To The Woman who is Overwhelmed,
I hear you.
I see you.
I am you.
Can I be honest with you? Can I be real? Tonight, I contemplated shutting down The Felicity Bee. It was a moment of weakness from the enemy, but it was real. I wanted to shut it down because I, like you, am overwhelmed.
I work a sixty-hour a week job running a non-profit community theater on top of running The Felicity Bee and I am exhausted. I am overwhelmed. I am worn out. I'm getting sick. I haven't slept through the night in a month.
I am overwhelmed.
I have prayed over The Felicity Bee. I have prayed for every one of you. I have sought God's voice for direction, and in my questioning, I've heard no answers except . . . Rest and Be Still.
My response to the Lords' voice sounded a bit like this:
"But God, You don't understand. I am a mover and a doer. I don't do "be still". I have to be doing. I have to be creating. I have to be moving forward. I need to be writing. I need to be reading. I have to have my sons clothes perfect. I have to have The Felicity Bee Shop up and running by Christmas. I have to post to The Felicity Bee three times a week or I'm a failure. I have to decide on the next Main Stage production for January at Legacy Theater. I have to lose forty more pounds. I have to memorize my lines for "It's a Wonderful Life". I have to . . . . I need to . . . I can't rest until . . . ".
Feel free to insert any of your "have to's", "need to's", "can't rest until's" into the paragraph above.
Dear Overwhelmed Woman, we are called upon to be so many things to so many people. We have to-do lists a mile long, and Pinterest-Perfection to live up to. We hold ourselves to Instagram worthiness, and the opinions of people who really don't matter.
We feel judged if we are single, if we don't have children, if we are divorced, or if we are still searching for life's meaning at the age of seventy.
We feel less than if we aren't married, if the children don't call anymore, if life isn't the fairy tale we dreamed, if we can't get our to-do list completed, if our cheesecake doesn't rise properly, and the bottoms of our muffins are always burnt.
We feel unworthy if we cannot hold ourselves to the unattainable Wonder Women society makes us think we have to be.
And so we go to bed at night defeated, exhausted, ready to quit, sick in mind, sick in body, and devoid of happiness and joy.
There may be some concrete reasons why we become overwhelmed. For me, I am trying to provide for my son and I work extremely hard to make that happen. For others, you may be in an extremely demanding job that causes you to be overwhelmed by the workload you carry. For some, the poor decisions of your children (young or old) may be weighing heavy on your spirit and you are overwhelmed at their choices in life.
All of these, to us, may be valid reasons for feeling overwhelmed.
But dear sister, they are not valid reasons to God. And while He sees our heart and has great compassion, like any loving parent, He does not give into our emotions and feelings.
Take a minute and read Psalm 46. I'll wait right here for you . . .
Now that you've read Psalm 46 let us take a look at the words God speaks to our overwhelmed heart
When we say, "But God, I have to work eighty hours a week, because I have no idea how I am going to pay this bill or that bill."
God says, "Daughter, I am your refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, you will not fear. . . . " (Psalm 46:1-2)
When we say, "My children have lost their way, God. They don't want to serve you. My husband doesn't have a passion for Your Word. My heart is overwhelmed at their choices, God."
God says, "Therefore, daughter, you will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
You, daughter, will not fear, for I am your refuge. I am your husband's refuge, I am your children's refuge. I AM. You, my Daughter, are not. Don't be overwhelmed by things you cannot control. Give your children. Give your husband to me." (Psalm 46:2-3)
When we say, "I can't find my joy. My heart is so overwhelmed, I cannot find happiness in anything anymore."
God says, "There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. I am your river. I am the water. I am the well that never runs dry. Have you come to me? Have you immersed yourself in the water of my Word? Or have you decided that 'overwhelmed' is your station in this life?
If being overwhelmed has robbed you of your joy, then get into My word, jump into the river and let the waters rush over you. My Word makes glad the cities where I dwell. Do I dwell inside of you, Daughter? Then allow the streams of My word to wash away your overwhelmed heart and replace it with a heart of gladness." (Psalm 46:4) and (John 4:14)
When we say, "I have fallen off the path, Lord, and getting back onto the pathoverwhelms me. My sins are many. My life is broken."
God says, "I am in the midst of you, and you shall not fall. I will help you just at the break of dawn. The night is the darkest just at the break of dawn. When you feel, Daughter, that you have fallen past the point of rescue and the night is too dark for you to be found, I will help you. I will lift you up. I will uphold you.
So do not be overwhelmed at your choices in life. You may be broken. But I am here to put you back together again, says your God." (Psalm 46:5-7)
When we say, "I cannot do it all. I cannot be the perfect mother, perfect friend, perfect wife, perfect employee, perfect boss, I cannot do it. I cannot hold it together any longer. My shoulders are heavy from carrying the weight."
God says, "Who told you you had to carry it alone? Come, behold the works of the Lord. I have created every living thing on the earth. I have caused nations to rise and fall. I have flung the stars into place. I can count every grain of sand on the shores and all of the hairs on your head. Can I not carry you through this life?
Why do you have to do it alone when I, the God of all of the creation you see, is carrying you. Surely, you will be overwhelmed if you think you must carry the load in your own power. My Daughter, you can't. But with my power carrying you, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you." (Philippians 4:13), (Psalm 46:8-9)
If you are overwhelmed today, God's response to our heaviness is simply, "Be still and know that I am God." We cannot do it all in our strength, but we can in His.
If you are allowing the opinions of others to overwhelm your heart, re-read Psalm 46 and allow the truth of God's Word to wash over you and the opinions of others will fade away. It is God's truths that matter.
And God says, "You are cherished. You are chosen. You are treasured. You are my child. You are the head and not the tail. You are loved. You are worthy. You are mighty, and you are strong.
Through your prayer, praise, and worship . . . Give me the worry over your bills. Give me the worry over your children and husbands faith. Give me the worry of your job. Give me the self-induced shame of your divorce. Give me your heavy heart. Give me the burden of your workload. Give me the seasons of your life. Give me your future husband who you may not even know or see. Give me your mistakes and failures . . . GIVE IT ALL TO ME and in turn, I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)