Fear of Being Overwhelmed

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Sometimes life can be overwhelming. Like, really overwhelming. You’ve probably had a few times in your life when things just pile up and get crazy. Jobs, kids, moving, big life changes, etc. Things add up! I really don’t know how I am functioning this last half-year and month, and on a day-to-day basis. Between working, planning a wedding, buying a house, selling a house, packing to move, and job-searching, our lives have been so busy we barely have time to sit and think, let alone spend quality or quantity time together. Our time together for the last couple of months, and still between now and the wedding, has pretty much been pre-decided for us by what all needs to get done and when it needs to get done by.

My Google calendar is full. Full of appointments and meetings and lists of things that have to get done. We’re both appreciative that I am a teacher and do not have to go in to work during the summer. I don’t know how our wedding would get planned otherwise. That said, almost every single day now I have somewhere I have to be, or a list of phone calls I have to make. Or a quick coffee date with a friend I haven’t seen in ages and want to squeeze in before my life changes drastically.

On some level, I think I fear crashing once the wedding day is over. So much stress, all at once and for months, and then…nothing. I don’t think I’ll be sad that all the busyness has died down (we can’t wait, actually, to have our lives back), but I do fear that all the emotions I haven’t had a chance to process will come out all at once, right after moving into our new house after our wedding. (Enjoy, that, Fiancée…) I’ve heard that brides get depressed when the wedding is over, because all the fun planning and excitement is suddenly over. Not me. I’m very much looking forward to the planning being done. It’s a lot of work, even for a simple, small wedding.

Throughout all of the planning, appointments, and meetings, I’ve been relatively calm. Somehow. Being insanely organized, writing everything down on one calendar, and sharing Google docs with applicable people has helped immensely. (Procrastinators could never easily pull this off, by the way.)

I don’t know exactly how I’ve managed so stay as sane as I have, but there are a few things that have helped me keep from feeling overwhelmed:

• Praying with my fiancée when we feel overwhelmed, and even when we don’t • Praying on my own when I feel like there are too many things up in the air that could go wrong at any second • Spending time outside, in the sunshine, reading something funny or reading my Bible • Walking to do errands instead of taking transit • Making sure I take time a few times during the week to do nothing house- or wedding-related (hello, Netflix and crocheting)

I guess you could say I just fear being too overwhelmed, and there seems to be a lot to be overwhelmed by right now. I can’t imagine doing any of this while being pregnant, or having a baby or a toddler (or more than one!) in tow. Or being 10 years younger and still in university. Or, being 10 years younger and still in university AND having a baby or toddler in tow.

(Please tell me there isn’t anyone reading this that is having to juggle all of those things all at once. That’s too much! If there is, please tell us your sanity secrets.)

Sometimes, I need a Bible verse or passage to remind me that things will be fine (or far better than fine). Here are a few that I find helpful.

Hopefully these bible verses can help you, too, when you are feeling overwhelmed:

• “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” – John 14:27 ESV

• “[…] fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10 ESV

• “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13 ESV

• “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” – Hebrews 11:1

• “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Chris Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” – Philippians 4:8-9 ESV

Dollarama had some cute little framed burlap sayings a few years back. I brought one home and put it above the mirror in my bedroom and it often catches my eye. It reads, “If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it. Believe.” It’s a great reminder of the verse in the Bible that talks about how God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.

When do you get overwhelmed? What keeps you calm and grounded? Does reading your Bible or praying help? (It should!) What else helps you keep things in perspective?

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