Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the end of the earth I call to you, when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I; for you are my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. Let me abide in your tent forever, find refuge under the shelter of your wings. For you, O God, have heard my vows; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name (Psalm 61:1–5).
There's a reason many faith-filled people read and pray the Psalms. I want to share with you the reflection below from my spiritual coach, Dr. Claire Smith. It's powerful, and timely considering we are moving into that part of the year when we are the busiest, and most stressed.
“Have you ever felt as if you were going under and the waves were about to cover you? Either you did not know how to swim or you could not swim because you were weighed down. Whichever it was, you were drowning. What were you drowning under? Responsibilities? Commitments from which there seemed to be no escape? Overwhelm can cause you to drift on the cares of this world.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve had too many times when I seemed to live there. When I said, “yes,” everything to which I committed seemed doable alongside my other responsibilities. However, there were a number of things I had not factored in, such as prep time and the amount of time the project itself would take. Before I knew it, I was in over my head. Overwhelm. I could give example after example.
It’s a problem. It can rob us of quality time with God because we literally don’t have time or because our sense of being overwhelmed leaves us incapacitated. We’re unable to engage with God.
What’s the root of your sense of being overwhelmed? It might be more than a sense of it. You just might be in over your head. You have more than the number of waking hours on your plate. The support just isn’t there. Expectations are too high. Whatever the reason for your being overwhelmed, don’t be a victim. Be a victor.
Prayerfully consider of what you should let go. We often take on without letting go. There is going to be something that you can let go of completely or step away from completely or at least partially.
Ask for help. Don’t be embarrassed to say, “This is too much for me right now. I need help.” Be specific as to the type of help you need. In addition, consider the capacity and reliability of the person of whom you’re asking help. Be realistic in what they can do both in terms of capability and reliability.
Go to the Rock. This is your starting place. Being real with God and letting God know what has happened to you, whether or your own making or not. Then listen as God shows you the way forward with specific actions to take, areas of which to let go, whom to ask, etc.
Dwell with God. Practice the presence of God in your daily life, moment by moment. Practice listening to God before you make your commitments.
You may be overwhelmed, but you don’t have to stay there and drown. God always has a lifeline extended. Grasp it."
Rev. Sarah S. Wimberley