The snowball of circumstances started out small, but before you knew it, the issue enveloped your every waking moment. You’ve always been a fighter, but this time is different. It all seems too much and getting out of bed is no longer a joy, but a chore. You previously were labelled as an overcomer, but right now, all you feel is overwhelmed.
Everyone around you seems to be looking at the mountain ahead with an optimistic spirit, dreaming of the view at the top. But you can’t fathom the destination. It’s too far away and the obstacles are too numerous to process.
How can you keep going when everything is going wrong?
In the midst of trials and difficulties, when I feel bombarded and overpowered, I’ve learned that a pep talk about the mountaintop experience doesn’t work for me. I need something that will get my feet stepping once more. I need Someone to give me the strength to manage the next turn in the bend.
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 KJV
I’ve found that the following 4 P’s to Process the Overwhelming are more helpful to me than thinking about how great everything will be when the trials or circumstances have resolved.
Whatever mode or mood I’m in, when I feel overwhelmed, then I know it’s a “hold on a second” moment. In my bustling household, that might mean going in the bathroom in order to enjoy a closed, locked door. (Mamas, we’ve all been there.)It might mean taking the first available opportunity to sit down in a chair and just breathe. Whatever the method, stop all activity and be still. Let time move on without your movement.
The psalmist gives us his take on what to do with paralyzing circumstances. He cried out to the Lord. God hears us no matter where we are, whether the end of the earth, as the psalmist, or five steps from the mountaintop. He is not bound by our location and longs to hear our pleas for help. I want prayer to be my first response, not my last resort.
During step 2, when I’m praying, I ask the Lord to show me the next step. Not an outline of the next 10 days or 2 weeks or the next 3 months ahead. Just the next step. My prayer might be something like: “Lord, show me how to prioritize. You’ve give me these responsibilities and right now, I’m not accomplishing anything. Show me, Jesus, which of these things I need to do first, because I don’t know how I’m going to do all of them.” Then I write out a list of what I know I need to follow through on. It may be as simple as “help the children with breakfast” and “clean the kitchen.” Whatever your daily responsibilities, make a plan. Sometimes my plan will span a short timeframe like the next half hour. As I’ve become more accustomed to more responsibilities, my list might include an entire day of activities. I believe the key to the plan is remembering that it is all about what God wants you to do, not what you want to do. That’s certainly the way it has worked for me!
I must recognize the power of God who lives in me and realize that I cannot operate in my own strength, but in his. He alone can work through me to overcome the most overwhelming circumstances. When I realize the Creator of the universe lives in my heart and wants to work directly through me, then I am empowered to do the work he has called me to do. I don’t have to feel overwhelmed because greater is He who lives in me than the enemy who wants to cripple me.
When things seem out of control, God is always in control.
Which one of the 4 P’s to processing the overwhelming is the one that resonates with you? I’d love to read your comments today!
Rachel at RachelWojo.com
Enjoy your FREE Download of the Stepping Stones journal, a companion guide to Rachel’s new release, One More Step: Finding Strength When You Feel Like Giving Up.