By Sarah Damm
Opening my inbox, I saw the email waiting for me. I knew what it would entail, before I even read it.
Your deadline is approaching. Please submit your article ASAP.
Panic set in. I could not even think about adding one more thing to my overflowing plate.
In addition to the panic, I noticed that sadness set into my heart, too. I wanted to write that article. I wanted to do it, more than anything on my to-do list. And I was sad that I felt too busy to do what I loved the most.
How did I get here? Feeling so overwhelmed? How did life get so chaotic, so out of proper order?
A week later, I finally sat down to write. But instead of being happy, I felt frazzled, out-of-sorts, and weary. I stared at a blank document, and the cursor blinked back at me, wondering where my words were.
What are you waiting for? Write something already.
I had nothing. Nothing except a list of adjectives that described my current state of mind:
Overwhelmed. Weary. Chaotic. Lacking order. Anxious. Paralyzed. Stuck. Indecisive. Discouraged.
It was a pretty sorry list. How was I going to encourage and uplift readers, if that was all I had?
As I asked the Lord for HELP (in capital and bold letters), He immediately reassured me that “my help comes from [Him], who made heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121)
And then God invited me to write, but only about what was right in front of me. He showed me that I wasn’t the only woman suffering from burnout, weariness, anxiety, and discouragement. And perhaps someone else needed to hear—like I did—that the Lord is her help, too.
There are moments in life that feel incredibly heavy. Perhaps we are weighed down by chronic illness, financial stress, family tension, or depression/anxiety. Maybe we’re exhausted by the daily grind. Feeling behind may paralyze us instead of motivate us to get organized. We may not see a way out, and the only thing we can do is cry out to God.
Sisters, when life is hard, it’s okay to admit it. There can be great freedom in releasing that reality, instead of holding it in and pretending like everything is fine. It’s especially okay to admit it to Jesus.
Out of the depths of your pain, your weariness, and your disappointment, cry out to God! Wait for Him. Hope in Him. God is overflowing with steadfast love for you. And He has the power to redeem our messes, our difficulties, and our struggles. (Psalm 130)
As I wrote my honest reality and thought about the encouragement we all need to hear sometimes, my pain remained. Would my words be hopeful and helpful, even if I needed them just as much as the woman reading them?
And then I was reminded that when we give our suffering to Christ, He will use it for goodness and glory. He does not wait for the suffering to be over and for us to glean from it a wealth of insight and wisdom. Rather, He uses us in the midst of our pain and struggle, to reach out to each other and to say, “I get it. I get you.”
So, dear sisters, I might be struggling just like you are, but I am here to tell you we are never alone. If we met for coffee, I would offer comfort, empathy, and prayer. I do not have all the answers, but I am happy to listen. And I hope that through this article, I reveal God’s love and provision in times of trial. Because above all, the Lord is our help.
Let us wait and hope in Christ … together.
About the Author:
Sarah Damm is a Catholic wife and mother of six children, living in Minnesota. She spends her days running errands, helping with homework, and keeping up with laundry and the family schedule. Sarah loves her faith, coffee, and good books. You can find out more about her and her writing at sarahdamm.com.