Dear Tired,

Lifting tired arms, one letter at a time.

Dear Tired,

“Tired” is sometimes you and sometimes me. Too often, it’s all of us. We live in a world that rewards burnout by distributing trophies for acting busy. But this is not wise or sustainable. Trust me. I know. // “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” (Deut. 31:6).

All the best, Me (Ryan)


Looking back now, this journey has NOT been about trying to build an organization, though that is happening. It’s been about learning and relearning how to say yes every day to what God asks of me, even when more times than I like to admit, I had wanted to say no.

I write this because I’ve met so many people trying to do awesome work, but they get tired and quit. I write because so many orphan care advocates, teachers, moms, checkout line ladies, coffee makers, bus drivers, and random strangers on trains who I have met are just too tired. I’ve learned some things about doing sustainable work, so… I’ll write.

Over the past 10 years, I’ve quietly dedicated part of my heart to George’s story so that I never forget (our story #1 here).

That immeasurably tragic reality led me to George, who led me to trust a God calling me to wander down a new path for my life that I considered ignoring to pursue my own.

Dear Tired, will be a place where I tell you a story that I hope lifts your tired arms, too.

HarvardListening_small

Urgently needed lessons often come when we slow down to listen. / “You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry, don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.” (Walter Hagen) Photo: James Masterson

It will be a story of once tired arms and unfinished tears, yet also a story of courageous embers of hope that stir deep within people I’ve met; unexpectedly hopeful people who will help lift your tired arms, as they have helped lift mine.

Hope is not often found in the seismic, but in the mundane. The faithful steps of faithful people, saying yes to love over and over – far away from the spotlight. Stories like my friend (our story #2). Encounters with goodness and hope may be missed if we don’t rise each day and look for them, then be sure to tell others who may be tired, too.

Along the way, I have been tired.

But God has faithfully carried me. So many of you have helped. This will be a place for us all to pause and reflect. A place to declare what God has done; a place to share how God began a new life in me from meeting a child whose parents jumped into a well.

Perhaps you are tired, too.

Through the grand adventure I invite you to join, I have learned all of us yearn to belong to something bigger than ourselves, but we are often too tired and consumed by the busyness of our world to see how to simply rest or take the next small step.

May the stories of unexpected hope in others fuel our spirits to trust, with solid steps, that God has ALWAYS been present, abounding in love.

Until next week,

All the best,

Me

Dear reader, I’d love to hear your thoughts about what stories or questions you have about doing sustainable work, especially in hard situations. Feel free to email deartired@forgottenvoices.org.  Tired seems to reign in our culture. Know that I’m praying for you and know you are loved.

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