Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about life and how overwhelming it can be for so many of us. How heavy life can feel with work, family, sickness, and sometimes even tragedy . Right now, my life is just a little crazy, but there have been seasons when I was in way over my head and just plain drained.
When my kids were very little I was living in a season of exhaustion. I remember feeling tapped out, like I had nothing more to give. Josh and I didn’t have the extra cash for any kind of a trip away, so there seemed to be little chance of a break. It felt hopeless, like I was doomed to a perpetual lack sleep and running on empty. In my desperation, I used to fantasize about being hospitalized for something minor like dehydration, just so I could have a good nights rest, and binge watch Netflix in peace. Crazy? Maybe, but it was my reality. I was burnt out with life!
Around that time when I was worn out and having a hard time coping, we were given the opportunity to go on a retreat in Quebec City at the luxurious Chateau Frontenac hotel. It was all expenses paid, no kids, and just what we needed. I remember at the end of it ugly crying into a mic in front of three hundred people about how much it meant to me. It was such a blessing, and was the rest I needed as a weary mom. A much needed refresh button when life felt too heavy.
Fast forward to today, life is pretty good. It’s hectic at times, but it’s slowed down a bit, and I’m finally getting some sleep. Would I love a vacation, sure, but I can manage okay without one. Over the past couple of weeks though, I’ve spoken to people who have a lot on their plates, and as I thought about them I was reminded of this verse in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” It made me think of that retreat. Or a couple of months ago when money was tight and I was working crazy hours tutoring English online. One day I logged on but my internet was faulty, so I had no choice but to rest and be encouraged by a good friend. It made me think about shortly after, when we didn’t know how we were going to pay our bills and someone gave us an extremely generous cheque, so we were finally able to breathe without the pressure of finances on our shoulders.
That day when my internet went glitchy I was able to get together with my friend Lisa. It’s not often that we can get together and have a good chat, but I was so stressed and panicked, I couldn’t enjoy it. “I NEED to work!” I exclaimed, “I’ve got bills to pay!”. She looked at me as the tears fell down my cheeks and said, “Maybe this is God’s way of making you take a break, so you can rest and spend time with Him”. I never thought of the technical issues as a gift, I was too busy worrying, and yet it was just what I needed. A free day where I had no choice but to rest and to listen to God. Maybe thats your rest too. Maybe it’s not obvious, it could be a blessing in disguise, but when we go to God he refreshes us in unexpected ways. He knows exactly what we need, when we need it, and when we surrender to Him He provides. He takes the weight off our shoulders, even if it’s just for a few hours, and sometimes He even lightens our load.
I don’t know what your life looks like right now, but I do know what rest in Jesus looks like. It may not be a free retreat to a glitzy hotel or a generous cheque, it could as simple as peace, wisdom, and the support of friends and family. Whatever season you’re in, whether one of balance and simplicity or one of chaos, I encourage you to seek after God, and pay attention to what He’s doing. You might be surprised with the rest your given, and how it not only refreshes your body, but your soul.
Even as I finish writing this I’m feeling tired and a little weary. I stayed up too late (yet again) milking every second of peace and quiet to watch tv. Just as I finally surrendered to my heavy eyes and snuggled into my pillow my daughter woke up crying in her bed, so up I went, to tuck her in and wipe her tears. Now it’s nearly midnight and I know I will trudge through the next day tired, but I will press on because I know tomorrow holds it’s own little blessing. Tomorrow I get together with Lisa for a mom’s night out and tacos. It’s only a little rest, but I’m gonna eat my fill and soak it all in!
5 thoughts on “When It’s All Too Heavy”
Hi, I saw this post and have been dire need of someone who understands, after reading your post I felt that just maybe you nunderstand . I am married to a pastor over 40 plus years, he is about to retire and we are at odds half the time lately. Not that we mean to be or want to be, but I need to tell you our burden we have at the moment. Where to begin, I have Parkinson’s, and have dealt with it quite well for 7 years now, but this past year have been feeling as if one problem after another keeps coming and I almost feel like when is the next shoe going to drop. I have terrible anxiety, started on new meds of late but the real problem we are facing is our son. Where to begin
there? He is missing right now or at least seems to be , we Havn’t heard a thing for over a month now and the strain is becoming unbearable. I am taking it out on my husband with the anxiety, thinking he knows something that I don’t , and I know it doesn’t make sense, our son has Tourette’s, almost 30 he hasn’t got work as he is on disability but live on his own. He turned to alcohol and has been in and out of rehab, also been suicide more than once this year. Here is the issue I am having, my husband is so angry he cannot talk about him and so when ever I need comforted by trying to talk he just gets angry. Shuts down and me down with it. I know he means well but I hurt so much that he can’t talk and has never connected with our son, and our son with him. Please pray for answers soon , if you feel lead to be a listening ear and support to me, please let me know. Or some one who can! Feeling lonely in all of this craziness, also my husband developed Bell’s palsy last week so ther is another issue. Thank you ! Wendy
I’m so sorry that you are going through so much. I can only imagine how overwhelmed you must feel. I will pray for answers, peace, wisdom, and rest for you and your husband. If you add me on Facebook, I’d love to talk with you in messenger. You should be able to find my Facebook link on my blog.
Thank you , we just woul like some answers on our son please pray we hear soon, also that my anxiety level will be under control , and peace for our whole family. Thank you had a great night sleep and a better morning wend
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When I came across your post my first thought was ‘“here is another shallow 3 things to do when you’re overwhelmed.” But I’m so glad I kept reading. This was so good. I’ve been there too. I love that you didn’t offer trite steps to fix the problem. When you’ve been there you know you just cling to the Lord and in hindsight you find His grace has been sufficient. Thanks for sharing. It was great.
After reading it I realized I follow your husband Josh’s blog. 🙂
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Thanks Trevor. I love that you said “in hindsight”. So often when life feels heavy you can wonder what God is doing. At least I have, but when I look back I see all of the amazing ways that God gave me strength and lead me through the tough times.
Thanks for the encouragement and it’s pretty crazy that you found my blog after following my husbands.