For the Overwhelmed

There will be days when you don't want to get out of bed because you are too afraid of what you have to do.  And maybe you only have to get up and feed your kids and get them dressed, but even that feels like a little bit too much for you today.

There will be days when your medical or emotional condition flares up for the umpteenth time in one week.  You will pray and pray and pray, and then double over in tears in a heap because you know God is there but you just don't know how to cope anymore- you are just weary of the journey.

You won't know who to tell that you are overwhelmed because it just doesn't seem logical, maybe no one will understand.  Or maybe you struggle with the same thing so much (like depression or diabetes or anxiety or a situation with someone you love, or waiting for a child) that you won't want to tell anyone about the.same.old.problem.again.  Because you'll think they just want you to get over it already.  Or maybe you will just be tired of explaining it again when you know they can't really understand because they haven't been there.

There will be days when all you can think of are the things you are failing at- and your failures will loom so large that they cripple.  Your failure feelings will mingle with your overwhelmed feelings till you feel like you are letting down every single person in your life so why try anymore? You will suddenly take to heart that one time your daughter said that she wished you went to work so she could go to daycare or the time your son said he didn't want you to play with him.  You might put on a show for your kid so you can take a mental health moment, but that will just add to your guilt.  What if you just can't pull it together for yourself, let alone your kids? Your spouse?  

Maybe you will feel like you don't know who to call or who to ask for help from, and even though you want community you will simultaneously feel like being with a friend might be too vulnerable- community will sound exhausting.  You will want someone to just show up at your door with a hug and a coffee so you don't have to call someone and try unsuccessfully to stifle your tears.  But you don't want someone to try to fix you because you aren't even sure you know what you need- you don't want to have to explain yourself- because the overwhelmed can't always be explained.

There will be days you desperately want to know that you aren't the only one who has felt this way- that maybe you aren't the only one who doesn't know how to make it through the day...or maybe through the long night.  You will wonder how to make it past the overwhelmed, and you will wonder how long you will make it before the overwhelmed pays another visit.  Because this life is broken, so of course it will.

You will want so badly to find a verse or a thought from God that fixes your moment, but you will also be afraid that it is not enough.  And if it is not enough, you will wonder if you are broken, or the God you follow is broken.  And you will echo the Psalmist in Psalm 13 when he says:

1 O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever?
    How long will you look the other way?
2 How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul,
    with sorrow in my heart every day?
    How long will my enemy have the upper hand?
3 Turn and answer me, O Lord my God!
    Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.
4 Don’t let my enemies gloat, saying, “We have defeated him!”
    Don’t let them rejoice at my downfall.

And you will struggle to find it in yourself to finish the Psalm, because you believe it in your heart but are struggling to find it in your circumstances, in your overwhelmed.  But you will know it in your bones that there is goodness because you have felt it and that there is light even though it is just so very faint right now.  And so you will say, almost as though you must, but really because every last piece of you is relying on something beyond yourself:

5 But I trust in your unfailing love.
    I will rejoice because you have rescued me.
6 I will sing to the Lord
    because he is good to me.
And it may not be pretty, it may not be quick or easy.  It may not be doubt free, and you may never feel "fixed".  But may you find hope for the moment, and enough love to sustain you till the fog lifts.