It happened…again. There I was – a crying, heaping mess on the floor. What warranted such a display? My pants were too tight. Sure, I have been upset about the weight I had gained since starting a new medication, but it wasn’t about that. At least not really. It was about a whole number of things that were piling up until I couldn’t handle them anymore, and that one moment just pushed me past my breaking point.
Have you been there?
If you’re like me, chances are you actually knew you had too much on your plate, but you were determined to do it all. Isn’t that how life can be? I know that I’m not supermom and just need to rest in God, but I can be so stubborn!
When I first heard “Just Be Held” by Casting Crowns I got emotional. Keep it all together? Everybody needs me strong? I feel like I struggle to do that every single day.
Gradually, I saw more and more people sharing that song saying they feel like it was written for them. I think we all have a tendency to feel overwhelmed yet try really hard to keep it all together. We try to help others when we can while trying to keep up with our own homes and lives. We take on too much and refuse to admit it or give anything up.
It reminds me of a parent and toddler relationship. Toddlers are very stubborn about being independent. As soon as they’re mobile they always want to be mobile. We stand closely by trying to remind them of their limits, but they won’t have any of that! They are going to go where they want to go and do what they want to do.
Then it happens. They trip and fall or bump into something, and in that moment they remember mom or dad is right there to comfort them. Just a few minutes ago you would think they didn’t even know you were there!
I think that’s how we act sometimes. We want to do all these great things – volunteer here, work on something there, play this sport or that one, plan activities for the kids, etc. and still have sight of the things we need to do in our lives like parenting, homemaking, homeschooling, etc. Sometimes I picture God, my Father, tapping me on the shoulder saying “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
What do I do, though? I stubbornly ignore it. I have to volunteer there or I will disappoint people. I have to help out with that or I’ll let them down. If I don’t work more hours we can’t get this or can’t go to that. If the kids don’t do this or that they won’t reach their full potential.
Truthfully, though, whatever the reason for not being able to something, it doesn’t matter. I had A LOT going on personally at that time I had such a breakdown. Let’s face it. We have a special needs family, so we almost always have challenges! Maybe people WILL be disappointed, and that can be hard. I just want to let it all out about how overwhelmed I am just hoping they will understand. Instead, I bottle it up and keep trying until I just can’t anymore.
We have to remind ourselves, though, that we answer to God. If God is saying “Woah. That is too much. You really need to focus on your family right now.” or “That isn’t where I want you to be.” or “Your kids don’t need that right now.” or even “You just need to rest right now.” then he’ll be faithful to direct our paths. He will guide us to all the who, what, when, where, and whys. But we have to listen and obey.
Something else our kids did as toddlers was always having their arms full of toys. On that particular day I thought of all the things I was doing as something I was holding on to. Just like they didn’t want to put down their toys to be held, I didn’t want to let go of anything either. Have you tried to hold a squirmy toddler with an armful of toys? A toy or two is bound to drop, right?
That was it. I was being called to rest in God, but the only way I could do that was to let go of some things. I had to trust Him that I could let go of these things and still be OK. In fact, I would be better than OK because I would find peace in His arms. It was right where I needed to be.
Rest in God
Maybe you’re holding on to too much. Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying don’t volunteer, work extra hours, participate in sports, have your children in multiple activities, etc. Maybe God is calling you to let go of things, though, so you can rest in His arms even if it’s just for a brief moment. Go to Him in prayer. Pray about your responsibilities and your priorities. Do they line up?
Sometimes our good intentions end up taking away from our first priority – Him. Or maybe they’re taking away from your family and home. Spend time in His word daily. Trust that He is your Father and knows what is best for you. Find peace in His arms.