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Inspired Living

Soul Food (When Life Is Overwhelming)

Sarah Stanley

Welcome to Soul Food. Each Sunday, on this site, we focus on healthy living by reflecting on our soul and God. For if we neglect that, we have lost everything. (Luke 9:25 and Matthew 16:26.) Question: Have you ever been overwhelmed by life?

If you said yes, you're being honest. I don't think any of us have ever not been overwhelmed with life to a certain extent! The question is what are you going to do with that overwhelming feeling?

Last week, I was under a ton of stressful, overwhelming situations. And then I encountered someone else who was also feeling overwhelmed by life and was going to end it all. My heart went out to them. I did what I could (email, resources, prayed with them over the phone and called the police). I don't know what happened, but I am hopeful that they chose life.

Naturally, I started thinking and pondering on why some people lose ALL sight of hope and others hold on to that very fine thread of hope in the pitch black. I don't have an answer, but I do know that when I am overwhelmed there are a few things I do to keep that spark of hope alive. Perhaps you are feeling overwhelmed today (and if not today you probably will in the future!) and I hope they help you.

1) Talk. It's very natural to want to withdrawal and not talk about what is bothering you. By talking with trusted friends you can gain a different perspective and lean on them when you don't see the light. We were created to be social, to talk, to be with people. We weren't made to do life alone. If you don't have a trusted friend, seek one. A good, Christian church is a great place to start. When you deal with your overwhelming stuff with someone else, the mountain doesn't seem so challenging anymore. 

2) Time. It's been said that time heals all wounds. I don't necessarily believe that. I do believe that time will make the pain a little more bearable and the scar that forms serves as a reminder that you've survived. The second piece of time is that even if you can't see your future in front of you (and if you do, it looks like a never ending black cloud) it's there. Don't think about months from now, focus on today. Slow down and do what you can to make today better. If you do that each day, things will get better. 

3) Tackle. What is bothering you? What is overwhelming? Don't be afraid to get dirty and wrestle with what is weighing on your mind and heart. We can only change what we acknowledge. It might be scary and frightening but healing can only happen when we face what is bothering us and work through it. 

4) Faith. Not a "t" word, but it has to be here. There are times in my life when the only thing I had was my faith. Two verses that helped me:

Joshua 1:6 "Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them."

AND

Deuteronomy 31:6 "So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”

Read them until you believe.

Feeling overwhelmed by life? You shouldn't. God will never fail nor abandon you. Chances are that your perspective is skewed and just needs a little encouragement. So be of good courage and live life with faith vs. overwhelming fear.

 

photo credit: david.nikonvscanon