Have you ever felt really exhausted? I was reading an article a friend sent to me on burnout and experiencing a midlife crisis. As I read through the article, it really reminded me of something different. It reminded me of how a person might feel if they didn’t have their soul refreshed. As I thought about it and then began to do some research, I put together a list that I’m calling, 10 Signs Your Soul is Running on Empty.
In our day and time, it’s easy for us to keep pushing through our days. What we don’t realize is that we cannot sustain our pace without our soul receiving nutrients. Our souls need to receive thirst-quenching life. Without our hearts and souls being refreshed, we become hopeless, full of despair beings. I want to encourage you to consider where you are on this journey? How often do you set aside meaningful time for your heart and soul to be replenished?
Take a deep breath and focus your heart towards God. Let’s look at some definitions for soul care:
Soul Care - Characteristics of a healthy soul.
- Living from a place of overflow.
- Believing that everything about your life, and your personhood, is a function of your soul and taking care of your soul deeply matters.
- Your soul is a living soul. It’s not static. Like all living things, it needs to breathe, be refreshed, to have water and nutrients, in order to thrive. Your soul needs attention and care.
- Deep soul care is surrendering to the Spirit’s life-giving work of healing and freedom.
- Remember: When your soul is well, then you are well.
If you are like me, I need to be reminded that my soul requires attention. It’s the first thing I drop in my routine, and it is the most crucial for my life. We all have a long list of reasons and excuses why we aren’t taking time for our well being. However, if we aren’t refreshed, we feel it and so does everyone else around us.
After reading an article from Forbes (15 Signs You’ve Hit Your Midlife Crisis), I thought I would take those thoughts and run it through the grid of our souls. Really at the core of our hope and energy is our soul. Let’s take a look at what our souls and attitudes might be when they are running on empty.
10 Signs Your Soul is Running on Empty:
- You’re Apathetic - You feel ‘blah’ about everything on an ongoing basis. Your energy is drained and you have a hard time seeing much good in your life right now. You lack motivation.
- You Dread Getting Out of Bed - You find yourself asking “why” a ton, wondering how you got to where you are? You would rather stay in bed.
- Your Life is On Autopilot - You are going through the motions each day. Appointment after appointment, obligation after obligation, with a heavy heart, you feel directionless in your life.
- You’ve Lost Your Sense of Purpose - You feel like there is no purpose to your life, or there is a greater purpose than what your day-to-day life is currently offering. Your inner hope and drive are absent.
- Your Plan for Life Isn’t Working Anymore - Your plans often produce frustration. Everything you’ve established for yourself, your job, your family, your normal routine, now feels stagnant, even stifling.
- You are Jealous of Others - You spend more time analyzing others than focusing on what is next for you. You compare yourself to what others have and hold others to unrealistic standards.
- Everything Feels Like a Chore - You are going through life and doing the things you are doing because you feel you HAVE to do them. You are known for what you do and how it meets others needs, but your heart is void of real passion.
- You are Functioning but Not Satisfied - There is often a feeling of “is this all there is” repeating in your mind. You are no longer satisfied with what you are doing or where you are in life. You are experiencing more confusion than clarity.
- Your Soul Deeply Needs a Drink of Something Different - You don’t know what you need, but you know you need something different. There is a very real, gut-wrenching void in your heart and soul. You know deep down you need something authentic, something real. You are unable to fabricate depth on your own. There are no possessions, people, places, or things that can fill your void. You feel as if you are in the valley of dry bones.
- You Lack Energy and Motivation for the Hard Things of Life - It’s extra hard to face difficult conversations, people, and circumstances. Instead of acting with energy, you are fearful and avoid others.
There may be something else that can get added to this list. What comes to your mind, when your soul is on empty? Here is our reality. We are all finite beings. Despite our minds thinking so, we can’t just go and go. We need to be refreshed and revived. We all live as broken individuals.
Our brokenness is a real part of our humanity in this world.
• We are ALL broken.
• We ALL have a broken sin nature that craves those things that are opposite of God’s Kingdom.
• We ALL live in a broken world desperately needing restoration and redemption.
• We ALL have an Adversary who is out to destroy us.
• Humanly speaking, it’s inevitable that we will reach empty on our own power without God’s help.
• This is why we need Jesus. He has come to set us free.
God knows that you and I can’t do anything of real significance on our own. We need the supernatural. Deep down we want more. I love this passage from John 15. Take a look:
“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. 3 You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. “
5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. Forapart from me you can do nothing. “
Some thoughts to consider about John 15
- A branch that bears no fruit is obviously dead.
- Gardeners prune their vines. They cut off the dead wood which has no life in it and trim the living branches so that their yield will be greater.
- Your Heavenly Father is never nearer to you than when He is pruning you.
- Pruning does not simply mean spiritual surgery that removes what is bad. It can also mean cutting away the good and the better so that we might enjoy the best. Yes, pruning hurts, but it also helps. We may not enjoy it, but we need it.
What does it mean to remain or abide?
- To remain or abide takes a long period of time. The mindset here is of seasons and not just one event.
- The literal meaning of abide is to remain in the same place over a long period of time, like planting a crop. It will take years to master the crop. It’s the difference between planting a garden and plugging in a power cord. Nowadays, we think of our spiritual lives as plugging in a power cord, counting on immediate results. Remaining/Abiding = Abundant Fruit. It’s impossible not to have fruit if you are remaining in Him.
- Breakthrough is possible for you and me. It starts with us simply stopping and being still. Instead of running and running, we need to sit still, and by faith, draw near to God.
What Does it Mean to Draw Near to God?
- Drawing near to God is an invisible act of our hearts.
- When we draw near, we are directing our hearts into the presence of God and into the eyes of our heavenly Father.
- We must remember that God sees us through eyes of love.
- Drawing near to God is our intentional act of abiding in Him. When we abide in him we experience all He has to offer.
“Stepping onto the road of Christian spiritual transformation requires an encounter with the living God. This encounter may be gradual or it may be sudden. But it will always involve a turning and an awakening....If God's heart is to become mine, I must know his heart. ” - David Benner, Surrender to Love
I hope that this topic has offered you a potential turning point. Maybe it has stirred something within you to consider setting aside some time to focus on something different. You may feel stuck and overwhelmed. If so, here are some ideas you can use to draw near to God and start to “abide” in Him.
How Can We Draw Near to God?
- Nurture a grateful heart.
- Recognize God's love for us is not like we love Him. He loves us unconditionally.
- Philippians 4:8-9 (Think on these things), meditate on truth.
- Use those things that help you praise Him (music, geography, etc.)
- Be His hands and feet by serving others.
- Trust in his ways (Prov. 3:5-6)
- Come to me (Matt 11:28-30)
I believe that our best days are before us…not behind us. We all need a little encouragement, wisdom, and help from time to time. We can’t accomplish our goals in isolation or always on our own. We need each other. Remember, you are not alone. It’s time to thrive. Let’s do it together. Click here to set up a Discovery Coaching call.