For the woman overwhelmed, rest is a fantasy that we imagine would be amazing, but never a possibility. Before I began to seek God for my overwhelmed life, I didn’t even believe in rest. Maybe that’s because I didn’t seem to have enough time for it, but frankly I wouldn’t even have known what to do if I had.
It has happened before. There have been times when I have found myself with no deadlines, no pressing responsibilities, and a thought of wanting to take a little R and R. Then I remembered something else that needed to be done, so I abandoned the silly notion I could sit still for a while and do nothing “constructive” and got back to work.
Truthfully, sometimes I even resented people who rested, especially while I was working. I mean, shouldn’t they have been doing as much work as me?
“Do I have to do all the work around here?” I would complain as they played.
Yeah, I’ve always seemed to have too much to do and not enough time to do it. Welcome to my world—now let’s get to work! Seriously, though, it has always been hard for me to allow myself to rest—which isn’t helped by the fact I actually like to work. I like writing. I like teaching. I like cleaning. I like running errands. I even like doing laundry. It’s just when there is more to do than there is of me to do it, I get overwhelmed. That’s when I start to think, “Man, I could use a little rest.” But instead of resting, often I just determine to move a little faster, because if I hurry, maybe then I can get it all done.
Rest doesn’t come naturally to the busy woman, and I’m a busy woman. I’m going to bet that you are too. But you and I both know not resting isn’t healthy or faithful, so we have to remind ourselves rest isn’t giving up and it isn’t slacking. It’s taking the time to reprioritize and to ponder the deeper things of God.
When the world overwhelms us, our thoughts on God get shrouded in to-do-lists and activities, and the only way out of that constant state of overwhelmedness is to consider ourselves in the light of the Father. So here are four things to consider the next time you are feeling overwhelmed by the world and would rather be overwhelmed by God:
- Consider your thoughts on God. What comes to mind when you think about God is the single most important source of your overwhelmedness. That’s because your thoughts on God will define your actions, emotions and reactions to the world around and within you. If you doubt God is constantly at work in your life, making you more like Christ and drawing you to Him, then the world will be more overwhelming than God. However, if you remind yourself daily He is constantly at work (even in the trials and tribulations of your life), then you can rest in the knowledge His complete power, constant presence, and all-knowing nature has you where He wants you. He has plans to prosper you and not to harm you—plans to give you hope and a future.
- Accept God’s to-do-through-you list. Your to do list is long and exhausting, but His is short and wonderful. There is only one thing on God’s to-do-through-you-list and that is to love (see Matthew 22:36-37). When His list is placed over your life like an Instagram filter coloring everything you do or say, life has a way of not being so overwhelming.
- Exam Your Day. God is constantly at work in your life, but sometimes you are too busy to notice. Each night, consider taking some time to review your day. Don’t look at what you have done or failed to do, but look at what God has been doing in you since you rose in the morning. The more you recognize the hand of God on your life, the more overwhelmed you will be by His constant and unfailing love for you.
- Thank God. The woman overwhelmed spends most of her time in complaint mode, the mode where she rehearses all that she has to do and reminds herself of all she can’t. But God isn’t concerned with how much you do. He wants you to be more concerned with how much He has done. So each day, the woman overwhelmed by God takes the time to be thankful for the presence, power and wisdom of God in her life.
As we set our thoughts more firmly on the unfailing love and power of God, what used to overwhelm us pales in comparison. When you are overwhelmed with your lack of control, your sense of comparison or your discontentment with the way things are, set your mind on the way God is and know He works all things together for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose. What is that purpose you ask? It is to be overwhelmed by God. I pray today you will consider how overwhelming His love for you truly is and that you will find freedom from this overwhelming world.
More about A Woman Overwhelmed: Finding God in the Messes of Life
“A Woman Overwhelmed” is a phrase with which many women can relate.
But what would happen if we could see the insanity in our pace and embrace our overwhelming God?
There is a reason they say that a woman’s work is never done— because it isn’t! As women, we often are overwhelmed by the demands and circumstances of life, resulting in stress, fear, worry, impatience, fatigue, frustration, and even depression. The truth is that we were created to be overwhelmed . . . not by life but by God! When we learn to be overwhelmed by God, the fruit in our lives goes from rotten to fragrant—filling our days with peace, hope, love, and joy.
In A Woman Overwhelmed, best-selling author Hayley DiMarco shares biblical insights and personal stories to offer a glimpse at the comedy of an overwhelmed life while encouraging us to discover the depths and heights of God’s love and power.
Be empowered to find freedom in becoming overwhelmed with who God is—by learning to focus on what we know about God so that we can hold onto faith even when it seems that all is lost. For it is when an overwhelmed woman gives up the mission of me and exchanges it for the mission of God that being overwhelmed becomes a good thing.
Choose to bask in the abundance of the Father instead of the abundance of life as his unfathomable depths can surely replace our fathomable messes.
Hayley DiMarco is the best-selling author of more than 40 books, including her latest release is A Woman Overwhelmed: Finding God in the Messes of Life (Abingdon Press) and its companion Bible study. As the founder of Hungry Planet, DiMarco speaks regularly for women’s groups and events. Hayley, her pastor husband, Michael, and their daughter live outside Nashville.