What I learned from a Sunday school song


I apologize for the general dreariness in my posts as of late. Truth is, I’m a little burnt out.

The past couple of years have been rough. Big changes, the opening of old wounds, the difficulty of being a music major, and 40 hours a week of minimum waging (hee-yah!) takes a lot out of you. And though things have settled a bit in the past few months (and I’ve quit my job…epically, I might add), I’m not sure if I’ve fully recovered yet.

I’ll have good weeks. I’ll get my act together. I’ll start going to class and not being a hermit and eating food that’s not Oreos and being a functional human being.

Once I’ve got those things down, I’ll feel like I’m ready to take on the world and so I’ll do crazy things like go to counseling and write about my painful past and stop cutting and go to church.

But then depression steps in and reminds me who’s boss. “Can’t let you be too functional, now, Sarah. Don’t get carried away.”  And I get tired, burnt out. I skip classes. I stay in bed all day. I neglect my homework and my friends.

I give up.

We all get burnt out now and then, though, don’t we?

Maybe life is like that children’s song, “This Little Light of Mine.” We’re all lights. And I don’t believe that that applies only to Christians. Every person was made in the image of God, and every person (regardless of beliefs) can give this dark, messed up world a little glimpse of heaven.

But did anyone else learn the other verses to that song? I remember one that went like this: “Don’t let Satan blow it out. I’m gonna let it shine! Don’t let Satan blow it out. I’m gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.”

With the knowledge that we are meant to be lights of the world comes the knowledge that out light can burn out or be blown out. It happens to us all the time.

Our little lights are fragile. And I don’t know about you, but when my light goes out, I tend to give up.

I know that the Holy Spirit keeps an endless supply of matches lying around and that he’s always willing to set me on fire again (that might be the weirdest sentence I’ve ever typed).

But I’m afraid of getting burnt out again. I’m afraid of the dark that comes with that. So I stop caring about the rest of the world and I hide in my room and keep my light to myself.

That’s where I’m at now. I didn’t want to write this blog post. I don’t want to write anything ever again. Because I don’t want to put my thoughts out there anymore where I’m vulnerable. Where Satan can attack me with a fire extinguisher.

But then I remember another verse from that song: “Hide it under a bushel? NO! I’m gonna let it shine.”

I don’t even know what a bushel is, honestly. But I know that my “bushel” is isolation. Withdrawal from the world. Retreat to my nice, safe room.

I’d like to hide there, but I’ve gotta shine. Even if my light is small and gets blown out from time to time.

I’ve gotta let it shine.


6 thoughts on “What I learned from a Sunday school song

  1. I struggle with depression too and i always do the same thing with the isolating! this is actually exactly what is going on in my life right now…i’ll keep you in my prayers. i hope our lights are both back to full blaze some time soon!!

    – jenna

  2. We all go through those times. I applaud you for pushing yourself to write even when you don’t really want to. In really lame phrasology: sometimes you have to fake it until you make it! (yikes sorry I used such a lame phrase) I myself am in a transition period where I didn’t go back to the job I had but I haven’t found a new one yet. I’m 2 years out of college and feel no closer to knowing what I want to do then I did when I left. Motivation is the hardest thing to get when you don’t have it. Every morning I wake up and think “today is the day I will make significant strides in finding a job” and what usually ends up happening is that I lay around the house watching all 3 season of Arrested Development.

    All that to say don’t let the enemy make you feel alone. Not everyone has experienced the same sort of issues you have but we have all experienced being overwhelmed and just wanting to stay in bed all day.

    and btw sang that song ALL the time when I was a kid. Complete with motions and everything!

  3. What do you mean food other than Oreos? Donuts and ice cream? White chocolate? Other than that I can think of none. :)

    Even Jesus withdrew from the public eye every now and again. Maybe it was to regenerate so He didn’t burn out. Just don’t get stuck. Once stuck it’s really hard to get unstuck.

    (a bushel is a unit of dry measure equal to just over 9 liquid gallons. Bushel baskets are wooden baskets ( http://www.texasbasket.com/new/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=1_2 ) I remember my mom using one as a laundry basket when I was little.)

  4. didn’t mean to be anonymous – :)

  5. just wanted to encourage you to keep writing. I found your blog a few weeks ago have been sharing it with women I know who have walked your path and are looking for healing. I cannot imagine the toll it takes for you to put it down on paper and post it for the world to see, but please know that your honesty is sooooo encouraging for others to read. take care of yourself!

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