Anyone else find themselves already tired and overwhelmed with the new year? Resolutions fallen into dissolution? Just a few days into the new year, I felt myself falling apart.
It seemed like we went from a silent, holy night to unholy terror in just a matter of days. It was Tuesday morning, just two days back into the school routine, and with a peanut butter and jelly in one hand, a pack of oranges in the other hand, while urging kids into their endless layers of snow gear, I felt it. The swelling tide of anxiety. It’s an old, familiar, and unwelcome friend.
The day before, one of our parents had major surgery (a process which started with an ER visit on New Years Eve). One child had a dental filling, I had a dentist appointment, and I realized my daughter’s birthday was in two days, and I hadn’t even thought about gifts or school snacks or….and the mental list went on, until the tide threatened to drown me.
In the midst of the mental madness, Jesus’ words whispered to my soul:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
I knew I needed rest. Not a nap (although that would be nice). But refreshment and peace.
That’s when I realize I’ve taken on things that He didn’t intend for me to carry alone. So I pause and go through these four things to R.E.S.T.:
I remember how He promised to always be with me, to never leave me or forsake me. No matter what the situations are, He will be with me in the midst of it. Even if it’s dreading taking a child to the dentist, I don’t walk into the office alone.
I expect His help. I remember these powerful promises in times of chaos. He not only promised to be with me, He promised if we come to Him, He will give us rest, or refreshment. In all that life throws at us, God’s not just a casual bystander on the sidewalk. He’s the paramedic, the doctor, the friend who’s right there in the crisis offering help through His Word and the Holy Spirit.
Silence my Heart
I take a moment to pause and quiet my heart. That Tuesday morning with a pb&j in one hand, I took a deep breath and returned my thoughts to Him. Even while backpacks and snow gear were flying around the living room like a blizzard. My heart – calm and quiet – offered the chaos to Him. I remembered His presence and asked for His help.
Usually when I reach this level of anxiety, I know I’m also due for an extended period of silent heart time. I took a look at my calendar and blocked off the earliest couple hours I could. No agenda, no list, just time to sit and be silent with the Word and in prayer.
Turning my heart from anxiety to thanks changes the whole day. Rather than being frustrated with all the “what ifs,” I give thanks for “what is.” God is. His love is. His help is. His Spirit is. And a whole list of other things to be thankful for, even warm winter gear and a fresh covering of white snow to remind us of how He covers all the filth in our life and makes it white as snow.
So, next time the new year gets the best of you, take a moment and R.E.S.T.
Come to Christ.
Remember He is with you.
Expect His help.
Silence your Heart.
Offer Him your Thanks.
How has your new year been? How do you re-center yourself when you feel anxious and overwhelmed?