Yesterday we started our conversation about feeling overwhelmed. Today we are going to address the first definition of the word: 1. To bury or drown beneath a huge mass.
When I admit to feeling overwhelmed by my life, I am essentially saying that I am living in a grave. The weight of the dirt changes in various seasons of life, but chances are, you know what I’m talking about.
I don’t think we are supposed to feel this way. I know we’re not supposed to live this way.
Did you know that unbury is a word? I’ve never used it before. It means to remove (something) from under the ground. Friday morning I felt as though I finally came above ground. My to do list was just as long as it had been on Thursday. The items that had brought me to tears on Wednesday night still needed to be tackled. So what changed?
I learned some simple steps to getting unburied.
Step #1. Talk to yourself!
My pastor quoted D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones on Sunday. This is a good one.
We spend so much time listening to our worries and fears. I how tempting it can be to dwell on your problems the moment your eyes open in the morning. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones is suggesting that we instead start the day by dwelling on our joys.
Step #2. Claim truth!
On Friday morning I woke up, poured my cup of coffee and sat at the kitchen table. Even though I wanted to rush to shower or jump straight into my never-ending task list, I instead pulled out my Bible and journal. My daughter rocked contentedly in her chair (for a brief moment!) and I started by reciting the verse that kept coming to mind.
From the end of the earth I will cry to You,
When my heart is overwhelmed;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. (Psalm 61:2, NKJV)
I could feel those items on my list wanting to bury me, so I started saying the verse aloud. Over and over I repeated those words from Psalm 61 until I began to picture myself being led to a higher rock. I needed a visual picture. This time last year we were visiting Ireland. Gorgeous, green, the island was a perfect break from the desert heat. We spent many days hiking in craggy rocks. Those rocks are what I pictured on Friday morning.
Step #3. Admit your feelings in prayer.
I knew what was making me feel overwhelmed, so I listed everything out in my journal. Then, one by one, I listed everything in prayer.
Lord, I cannot write all of these posts without you. Lead me to the rock that is higher …
Lord, I cannot figure out how to balance all of my roles right now. Please lead me to the rock that is higher …
Father, I don’t know how to make this decision. Lead me to the rock that is higher …
With each prayer spoken it felt as though layers of dirt were being pulled off of me. The burden was lighter every time I admitted I did not have the answer, the stamina, or the wisdom to face this day.
Step #4. Focus on this day.
The moment I let my brain dive into everything I have to do in October, the overwhelmed spiral would begin again. One of my favorite verses, 1 Timothy 1:12, says … “I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.”
God is faithful to give me the strength for right now. Don’t let the worries of tomorrow affect your mindset today. Remind yourself that God is able to guard what you entrust to Him today.
Step #5. Get vulnerable.
Wednesday night our small group convened at our house. We all went around the room sharing our stories from the summer. We hadn’t convened since early June and a lot of life change has taken place. When it was my turn I started crying. Gah. Not my favorite thing to do. I used the key word: overwhelmed. I tried to convey that I am so thankful, blessed, and grateful for this season of life, but that I just don’t know how to structure my days so that I can be both mom, wife, blogger, friend, and now author.
Had I not shared on Wednesday night, I would not have received the texts, e-mails, and phone calls that so encouraged me on Friday. The Lord knew exactly when to send in reinforcements. When we are willing to get real, others respond in turn.
So that’s the short initial list that has been guiding my new outlook. Instead of letting myself get buried by emotions and fears, I’m choosing to be active in my unburial. Who knows if that’s a word?
Following and learning,