5 Calming Things God Said to Do When You Feel Overwhelmed

  • Quanny Ard
5 Calming Things God Said to Do When You Feel Overwhelmed

I flopped onto my bed, exhausted and heavy. Not able to identify exactly where the road had taken a sharp left, I reached for my cell phone and typed a blurry SOS text to my husband through tear-filled eyes. My breaking point had been reached about two weeks prior, and I had hit a brick wall. I was a new-ish mom of three, and I had foolishly ignored both my body and brain’s signal cues to pause, slow down a bit, and rest. My pride had gotten the best of me and I couldn’t push myself to go any further.

Overwhelmed, worn down and out, I used the last ounce of strength I could muster to admit my desperation. Friends showed up at our doorstep, packed up the kids and left me to breathe. The solitude was like fresh, cool water over my parched soul. “How had I gotten this far off track?” I wondered. “And how in the world can I get back?” I realized that I had been an unrelenting taskmaster at the helm of my life and had been pushing myself at an unsustainable pace. Does this sound familiar? If so, grab your pen and notebook sister, because I’m going to share with you 5 things from God’s word to lift you out of the pit.

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1. Be Still

1. Be Still

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:14)

This is not an easy concept for many of us. Between work, family, and the other responsibilities we juggle daily, stillness is probably the last thing on our minds. But taking the time for reflection and peace is still important even if we neglect to make it a priority.

  • We fight for our kids to be and do well.
  • We fight for our marriages to flourish.
  • We fight for our jobs/businesses to succeed.
  • We even fight to be that friend whom everyone loves and depends on.

We are justified in our dogged pursuit because it’s all on us, right? No. Sisters, we don’t have to fight. We can be still knowing that God is in control, multiplying our efforts because we are His.

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2. Be Still, Again

2. Be Still, Again

“He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’” (Psalm 46:10)

When the results of everyday life leave us fully spent, and overwhelm consumes us, we fall prey to the temptation of exalting ourselves to God’s rightful place in our lives. We become the boss – we max out our own schedules, our own goals and achievements, our own way of living.

Is there space for God to move us to the right or left? What about His leading and direction? Do we trust Him to be the sovereign Lord of our lives? Our behavior is a much better indicator of our willingness to be still and let God be God than our lip service. Again, be still. Let God make the plans.

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3. Take Time Away

3. Take Time Away

From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” (Psalm 61:2)

Sometimes, we just have to get away. Regroup. Reboot. Replenish. Jesus Himself would steal away for reprieve and rest, intentionally maintaining His connection with the Father. How can we do any less?

Our bodies were designed to rest at regular intervals, and when we deprive ourselves of this essential process, we shortcut our health – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Admitting you need time away is a sign of maturity. Let God lead you beside still waters and restore your soul. Allow yourself to be led to the Rock. He invites you to come and He promises rest (Matthew 11:28).

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4. Have Courage

4. Have Courage

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Sending that text message to my husband, admitting that I wasn’t okay and needed a break was one of the hardest things I have done. I wanted him to think that I had it all together because our choice for me to be at home with our children wasn’t one we made lightly. Also, I didn’t want him to worry or think that I couldn’t cut it (showing my mom-ego here).

I had held back my feelings and lack of sleep for so long that I could no longer pretend. I needed to stop. It took courage for me to say to him and myself that I just didn’t have the energy to push through another moment.

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"Take heart! Have courage, Jesus says, and take on his yoke."

"Take heart! Have courage, Jesus says, and take on his yoke."

This “trouble” I found myself in was from equal parts life/responsibility and unrealistic expectations I placed upon myself. I needed to remember to trade in my overwhelm for Jesus’ overcome. I needed to remember that I was not going to get an extra star in my crown for heroic feats of parenting, wife-ing, student-ing, or any other thing I had plopped on my plate. Take heart! Have courage, Jesus says, and take on his yoke.

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5. You Are Not Alone

5. You Are Not Alone

“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.” (Psalm 68:19)

Praise God that He daily bears our burdens. What a Savior! He is literally saving us by bearing our burdens. But guess what, sisters? He can’t bear them if we don’t give them to Him. We are in need of His salvation every, single day. This means we must eliminate the habit of storing up our burdens until we find ourselves buried under their compounded weight. Each day, we must lay our burdens on Jesus.

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"Each day, we must lay our burdens on Jesus."

"Each day, we must lay our burdens on Jesus."

I am still learning and walking through the practice of releasing my burdens to Christ – to honor Him with my faith and trust that He will do what He says He will do. And in the meantime, I reap the precious reward of peace, rest, and an unhurried life.

I hope that if you ever find yourself overwhelmed, you will just take out that notebook I asked you to grab at the beginning and use the Word of God included here to encourage yourself. To fight back the overwhelm with overcome, and to live a life that exalts God and keeps Him at the helm.

Quantrilla Ard (affectionately known as Quanny), hails from the DC metropolitan area. She and her husband raise their family with joy and are constantly in awe of each blessing bestowed upon them. Because she leads a full life as a wife, stay-at-home mom, doctoral student, and entrepreneur, Quanny often finds herself in the thick of problem solving at any given moment. Check out more of her writing on her blog, ThePHDMamma.com, and connect with her on Twitter.

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