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What God Wants You to Know When You Feel Overwhelmed



I recently had a really overwhelming week. I thought that I was on top of everything, but as I created lists of everything I had to do and everywhere I had to be, my brain hurt. My heart grew weary, because usually, my plate doesn't feel quite so heavy, and this particular week was weighing me down.


I was so excited for my time with the Lord, but I kept getting distracted with a million things I still had to get straight and organized in my mind. Finally, I came to the Lord, tired.


And I was met with nothing but grace.


I know that the Lord sees me in this place of exhaustion and feeling overwhelmed, and He's been there. He promises to cover me with rest and peace, even though my schedule and circumstances are swirling around me. He promises to steady me, the calm in the midst of my storm. He promises to be my strength when I feel weak from the weight of my to-do list.


And He promises to be the same for you.


This world we live in is always moving, always hurrying, always going. There is such beauty in my commitments, and I'm so grateful for the things I'm involved in and the opportunities I have, but some nights, it just feels like a lot. And that's okay. Jesus had days when He felt overwhelmed, and you know what He did?


He left the crowds. He took time away from the busy and chaos, and met with the Father.


We try to jump right into our chaos and make it orderly, fix it up so that it's manageable and we can process everything. I've noticed myself doing this a lot. But the best first response to our stress and feeling overwhelmed is to actually step away and pray, to surrender it to the Father and meet with Him.


He wants to carry us and strengthen us through all things, especially our chaos and frantic minds, but He can't do that if we don't step back and invite Him into that mess first.


So why don't we?


Father, right now I surrender my mess and my chaos. You see my workload and my commitments for this week. You see how weary my heart feels just thinking about it. But right now, I hold that weight with open hands and I pray, Father, that You would lift this burden. Help me to go through this week in Your strength and grace instead of trying to do it all on my own. Fill me with Your peace and joy, no matter what my schedule or circumstances look like. Walk with me through this, Lord. Thank You for being so faithful and so constant, even when my schedule and to-do lists are ever changing and often overwhelming to me. Thank You for being the calm in the midst of my storm. I love You. Amen.


In my mess, the Lord has encouraged me with some really big things. I want you to know what these truths are just as applicable to you as they are to me, and wherever you are this week, whether you're feeling overwhelmed or on top of the world, God wants to encourage you in that place.


1. You are safe in His presence.

In my mess, when I'm feeling overwhelmed with everything going on in my life and my heart, my emotions get really big - and seemingly "too much". I shy away from meeting with the Lord, struggling to sort through all the feelings and come "put together".


But He never asks me to come put together. He just asks me to come as I am.


I'm working on doing that, bringing everything I'm facing and wrestling with to the Lord, even when I don't have the pretty words to explain it or a flawless faith accompanying it. Even when I'm crying and struggling to get any words out at all, and even when I'm struggling to engage with the Bible and prayer, I want to come to the Lord and invite Him into the struggle.


Because He is our safe place. He is our refuge. He hears us and understands us. Even when the rest of the world feels the exact opposite of safe, and we feel vulnerable and fragile and weak, He is our safe place, and He wants to hold us close. We can run to Him and find comfort in His presence, because He is good, constant, and faithful, and we can always rely on Him.


2. Open your Bible.

When we get overwhelmed and busy, we have a tendency to not prioritize reading our Bibles, which is the exact opposite of what we should be doing. I wrote about this in a previous post, and I cannot emphasize how important it is to keep seeking the Lord and pursuing Him through His word. We serve such a loving Father who desires to speak to us, but He often does that through Scripture, and if we aren't opening our Bibles, we are likely not going to be hearing Him speak to us.


One of my friends reminded me that if we aren't hearing God, we have to ask ourselves if we're digging into the Word, and if we aren't, then we have an action step to take. Read your Bibles, friends.


If you need some inspiration to read your Bible, or guidance on how to, I have a whole category on the blog with posts to help you (which you can find here) and a board on Pinterest (which you can check out here!)


3. LAUGH and surround yourself with uplifting people.

Throughout this week, even though I felt really overwhelmed and a tad bit drained, my people brought so much life to my soul. We didn't do anything big, but we laughed, and that made the biggest difference. I'm so thankful that God created us to live in community, because I need my people. Even if it's just laughing over silly things, cheering each other on, or casually hanging out, we need that.


I'd also really encourage you to open up to someone about what you're struggling with. This may be a youth leader, a trusted friend, or a parent, but simply being able to get that emotion off of your chest can really help. Vulnerability isn't easy, but it's what God has created us for. Genuine conversation brings such life to our souls, and sometimes it requires us to get a little bit uncomfortable, but I promise that it will bring healing and relief to your heart.


4. It won't last forever, but it does have a purpose.

When life gets overwhelming, we tend to feel stuck in it, like we're never going to get out of that place of stress and weariness. But that's not the way God operates - He never just leaves us! All things are just for a season, some short, some long, some fun, some not so fun. You won't be here forever, friend.


Don't rush through this season, though. God has a good plan ahead, but He also has a purpose for you right here. God often uses the difficult, less fun seasons to strengthen our faith, transform our character, and prepare us for what's ahead. Embrace the struggle and lean into the Father, because He wants to meet you in this place and use it for your good and His glory. Keep trusting, and hold onto the truth, and Christ will strengthen you to not only make it through this season, but to thrive in this season.

 

When we feel overwhelmed, the Lord never leaves us, and He never changes. He is constant and faithful, and He promises to be our safe place, our refuge. He invites us to meet with Him, to hear His voice, if we'll only accept it. He desires for us to laugh and surround ourselves with an uplifting, godly community, because that's what God has created us for. Our Father won't leave us feeling overwhelmed and weary, but will lead us into the beautiful plan He has for us, right after He completes the purpose He has for us in this season. And no matter how we feel, God is still good. As I bring everything I'm overwhelmed with to the Father, He meets me with nothing but grace, and He wants to do the same for you.


How has God shown you His character when you feel overwhelmed or drained? What has He taught you in seasons that feel overwhelming? Let me know in the comments below - I love to hear from you and be encouraged by your stories!


Also....it would mean the world to me if you would check out Run the Race on Pinterest! You can find that here. Follow me for a little extra encouragement, inspired by my blog posts. I'm so grateful for you!

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