The base of your skull feels like it’s rusted into your spine.
You’re scared. You’re tired. You’re scared of how tired you are.
There’s no room—literally no room—to sit down and have the cry you need. And you’re also kind of scared to think about how long you might cry if you ever got started.
Has anybody told you lately that surviving a summer like that is a win? Because it a win. You need to hear that.
Women joke about drowning their stress in wine—but you know what those jokes actually mean, right? They aren’t about the wine. They are about the one thing women aren’t allowed to say.
“I can’t do this!”
Our mouths won’t say it. Our minds won’t think it. We joke about two-buck chuck because women CAN’T ever NOT keep going.
And you kept going. You put one foot in front of the other.
When people complete a marathon, they buy a sticker for the back of their minivan to prove how far they’ve come. That sticker says, “I ran the race! I did this impossibly hard thing.” So tonight, I want to give you a symbol. Maybe you’re not visual like I am, but my brain works this way.
A circle inside a circle.
I drew this on my hand today because I wanted to be reminded that I was enclosed. All the chaos. All the fatigue. All the stuff left to do is held inside the grace of God.
I looked at those two circles and took a long breath,
That breath didn’t take away my to-do list, but it was still good to remember.
His grace is sufficient for my weakness--yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of this hard, hard, summer.
If this post connects with you, I wish you’d had a vacation. I wish I could give you a good long rest and your whole summer back. But I’m proud of you for surviving. I know it was more difficult than almost anybody in your life understands.
But his grace is sufficient for you, tired one. And somewhere out in the world, I’m praying for you tonight.