A good friend asked the Facebook world if they have those moments when everything gets so overwhelming that you just freeze because you have no idea where to start. One of the comments named the moment: Analysis paralysis. Quite clever, accurate really.
The timing was interesting as just the day before I was having one of those days. The world felt heavy. I was in my head, trying to keep a million plates spinning. This typically results in an outward display of nothingness....as all my hard work is in my head and my body just can't follow that act.
I've experienced this a million times and typically the result has been me wallowing in the muck. My nature is to nurture and sometimes I can get a little lost in the needs of those around me. Wallowing in the muck only produces more muck in my attitude. I would go to this place of self pity. A "Where am I in all this? Look at all the good that I do! What about ME!" place. Its ugly and worldly. A "lookit me" display of epic proportions, danced out in my head with interpretive ribbon dances and wildly cheering fans (generally they are all me as well). Interpretive dance....frankly, it makes me laugh inappropriately. It's ridiculous. Somehow, the Lord gets in there and grabs my face, pulling my attention away from myself just long enough that I can snap out of the prideful haze I've created.
This time, I changed the game. This time I chose to look at it from another angle. This time I felt myself slipping into the muck and said No. Not this time. Instead I took time to stop and feel overwhelmed and then ask myself why, what was so big? I started to talk with the Lord about what I was feeling and the extensive list in my head.......some were tasks, some were people in general that were weighing on my heart, some were upcoming events and things needed to plan for, frustration at playing calendar cop and getting nowhere, Christmas shopping, people asking for help or guidance, people placed on my heart to intercede for, Mr studying like crazy for the next test and then leaving for a week of training, gifts to make, regular household duties and cooking.....there was sooo much going on in my head!
First, I needed it out of my head. I pulled out a notebook and laid it on my desk with a pen. At the top I wrote "Write it down - THEN sort it out". I moved though the next few hours of general tasks just thinking, talking with the Lord about everything and as something was brought to mind, on the list it went. Slowly the overwhelming feeling started to release. As it did, I started to become aware that I was overwhelmed because I was trying to be in charge of it all. I was trying to keep all the plates spinning by myself. Instead.....I should have taken the plates down and put them in His hands to hold....the only safe, unbreakable place.
My perspective started to shift. Instead of feeling overwhelmed I started to feel incredibly blessed.....overwhelmingly blessed. Instead of feeling self important, I felt humble.....how blessed am I that people trust me with their heart, count on me for guidance, stability and support? People have confidence in me and feel safe to be vulnerable with me, trusting that I will comfort them and remind them of His Truth in their life. ......suddenly, instead of feeling prideful and puffed up......I became keenly aware of how utterly insufficient I am apart from Him. There is nothing I can do for any of them without Him. A whole new kind of "overwhelmed" came over me. Suddenly, it all looked different.
It was still a full page of "stuff" to figure out. There are still a lot of tasks to try and manage. The "stuff" didn't change, but how I see it did. Did the heaviness disappear instantly? No. It got a lot lighter and still is.....but that's because I'm still loosening my grip on it. Still translating inside what I'm trying to keep control of, what my job actually is.
Reminding myself that its not about me. Even when I want it to be. I'm just a tool. Time to clear the muck out of the conduit, ensure the lines are clear so there's no more interference.
"Peace I leave you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." ~ John 14:27
Blessings for clear lines, clear perspective and only blessings that are overwhelming.