When We Feel Overwhelmed

When We Feel Overwhelmed

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Sometimes we find ourselves facing challenges that seem impossibly large.

When I entered the empty nest phase of life, I asked God to show me where he wanted me to give my time now that I was no longer volunteering at school. One of the opportunities that soon came knocking was a plea for help at the library.

Great idea, God!

I love books, and the library seemed a safe way for an introvert like me to serve the local community. Seemed like a win-win to me.

Fast forward a few years…

and I find myself becoming president of the library board. This was NOT what I intended when I signed up to help with a few book sales!

So, here I am in a role of leadership I did not pursue, faced with fiscal challenges I am not prepared to deal with. (Did I mention the rest of the board are newer to this than I am?)

In other words, I’m feeling overwhelmed.

  • Because the task is too big
  • Because this isn’t like anything I’ve been in charge of before
  • Because I’m afraid my strengths are not suited to the challenges we face

How easy for me to fixate on the challenges, my lack of experience, and the size of the deficit we must somehow overcome. How tempting to give in to fear, to believe the task is impossible and I’m doomed to failure.

How easy to start down the road of fear, because:

Sometimes when we get overwhelmed we forget how big God is. ~ A. W. Tozer

I try not to go there.

Instead of focusing on the obstacles, I try to bring God back into the picture and stand on faith.

  • Faith that God is bigger than the problem
  • Faith that if God led me to this place then he will lead me through the tough spots
  • Faith that I can learn and grow as God helps me rise to the occasion
  • Faith that a few blundering mistakes on my part will not be the end of the world

A much better attitude, don’t you think?

I still feel inadequate for the task, but I try to keep verses like these in mind, to fight the paralyzing weight of overwhelmedness. (If that’s not a word, it should be.)

I hope they help you in your daily struggle with challenges as well.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3: 5-6


Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7


I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

About Lisa Betz

Lisa Betz writes from an empty nest perched on a wooded Pennsylvania hillside. When not volunteering at the church or library, she blogs about intentional living and writes historical mysteries.


  1. Laurie Driesen says:

    Thanks for your post Lisa- we really have to encourage ourselves with Scripture! I love the verses you shared.

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