When You Feel Overwhelmed

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How do you handle times when you feel overwhelmed?  I just had an incredibly busy week, and I’m so glad that things are getting back to normal; feeling overwhelmed is really one of the toughest things for me to deal with.  I’d like to share a few things that helped me, in hopes that they will be an encouragement to you.

Our normal routine is relatively busy, with three kids, some therapies, piano lessons, church activities, and family times.  This particular week, though, we had four extra appointments, and a few extra things for school and at church.  Sleep was in short supply and days seemed long.  But God is always faithful!

Here are a few great reminders from my overwhelming week:

*The Bible – read it!  When we are extremely busy and feeling the stress of all that is in front of us, sometimes the best thing we can do is stop and open the Bible.  God is faithful to meet us when we stop to meet Him.  Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed that I don’t know where to turn in my Bible.  That’s when I turn to a favorite passage and just soak up some of the goodness of God.

To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and present you before his glorious presence
without fault and with great joy–to the only God our Savior
be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord,
before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.  -Jude 24, 25

*Prayer – do it!  When I get so busy, I find that prayer is one of the last things on my mind.  This particular week, though, I tried very hard to keep prayer at the front of my mind.  When I was unsure of how to continue, I found myself praying that God would provide strength, energy, and rest at the end of the day.  And He did!  Not only did He provide what I asked for, specifically, but He gave above and beyond what I asked for.  Where I was uncertain, He provided peace.  Where I lacked joy, He filled my cup to overflowing.  When I needed rest, He provided in abundance.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil; For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
-Psalm 23

*Friends – trust them!  I don’t often like to bother other people if I’m feeling overwhelmed.  In our small group, we have talked about “doing life” with people – not just participating in the good things, but really walking through all aspects of life together.  We want to be supportive of each other and encouraging one another through life.  During my extremely overwhelming week, I reached out to a few friends and asked for prayer and encouragement.  And you know what?  My friends did exactly what they said they would do – they prayed, they encouraged, there were smiles and hugs.  You will have a turn to be the encouraging friend at some point, but when you are in need, trust that your friends will be there to support you – but you have to reach out and let them know that you need them.

Your friends can’t help you if they don’t know you need help! 

Now these are simple things that we all know to do.  However, if you’re anything like me, sometimes the things we know to do can be the most difficult to remember.  When you and I are feeling overwhelmed, let’s commit, together, to choose to keep God first, knowing that He will provide what we need, through time with Him and through the people with whom we do our lives. The feeling of being overwhelmed will be gone when we focus on Jesus!

From the end of the earth will I cry unto Thee,
when my heart is overwhelmed: Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
-Psalm 61:2

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