Why a “Balanced” Life is Killing You
Everyday you are bombarded with the idea that you should have a balanced life. I’ve come to the conclusion that balance is overrated. In fact, balance is bad.
When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a gymnast. Or a figure skater. Or a dancer. But not a ballerina because that seemed to lack excitement.
I grew up watching Solid Gold and never missed the Olympics. I was convinced I could be the next Solid Gold dancer or Mary Lou Retton.
I wanted to tumble at warp speed across a large blue springy mat. I wanted to whirl through the air with ice cold blades strapped to my feet.
I wanted to Salsa across a wooden floor to music that energized. I wanted to slide my feet and carry my body gracefully along a balance beam.
I was captivated by the choreography, the rhythm, the strength of the human body, the performance.
These girls had grit. They were focused. They were in control. They could balance. And I wanted to be just like them.
Truth be told, I never became a gymnast.
My mother enrolled me in two dance studios only to hear me complain about how boring it all was. So much discipline. So serious. And practice. Repeating the same step over and over.
Ugh! She finally let me quit.
Figure skating didn’t work out either—probably because I live in south, way south, Louisiana where ice rinks and skating instructors aren’t the norm (I wonder if anyone from south Louisiana ever made it big as a figure skater #deepthoughts).
It’s true I never became a Solid Gold dancer or the next Mary Lou Retton, but I did come to possess one valuable gymnast trait--balance.
In fact, I became so good at it that it almost cost me everything. Even my life.
I mean, balance is good.
Keep things steady. Don’t rock the boat. Anything in moderation is okay. Right?
Or is it?
Think about this for a minute: can something seemingly good (or innocent) work against you?
Can you identify a life principle or trend on daytime talk shows or social media that everyone is buying into?
Maybe you’ve been brought up with one of these ideals, and it isn’t working out so well.
Perhaps there’s a mantra you’ve been standing on that’s now backfiring.
For me, it was balance. A little here. A little there. A little of this. A little of that. You can have it all.
But what if a little here goes against better judgement?
What if a little of this robs you of peace?
What if having it all is a detriment to your mind and body?
In 2013 I was working really hard to keep it together. Being pulled in two different directions, I was exhausted, confused, and scared. My husband was pulling in one direction. My God was pulling in the other.
My husband had become consumed with the fantasy of an “open marriage.” He spent much of his time exploring websites and social media that promoted this lifestyle.
He created profiles on a few sites and began chatting with couples who paraded this life. He brought pornography into our home.
Initially, I was angry and dismissed this fantasy he so vividly described. Then I became deeply offended. Disrespected. What he was asking of me went against every fiber of my being. This was not part of the plan.
I’m smart. I have a college degree. I’ve spent the better part of my grown-up life working with teams of people in a professional setting. What in the world was happening to my life?
To say I was caught off guard is an understatement. Yes, the rug had been pulled from under me. And when I landed, I hit so hard I thought I would never catch my breath.
Hence, the balancing act.
For months I wrestled with the expectations of my husband and the righteous joy of my Lord and Savior.
I went to work. I went to church. I read books that I thought would shed light on the crazy that had become my life.
I cornered a co-worker and drilled her about married life, desperate for some glimmer of hope. I attended family functions and gatherings with friends.
But I told no one what was going on. I was maintaining balance.
I questioned. I screamed in my car. I cried on the floor and pounded my fists. I attended a women’s talk on marriage at church but left furious because my marriage wasn’t like everyone else’s.
I prayed God would make me the wife my husband wanted me to be.
I told Him to plant desires in me that were pleasing to my husband. I repeatedly asked for courage.
I was struggling to balance being a “good” wife and being a Christ follower. And I was drowning and dying a little each day.
My God answered one prayer—the one for courage. But I would need it for something much bigger than my husband’s fantasies.
Bullying and manipulation had become my husband’s weapon of choice any time I resisted this shady lifestyle he was so drawn to.
Our arguments were heated and usually fueled by alcohol. Pushing. Threatening. Glaring. Sometimes an eerie silence. Sometimes loud.
I told no one. I was maintaining balance.
But not for much longer.
On July 13, 2013, I found myself in CCU after being shot by my husband.
Slowly folks would learn of the mess I was hiding. The details I was ashamed to talk about. The darkness that was smothering me.
The enemy had done a marvelous job isolating me and keeping me quiet.
He convinced me at an early age to balance things in life, to control my circumstances, to maneuver around obstacles, and to claw my way out of pits.
I couldn’t maneuver around this.
I couldn’t claw my way out.
I had to relinquish all control to the only One qualified to carry me through what would be a long and exhausting recovery--Almighty God Himself.
And what a miracle He worked in my life. He stepped in and fought for me. His Word reassured me when guilt and regret consumed me. His presence provided the security I craved.
You see, God heard my prayers.
He made sure I never had to do those things my husband was advocating, things that went against His will. He protected me from sin.
He prevented the enemy from having his way with me. God was working on my behalf the whole time.
And he’s working on yours. You just may not see it yet.
God doesn’t want you struggling to keep it together. He never intended for you to maintain balance. He wants you on solid ground, keeping your eyes on Him.
If today you’re in a situation similar to mine, say no.
You NEVER have to do anything that goes against God’s Word, your better judgement, robs you of peace, or is a detriment to your mind and body.
What has you on the balance beam? What are you struggling to make sense of?
If you realize balancing is wearing you out, pause and pray. Find your situation in the word. It’s there. I promise.
Join forces with a trusted, godly woman from church who can pray with you and walk with you using the word to shed truth and light over your situation.
My friend, you have permission to step off the balance beam. Plant your feet in Christ, and watch Him hold you up.
Welcome to Rock This Revival! We’re so glad you’re here. Our heart is to serve as a lifeline when your faith has been rocked.