Have you been there? Just felt like life was too much to handle? Felt like you just couldn’t go on?
I know as a single mom, I felt that way many times. One particular day stands out in my mind. My kids had just begun to stay with me 24/7, forgoing their weekends with their dad. I had no idea how refreshing those brief weekends were, how good they were for my sanity.
My times for rest and recovery disappeared.
As much as I love my kids, it was a tough adjustment. One day in particular, I knew I was overwhelmed. I walked into the house to find that my dishwasher had flooded my kitchen. It was the last straw. I couldn’t take anything else.
I went to my closet, curled up in the fetal position, and cried for I don’t know how long.
Do you understand? Have you been that overwhelmed? Just needed to curl up in a ball and hide from the world?
Maybe you are there now. I know I am. Life is hard right now. I am physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually spent. It’s nothing too difficult, just a whole lot of little things that are piling up.
A few weeks back, we had a COVID-19 exposure (or so we thought). That potential exposure has led to a quarantine, constant checks from the department of health. Because I work at the hospital, I was immediately tested (my test was negative) which meant I had to quarantine away from the rest of the family. I haven’t even been able to hug my husband during this time—to just collapse in his arms and let the tears flow which is what I have needed.
This quarantine has happened during an important time for us. It has impacted my son’s postponed graduation, my daughter’s 16th birthday, and Father’s Day. Trying to manage the situation and find creative ways to still make these days special has been a challenge.
On top of it all, I had planned to write and post last night. That was a great plan…until Roy took a fall. The fall wouldn’t be that bad…if he hadn’t just had spinal fusion surgery a few weeks ago. When he was able to get off the ground, we made the decision to make a trip to the emergency room just to be on the safe side. Unfortunately, it turns out to be more than a precaution. It looks like the fall may have damaged his surgery. He has an appointment with his surgeon tomorrow to find out what the plan is.
I. Am. Overwhelmed.
I know I am not alone. I know there are many of us suffering from exhaustion and spiritual dryness in the midst of this pandemic—and just life in general. The question simply becomes how do we move forward when we are completely exhausted and overwhelmed?
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. Romans 8:26-27
One morning this week on my way to work, all I could utter was a prayer that God would intercede on my behalf. He helps us in our weakness, and that’s exactly what I am right now. He promises to sit at the right hand of the throne of God and ask God for what’s best for us, for what is in accordance with God’s will.
What a comforting thought to know when I can’t even find the words, my Savior steps in and takes over for me.
But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. Matthew 13:16
In those times when I can’t focus on the Word, I listen. I listen to sermons. I listen to music. I listen to nature. I ask God to speak through the simple things of this life.
In the last few weeks, I have heard God speak so sweetly through the songs on the radio. From songs that constantly remind me God is using the evil things of this life for our good to the reminder of how He is always just on time, God has ministered to me as only He can. I have also used my morning drive to listen to sermons. It’s wonderful to hear His word preached, to be reminded to remain faithful.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. Psalm 23:1-3
This one is hard for me. I don’t sleep well. I don’t rest well. When I finally sit down in the evenings, I fall asleep almost instantly. Unfortunately, I don’t stay asleep. I know God calls us to rest. I know rest is essential to our well-being.
But it seems so much harder than it sounds…at least for me.
We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy. And the other nations said, “What amazing things the Lord has done for them.” Psalm 126:2
Honestly, this one is hard for me too. I get so caught up in trying to get everything done, in trying to make sure everyone is taken care of, that I forget to have fun. The most refreshing things I can do is to leave for the weekend and spend a little time playing at the lake or at Turner Falls. Our lives seem to be so busy, though, that I rarely have opportunity. It seems impossible to get away from work and take a few days off to just play. Yet I know it is the best thing for me.
When we play, our spirits are raised and we find ourselves falling on our knees in worship. We remember what God has done for us.
Are you overwhelmed? Join me in making small changes as we seek the refreshing of the Father.