Darling. Are you overwhelmed? I thought so. How on earth did I know? Well, here’s how: We are all overwhelmed. We are all a little frantic, a little frenzied. We are all a little worried about what the future will bring, a tad frightened that maybe we our fifteen year old selves were right all along and we are, in fact, totally alone in how we think and feel. Sure, we have good days, days of care-free sunshine. We stare at those wonderful days, beautifully filed away in our Instagram profiles, on the much more frequent days when we feel life is somehow simultaneously mundane and overwhelming.
Darling. I cannot reach across the great chasm of stress to pull you onto my side of trusting in God. I cannot do this because I am in the middle of chasm with you. Hello, fellow traveler, nice to meet you.
God likes to do this thing where He is intimately involved in your life while filling you in on NONE of it. And like it’s cool, it’s cool – I know He’s got it under control but, like, I’m curious, you know? I think I’m more curious about “what I’ll be when I grow up” now than I was when I was little. My mom is twenty-nine (okay, she’s been twenty-nine for awhile but we’re not counting) and still dreams of being a mailman when she grows up.
I get that.
When your mailman dreams seem far away and you’re not sure what’s coming next except for a pile of bills and a work assignment that you’re not sure you are capable of completing and the world’s problems all seem far away but horribly real and you’re not sure how you can help and then you have the SHATTERING realization that you’re not even sure you WANT to help and then you go down the wormhole of “wait, am I a horrible person?” and that thought makes you really sad which makes you hungry but you’re too upset to cook so it’s frozen pizza and wine again then you, my friend, might be overwhelmed.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, here is a list of things you definitely should not do:
- drop everything to move to the other side of the country where you know no one
- read books by people who have (or are more likely pretending to have) every freaking ounce of their crap together
- watch TV shows about hilarious groups of friends who all live in the same city, have awesome apartments and pursue really cool jobs
- give up caffeine
Yes, I have done all these (except for giving up caffeine. Please. No one is that stupid. Or put together.) Yes, I left amazing support from a glorious community in a city I loved to move across the country to a town where I knew no one. Yes, I have read books by women with thick, blonde hair and super defined chins talking about their supportive husbands and adorable children taking wonderful adventures together and living life in the moment, not worried about imperfections. (I would like to point out here that of course you are not worried about imperfections when your life is COMPLETELY VOID OF THEM.) Meanwhile, I am reading your book/blog with a fourth glass of pink wine in hand, The Bachelor on in the background (I’m going to be honest, I don’t even watch it ironically anymore), and somehow there is chocolate on my foot. How did chocolate get there? No one knows but I figure out a way to eat it anyway. #dedication. Yes, I have found myself on the ground in tears, frantically phoning friends, following the season finale of pretty much any show involving a group of pals in New York City. Yes, yes, yes. I have, I have, I have.
No I have never given up caffeine. That is insane and if you have done that, you probably should not be reading this blog because there is absolutely nothing I can say to you. You are some kind of super human. Actually, you are probably the blonde with the defined chin and the cute hipster kids who’s not worried about imperfections. You’re amazing.
Darling, you probably have your own list of things you definitely should not do when overwhelmed. Overwhelmed people make weird, wrong choices.
Thankfully, most people are overwhelmed in some capacity. We’re all in this life together, friends.
This is exactly where I am writing from now. I am still overwhelmed. All the time. By everything. You know those weird, wrong choices we’re making though? God still uses them. He doesn’t watch you go down one path and then say, “DANGIT. She’s ruined my whole plan. Done with her.” (OR HIM. Sorry guys. Never giving you manly men any love.) No. He made us to be fluid, creative, free-thinking creatures. He gave us free-will. He gave us His Spirit to help us make choices and have adventures and guide us as we live. So keep pouring into your relationship with Jesus. Continue heeding the Spirit and getting to know your Savior. He gave us great big brains and a great big world to enjoy and explore. He gave us great big forgiveness when we inevitably screw it all up. Don’t stay in the same place forever, afraid of making a wrong choice. Don’t always hurry to the next place in fear of missing out on a better choice.
Wherever you are right now, God is still using you. He won’t waste your willing heart, friend.
It’s okay to be overwhelmed.
I like this new city. I like these friends I’ve made. Those books by awesome people have inspired me to take some cool road trips and try some sweet recipes. And quoting those TV shows has saved me from millions of awkward silences.
There’s hope. There’s goodness. There’s peace and joy in the midst of this overwhelming life. Trust me. Actually, trust Him.
“And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place.” Acts 17:26
You are right where you’re supposed to be.