Being overwhelmed is a very strong emotion. You can be overwhelmed by many different things on both good and not so good ends of the spectrum. On one hand you can be overwhelmed by grace, love, excitement, fulfillment, enjoyment, hope, infatuation, contentment, and so much more. The other side of the list is just as long. You can also be overwhelmed by grief, loneliness, hurt, pain, suffering, burdens, fear, shame, etc.
Being overwhelmed by anything is usually caused by an event or circumstance. I.E. I am overwhelmed by fear because there is a lot of instability at home or at work, or I am overwhelmed by love because my husband has been paying extra attention to me at a critical time for me.
Let the event that makes you overwhelmed be meeting with your Heavenly Father and receiving what He has for you.
It is easy and natural to let the “overwhelm-ed-ness” take over and dictate the ups and downs of our life.
Satan can use these overwhelming feelings, of both good and bad, to take us on an unnecessary roller coaster of emotions that may lead us off the best track through life that God has for us.
Of course, emotions are normal and we were created to experience them! THEY ARE A GOOD THING! But when we camp out in negative emotional territory that may or may not actually be reality and that is where we get caught in the traps that the enemy has laid for us.
When we live overwhelmed by the not so good side of life, we must take a moment and feel it, then let it all out. Once we’ve done our dealings with it, we need to move on. BUT HOW?!
The stressful situation is still there, my circumstances haven’t changed?
Well, by replacing it with truth and focusing on and choosing different overwhelming feelings.
Replace the anxious thoughts of being overwhelmed with anxiety, fear, pain, and misunderstanding with thoughts of God’s overwhelming grace, love, provision, adoration, joy, patience, reliability, and serenity.
If you’re like me, or anyone else on the planet for that matter, you likely cannot just create these feelings on your own. Pulling joy from devastation is not likely a skill you have all on your own.
When we take our eyes off our circumstances and turn them to the One who can change even the most undesirable, downright rotten circumstances into something beautiful, it takes the pressure off ourselves to strive, and fix, and worry to change them. We are able to simply place it in our Savior’s hands and say “I choose to no longer worry about this, instead I choose to TRUST YOU even when I don’t understand.”
Each time we feel overwhelmed by fear, etc. we have the opportunity to take our eyes off what is causing that emotion and create a deeper intimacy with the One who knows and sees everything we cannot, who walks through each and every moment with us, and who holds our hearts and knows and understands them more deeply and intimately than we know them ourselves.
Being overwhelmed often has a negative connotation to it but being overwhelmed is NOT necessarily a bad thing. It’s what you allow yourself to remain overwhelmed with that makes it healthy or not. You can still get overwhelmed with things while being a godly, God fearing person.
"...I will cry to you when my heart is overwhelmed. “Psalm 61:2
When we feel negatively overwhelmed by life, allow it to be an opportunity to cry out to your Heavenly Father. Allow it to be an opportunity to grow CLOSER to Him as you lean on Him and gain the strength you need THROUGH HIM.
I often find myself freaking out, shedding some (or more than some) tears, pushing them aside, and just moving on with life. Have you ever done this before? Or maybe you have a friend, right? Sure, the push-aside method works right? But does it really? You’re okay for the moment… the issue no longer an overwhelming feeling once you’ve moved on. Yet, as you push it aside you simultaneously miss an opportunity to develop a deeper intimacy with your Creator, Redeemer, and Lover of your soul.
God knows we are going to feel overwhelmed- heck, He’s the one who gave us the ability to feel that way- but His desire is that WHEN we face things we can’t handle, we come to Him. Bringing all our junk, baggage, unreasonable feelings, legitimate concerns, the real, raw version of our reality, and talk to Him about them. Then – here’s they key- leave them in His hands and walk away, filling what once took up residency in our hearts and minds as worry, fear, doubt, and overall overwhelmed-ness with HIS peace, HIS joy, and HIS hope.
We won’t gain any more of an intimate relationship with Him if we just “fix” it ourselves and move on, cutting Him out of the equation. If we try to “fix” it ourselves we will never end with the level of peace, joy, hope, etc. that we are so desperately looking for. We only receive that OVERWHELMING peace, joy, hope, and encouragement when it comes from GOD and GOD alone! He created us to need Him. We go against what our very souls were created to crave when we take matters into our own hands and “just deal with” the things life throws at us on our own.
Next time you find yourself in a situation where you feel overwhelmed, I encourage you to STOP. First, take the time to feel it, talk it through with God. Tell Him EXACTLY what you’re dealing with and how you’re feeling- I promise, He can take it. Second, once you’ve let it all out, LEAVE IT THERE!
Satan will try to keep reminding you of it. He wants you to stress and worry and remain living in those feelings. When he tries to attack you with reminders of these things, refuse to let him win! Replace those thoughts with the truths, promises, and peace that God gives! Find them in the Bible, in your quiet time, or by talking to a godly friend/mentor! Hang on to those truths, write them down, hang them on your wall, or set them as reminders in your phone! God’s Truths are much more real than any feeling and can ALWAYS triumph over the lies the enemy tries to feed us.
Each and every time those attacks start to rage, go to your Father. Get what you need to withstand those attacks from Him. Walk through it WITH Him! He will never run out of what you need, and He will never get tired of sustaining you. He never looks at us like, “Can he/she just get it together already?”. NEVER.
“The Lord will again take delight in prospering you.” - Deuteronomy 30:9
Trade in your overwhelming worry, fear, doubt, insecurity, hurt, pain, loneliness, grief, anger, stress, anxiety, guilt, sadness, panic, disgust, shame, envy, and indignation with God’s PERFECT peace, joy, hope, courage, serenity, gratitude, cheerfulness, confidence, contentment, enjoyment, love, and TRUTH. Living in the latter list is the way God intended you to feel and is more easily attainable than we realize. We just have to realize we’re not on our own nor were we meant to be on our own.
Live overwhelmed, just by the right things.