Isn’t it crazy how many times we find ourselves overwhelmed?
Do we find ourselves so overwhelmed with life, that we rarely find ourselves overwhelmed with the love of Christ?
My whole life has been overwhelmed by unexpected circumstances.
The origin of the word overwhelmed is believed to be Middle English and was used as far back as the 14th century. It’s defined as “to turn upside down or overthrow.”
If you know anything about English history you know that the Middle Ages were plagued by numerous wars and battles for thrones and empires with lasting effects. By the 15th century the meaning of the word overwhelmed was “to submerge completely.” In the 1520’s overwhelmed was also used in a figurative sense as (someone or something) had been brought to ruin, interestingly enough England endured some pretty nasty famines during the Middle Ages.
We now use the word overwhelmed as “to overcome completely in thought or feeling; to overcome or over power, especially with superior forces; destroy, crush; to cover or bury beneath a mass of something, as flood waters, debris, or avalanche; to submerge; to load, heap, treat, or address with an overwhelming or excessive amount of anything; to overthrow.” Just typing the word’s definition gives my heart a sense of heaviness.There has been a constant battle for the throne of my heart since as long as I can remember. As a child we had some very overwhelming circumstances in our home. My father struggled with alcohol until I was 18 years old. My mother’s first cousin was brutally raped and murdered when I was 6 years old and her perpetrator wasn’t caught until I was 17 years old. My Dad lost both his parents before I was 8 years old.
I remember through my teen years seeking love and acceptance outside the home and apart from God. I allowed myself to become overwhelmed in my emotions with heartache and rejection which allowed me to deal with life with an overwhelming amount of panic attacks, anxiety, chronic worry, and irrational fears.
You see, I believed the lie. I believed if I came to know Jesus and followed Him, which I have since I was 8 years old, that He would not allow bad things to happen to me. If I tried in my own power to please Him He would withhold things I couldn’t control from happening in my life. I believed if something horrendous happened to me that He was displeased with me or He didn’t love me. I believed I would have to barter or broker our relationship by performing, so I would win back His affection and favor. I believed all that until last February in 2015.
“From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety,for you are my safe refuge, a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.” (Psalm 61:3-4 NLT)
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline”(2 Tim 1:7NLT).
I would say to myself, “I know God. I know.” And He replied, “Say it again.” I recited the verse in my heart again, this time slower.
I simply answered back, “Yes. Yes, I do.”
My outlook on my life and walk with Christ began to transform on that day. Scriptures I read began to overwhelm my heart and I was glad. To know and read a scripture is one thing, but to have God make it real to you and sustain you through heart ache is another.
Summer 2015 came and we had a precious family rent one of our homes. It helped us financially. The same Fall I completely finished the book I was writing when I found out I was pregnant again! I reflected and believed this was the restoration of the year the locust had eaten. The floods came in October, an actual flood. My beautiful state endured tremendous amounts of rain that affected us from the coast to the Upstate. My husband was in the National Guard was he was activated so I had to juggle a lot on my own.
Then, I received the phone call that made me light headed and seriously sick to my stomach, one of the family members who was renting our home took their life in our house. A father, a husband, and a son..gone…just like that. Immense anxiety flooded my heart as memories of my cousin who came to me in that house before he did the same thing five years prior.
What could I have done? Should I have engaged this family more with the Gospel? I didn’t want to scare them with my flaming love for Christ. I didn’t want to come on too strong, because regardless of their beliefs I wanted to know them and invest in them.
The week following I started to lose the pregnancy. I had faith this would be a good pregnancy. The first one was a fluke, right? My thyroid levels were optimal? Why is this happening, again? I was numb. Had He forsaken me? The grieving process was shorter, because I had seen what He had done 8 months prior.
I knew His Spirit was at work within me through all this. Then I realized I have NOTHING TO FEAR. Life is actually more beautiful to me. I am blessed with two beautiful children here, and Jesus holds the other two for me. The things I spent my whole life scared of, I no longer feared. I want nothing more than intimacy with Jesus, and one day I will get to experience that intimacy face to face.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) NLT.
God’s revelation of truth began birthing desires for me to step further out in my faith. From January to April of 2016 I planned and saved money to open my very first salon. I spent four months working with friends from my Life Group to completely remodel the building. I prayed and God brought me three of the most genuine women to work alongside.
My heart is now overwhelmed with truth, thanksgiving and gladness because it is overwhelmed by Him. The source of my everything. I thank you for that Jesus. Thank you for overwhelming my life with YOU.
Are you overwhelmed by life or with Christ? Leave us a comment.
I will be leading a Breakout session about how to overcome being “Overwhelmed with Emotions” at our upcoming Women’s Conference on June 24-June 25, 2016. I would love to have you join us.
We would love to have you attend our first annual Women’s Conference on June 24-25, 2016 with special recording artist Mike Weaver from Big Daddy Weave.
Be sure to get your ticket and come to be encouraged on this journey called life!
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