When Feeling Overwhelmed Doesn’t Make Sense

September 21, 2017

When overwhelmed doesn’t make sense, ask yourself: 1. Am I sitting still with GOD on a regular basis? If so, am I taking in the full meaning of what it means to be still with God? If you missed last weeks post, IS THERE MORE TO “BEING STILL?” click here. Being still includes letting go and giving it all to God. Quite honestly sometimes when circumstances are beyond our control it is easier to trust and give it to God. In those particular moments, we know without a doubt we are helpless and need him. 2. Am I carrying a load that God never intended for me? Sometimes we are overwhelmed by our own doing. We have picked up burdens that God never intended for us. In one of my favorite books – Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, Joanna Weaver tells a story about a man pulling a wagon up the hill. His cart becomes heavy and overloaded by his own doing. It is a story I carry with me, and I hope you will too. Click here to read it. 3. Have I lost my perspective? Sometimes we need to pull back and see the entire picture. Maybe one thing is little but combined with many things it is overwhelming. 4. Am I allowing others to speak into my life? 5. Am I taking good care of myself?

We have all felt overwhelmed from time to time with our circumstances, and it makes perfect sense. You know when life is unbearable, and the challenges are enormous. But what about feeling overwhelmed when it just doesn’t make sense.

On this particular afternoon, I shuffled into a small group, late once again. Tears were brimming in my eyes ready to run down my cheeks. I plopped down into my chair as if I had not sat down all day and then someone asked, “How are you?”  Without much thought, I replied, “ I AM OVERWHELMED.”

As soon as the words fell out of my mouth, I wanted to take them back because it didn’t make any sense. I had been through much worse and seen darker days so why would I be bewildered? When others around me were suffering worse, how could I be overwhelmed?

Then my sweet friend, Sandy, asked, “How we can pray for you?” Reluctantly, I began listing off one by one how they could join me in praying for those that were on my heart and my unique struggles.

As she ferociously started writing. I kept talking. In between my requests, I would repeat, “I just don’t know why I am overwhelmed, I have been through much worse.” Finally, she stopped writing and dropped her pen with a thud. Sandy looked straight into my eyes and boldly said, “Maree I have been writing nonstop, and I can’t keep up.” “Of course, you are overwhelmed, anybody would be.”

I heard Sandy’s words, yet I was not convinced. I thought to myself, “She just doesn’t know the journey I have traveled.”

So I uttered, “I have been through so much more, these things SHOULD not get to me.”

We have all felt overwhelmed from time to time with our circumstances, and it makes perfect sense. You know when life is unbearable, and the challenges are enormous. But what about feeling overwhelmed when it just doesn't make sense.

 

Warning! The minute you see “should” or “shouldn’t” in your vocabulary all alarms should go off. Judging has started, and it most likely will not benefit anyone.

Don’t you agree we can be our own worst critics?

But you see my sweet friend had given me permission to be overwhelmed with my circumstances. So I began pondering why I was overwhelmed with what seemed should be manageable.

Maybe today you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, but it doesn’t make sense. If so, please take some time to answer the following questions.

 When overwhelmed doesn’t make sense, ask yourself:

1.  Am I sitting still with GOD on a regular basis?

If so, am I taking in the full meaning of what it means to be still with God? If you missed last weeks post, “Is There More to“Being Still?” click here. Being still includes letting go and giving it all to God.

Quite honestly sometimes when circumstances are beyond our control it is easier to trust and give it to God. In those particular moments, we know without a doubt we are helpless and need him.

2.  Am I carrying a load that God never intended for me?

Sometimes we are overwhelmed by our own doing. We have picked up burdens that God never intended for us. In one of my favorite books – Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World”, Joanna Weaver tells a story about a man pulling a wagon up the hill. His cart becomes heavy and overloaded by his own doing. It is a story I carry with me, and I hope you will too. Click here to read it.

3.  Have I lost my perspective?

Sometimes we need to pull back and see the entire picture. Maybe one thing is little but combined with many things it is overwhelming.

4.  Am I allowing others to speak into my life?
5.  Am I taking good care of myself?

Are you resting along the journey? Taking time to pause, restore and refresh? Even Jesus took time to refuel.

After pondering the words of my friend and what it means to be still, It wasn’t so surprising that I felt overwhelmed.

I had rushed my morning and skipped my time with God as I probably had many days during the week.  My perspective was so off because I was busy comparing my past to my present. I needed a new set of eyes to shine in on my life.

Most importantly, I had missed the part of letting go and letting God be God. So I took out a piece of paper just like my friend, Sandy,  had done and wrote down what I needed to give back to God. As I wrote, I saw that the little things added up to needing a GREAT BIG GOD.

Yes, people around us are hurting and in need, and we want to be there for them, but we are not responsible for everyone’s happiness, safety, or salvation. We must not carry the load that is intended for GOD.

I had been holding tight as if I was in control. Thank goodness I had a friend willing to point out the obvious I was overwhelmed, and it did make sense.

Do you ever judge yourself whether you “SHOULD” be overwhelmed?

When feeling overwhelmed doesn't make sense
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19 Comments

  1. Reply

    Christa

    Such awesome and practical tips! I absolutely love this. Thank you!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Christa, I am so glad you like the tips. Thank you for sharing my post. Maree

  2. Reply

    Unmasking the Mess

    Yep, I’m there quite often. Most times, I’ve rushed through time with God and I haven’t extended myself grace to admit, “I’m tired and need to rest.”
    I can’t be everything to everyone all the time.

    Such wise words, Maree!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Julie – Your words ring a familiar tune I have to repeat often to myself. I do find when I move out of the way God sure brings in some spectacular people that are more gifted for the job. Maree

  3. Reply

    Aimee Imbeau

    Carrying burdens we aren’t meant to carry…that is a big one! I am a burden bearer, so I am often carrying extra burdens. I have learned to hand those burdens over to Jesus when I start to sense them. Sometimes it takes me a bit longer than others to recognize what is going on, but eventually I do. Thanks for sharing on Grace and Truth.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Aimee,
      I too often carry extra burdens, but I am learning to listen better and only pick up the things God has asked me to. It sounds as if you are on that same path and eventually recognize what is not yours to pick up. I bet you are a kind, compassionate person and make a wonderful friend.
      Hope you had a great day,
      Maree

  4. Reply

    Experiencing the Interruption of Overwhelm - Milk and Honey Faith

    […] I am choosing Maree Dee from Embracing the Unexpected because her post “When Feeling Overwhelmed Doesn’t Make Sense” resonated so much […]

  5. Reply

    Karrilee Aggett (@KarrileeA)

    Those are Five GREAT questions!!!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Karrilee,

      Thank you for stopping by. I am glad you like the questions.

      Maree

  6. Reply

    Donna Reidland

    I’ve been there myself, wondering why I feel overwhelmed for what seems like no good reason. I love your 5 points, Maree. So often it gets back to a lack of one or more of them in my life.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Donna,

      Thank you for stopping by.It is nice to know I am not the only who feels overwhelmed when it seems like I have no reason. I hope your week is fabulous. Maree

  7. Reply

    bluecottonmemory

    #2 really resonates with me (as does #1). When I’ve been through the BIG CHALLENGES, it’s so easy to give them to God because they are so BIG. It’s when I think I can handle the little challenges – not bother our BIG GOD with them, that I make a mistake. He even wants the little challenges – because the weight of those little challenges we think we can/should handle and not bother him add up! This post just went straight to my heart! What a good reminder for my week!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      You are so right he does want our little challenges, and they can add up to BIG challenges. I too struggle in this area. I am glad it was a good reminder for you. Hope you had a great day! Maree

  8. Reply

    Brenda

    Oh, the dreaded “should.” By whose standards are we judging? It’s easy to forget to catch a glimpse of God’s perspective, and allow our burdens to decrease in light of His bigness, isn’t it? Good tips today, Maree. Thank you for sharing. 🙂 ((xoxo))

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Brenda,

      Yes, the dreaded “shoulds”. Yes, you are so right we need to get a glimpse of God’s perspective. Isn’t it amazing when we do how our burdens decrease? Thank you so much for adding your insights to the discussion.

      Hope you have had a marvelous day,

      Maree

  9. Reply

    Tammy

    I really needed this today! Thank you for putting things into perspective and encouraging me today!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Tammy, I am so glad my words could encourage you this morning. Thank you for letting me know that they did. You, in turn, encouraged me. Maree

  10. Reply

    Theresa Boedeker

    Oh it is so easy to feel overwhelmed. Sometimes I know it is because I am caring the weight of others myself and think I need to solve their problems and make them happy. Sometimes it is because I am just to busy (not being still). And I am coming to learn that sometimes it is because I am not taking care of myself emotionally or mentally. Maybe there are feelings I am not processing or trying to bury and not deal with. I guess us feeling overwhelmed should be a big old warning sign that something is not right somewhere is our life or thinking and we need to take steps to solve those feelings. Thanks Maree.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Theresa, You are so right it is easy to feel overwhelmed, just hard to admit sometimes. I am such a work in the process learning to be still, let God be God, and taking care of myself. I like what you said; it should be a BIG WARNING sign. I am going to go forward thinking about it like that. Thank you for adding your wise words of warning to the conversation. Maree

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