There I was, laying on my bed, crying.
Just an hour earlier, I had cancelled all of my evening plans, because the crushing weight of life’s demands had sent me on the low road, a state of complete overwhelm.
I was exhausted, I was lonely, I was drained. I was filled with anxiety because I knew another day was coming, and I had to wake up and keep going. Life has a funny way of not stopping, you know?
Allow me to backtrack a few months. Earlier in summer, my husband and I prayed considerably about each commitment we were taking on for the year. I’ll skip the long stories, but over and over again, each “thing” on our plate was confirmed, and so our schedule was made.
I knew the upcoming year would be busy, but I consistently felt a peace and excitement knowing we were moving forward with a schedule that included much prayer and discussion.
I was prepared for the busyness this year would bring, but what I did not realize was that God was going to use my busyness to show me how helpless I am without Him.
Fast forward back to the bed crying incident. That day I realized the sacrifices God had called me to with my busy schedule. I realized I was lonely, and that part of my calling for this year meant not being able to regularly connect with my closest friends. I had no idea how much safety and support were found in those relationships.
I realized God was asking me to face my guilt and inadequacy head-on. With each passing day I was carrying around a certain guilt that comes with working full-time and dropping off my kids. It often played out like this: Imagine a day when you are feeling a bit emotional, then drop your children off at someone else’s for the day. As you walk back to your car, tears trickle down your face as you ask God, “Why? Why am I doing this?” You make the teary-eyed drive to work as you ask God for his peace, for His help, for His perspective.
On this night, I realize my life is much more than a busy schedule – it’s a struggle with loneliness and a battle with guilt. Here’s the funniest part – the more time I spent with God, the more He gently showed me more junk, more struggle, more woundedness. On this night, everything bubbled up at once and I cried because I had nothing else. There were no words for the overwhelm, no tangible solutions.
So, what was the solution?
Our first perspective is cultural. Did you know our culture is incredibly passionate about the heart? It’s true. Look on social media, look on Pinterest. The evidence is there. We love following our hearts and chasing our dreams.
Our culture tells us things that seem empowering and inspiring. We are led to believe if we follow our heart, and go after it with tenacity and passion, we will find joy and satisfaction in life. We are told that to be fearless women, we must follow our dreams in a way that is inspiring to others or one day we’ll be filled with regret.
I’m writing today to tell you, that it is a lie. Stick with me, because I say this with love. I say this because I am an advocate for a balanced perspective, and believe pursuing our passions is still important. I say this because I’ve walked this road, and know that when you are standing at the crossroads, what your heart wants may not be in line with what God wants.
This brings us to our second perspective, which is Biblical. That night (and for a couple of weeks after), I spent many devotions asking God for help. I asked him for perspective on my busy schedule. I asked for next steps as I began to deal with my insecurity and overwhelm.
The truth is that following my heart that night would have led to giving up. Instead, I offered my weakest self to Jesus and He met me. I’ve learned that He always has a game plan. His plans are complex, full of adventure and always lead us closer to Him. This is a God worth following!
Challenge for Moms
1. Read through the following verses.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9
2. Spend some time in listening prayer about your life and your schedule. Ask Him for encouragement, or direction. Maybe He wants you to change something. Maybe He just wants more time in your schedule. Maybe He has a better way, and you just haven’t asked yet. Whatever it is, listen and write it down.
3. Come back to God regularly with your schedule. He wants you to meet with Him about it. The God of the universe cares about you and your schedule. Imagine that! Keep talking to Him and making changes as you feel led.