Those days of stress and overwhelm come upon us all at some point or another, don’t they? You think that everything is going well, you feel good with this whole “adulting” thing, and you feel like you’re finally getting everything together and then…BOOM…something happens and you feel like you took a million steps backwards.
Maybe your car decided it didn’t want to work anymore (like mine did a few weeks ago). Maybe you were surprised by a medical emergency or accident. Maybe financial woes caught up to you, or a pet got sick, or you lost your job, or your relationship crumbled, or you suffered a tragic loss, or … it could be one of any number of things.
One thing is for certain, it can feel overwhelming and that’s where I’ve been lately. I’ve been treading water in the sea of overwhelm.
It’s just easy to get lost in that “I can do it” attitude. It’s easy to become so caught up in ambition, drive, and accomplishing our dreams that we lose sight of everything around us. When we do that it’s inevitable that one day something will come crashing down.
After all, you can only juggle so many balls in the air at once.
You need downtime. We all do.
Lately I’ve been working my full-time career, blogging full-time, and running two businesses. I’m a full-time wife. My mother visited so I was a devoted daughter during that time. My husband and I are going through the (very overwhelming) adoption process. It’s so much! There are documents to be written, deadlines to be met, posts to be prepared and SEO’d, bills to be paid, dishes to be washed, paperwork to be gathered, tax returns to find, dogs to be walked and cared for, and my marriage to love and honor.
I just kept telling myself, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13) and trudged forward mightily believing that I could do it all because God said so. I didn’t want to admit how tired, and defeated, I was feeling but I knew it was there. Deep down, we all know when we’re feeling that way.
My “brave” face wasn’t even so brave anymore. I didn’t have the time to style my hair or put on make-up anymore. I looked like a mess whenever I left the house. Honestly, I was even worse of a mess inside the house. Fatigue. Burn-out. Overwhelm. Whatever word you put on it, I was there.
Then I realized I’d been missing out on a really key point in Philippians 4:13.
That verse says, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Through HIM who strengthens me.
It doesn’t say, “Ashley, you can do all things because you’re strong and can conquer the world.” It says, “through Him“. Our strength doesn’t come from within, it comes from Him. It comes from God. Our strength, our power, our ability to go forth and do or conquer comes from God.
It says so over and over again in the Bible (all emphasis is mine).
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9 ESV
“And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear, but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his loins.” – Isaiah 11:2 – 5
“My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” – John 10:29
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6
All this time I should have been calling on God. I should have been praying for guidance, for leadership, for knowledge, for patience, for wisdom. I should have been worshipping and thanking God. I should have been seeking Him and His strength rather than feeling like just because I am a believer I can do all things.
I can do all things but I can only do all things through Him. If you’re feeling the overwhelm, call on the Lord. He is there.