I remember feeling overwhelmed in High School when I had two jobs, honors classes, extra-curricular activities, and a social life. I would cry and stress when I thought I would never be able to stay on top of it all. I had similar experiences throughout my University studies and then…
I had kids! The busy-ness of life went to a whole new level and I looked back at the other times I felt overwhelmed and laughed. This new job was unprecedented. Being available to a baby 24/7 without even a chance to plan when I could have a shower was unchartered territory.
Life went on, however; and somehow, we have managed three kids and still have our sanity albeit by a thread on some days!
Then, I moved to Australia to start a church.
Rather than rant about how long the to-do list is, how much spiritual attack I feel I am under, the amount of pressure and negativity that comes against me some days, the unknown black hole that is before me, and the three kids who are still living under my roof, let’s talk about what to do in these moments of overwhelming pressure:
Living in a measure of chaos is part of all of our lives. No matter what stage or station, we all have stress and burdens that we carry. We each cope in different ways. The busier I am, the more calm I become. It seems illogical, but at a certain point, we all must prioritize, tackle what we can, then…
LET THE REST GO!
For a control freak, this feels impossible. For a people pleaser, inappropriate. For a worry-wort, wholly irrational. For an organized checklist type, insurmountable.
Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence. No test or temptation that comes [our] way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All [we] need to remember is that God will never let [us] down; he’ll never let [us] be pushed past [our] limit; he’ll always be there to help [us] come through it. (1 Corinthians 10:12-13 MSG)
God never promised us that we won’t have trials. We have all lived long enough to know life isn’t easy, fair or simple. For many, life’s difficulties become excuses for dismissing the God I serve. However, I choose the opposite. I run to my Heavenly Father as a safe refuge. I cast my cares on him. I entrust people to Him instead of trying to control them. I point people to Jesus and His Word instead of to myself as the Saviour.
As a pastor, I’ll crumble if I take it as my responsibility to please everyone, not overwhelm anyone, or control the periphery ones. As messy as it all seems with a long to-do list and a short amount of days to prepare, I know that nothing surprises my God. I can only just keep myself prayed up and full of faith to lead this charge alongside my husband.
In the meantime, I’m cooking dinner and changing nappies (diapers). I’m making phone calls, scheduling dinners and teas, praying for my church, planning Easter service, buying supplies, packing for Colour, leading a prayer group at school, paying bills, ironing shirts, hanging out the washing, answering my phone, going for runs, all with a smile on my face!
I bet you are too! And if you’re feeling weak and unable, you can pray this:
I love you, God- you make me strong. God is bedrock under my feet, the castle in which I live, my rescuing knight. My God—the high crag where I run for dear life, hiding behind the boulders, safe in the granite hideout. (Psalm 18:1,2)