"The thing is," I told my friend Sarah, "I feel overwhelmed all the time." Sarah is one of those un-assuming, yet remarkable, women whose easy-going attitude and great kids (five of them) inspire me.
What nugget did wise Sarah give me in response? Her brow scrunched in compassion, and she said, "Well, you have four little kids, you homeschool, you edit (something I do to help financially), you have a house to take care of...You're going to feel overwhelmed all the time."
Huh. It took me a minute to let that sink in. I'm going to feel overwhelmed all the time. As she waited patiently, still smiling empathetically, the meaning of her words swirled through my thoughts.
Sarah was telling me that my state of being overwhelmed was not abnormal. In fact, considering all I do, it's perfectly reasonable to feel like I'm drowning.
I looked up from my pondering and said, "Thanks. That's a real comfort."
It was. Her kind and wholly rational words reminded me that God knows how I feel like flood waters are whooshing over my head--all the time. He knows how my stomach turns at the thought of keeping up with the laundry, or how a messy diaper at the wrong moment (like when we're already rushing to be on time)can send me into frantic, crazy-lady mode.
He also knows how I feel like a failure when one of my kids shows his sinfulness by lashing out at me with disrespectful words. Or another one refuses to forgive, holding a grudge for hours. Or when I, rather than exemplifying loving, Christ-centered behavior, instead lash out right back at them.
He knows that these and the many other challenges of parenting overwhelm--all the time. And rather than stressing and struggling like a panicked swimmer, I can trust that this is the heat I'm supposed to be in--not an easy one, but worthwhile. I can rest in Him, trusting His ability to save me--be my strength.
"Trust the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight." Prov. 3:5-6