This afternoon, as I was waiting for my 1:30 physics class to start, I overheard two girls talking. It seemed like maybe they hadn’t seen each other in a while. One girl was catching the other up on various aspects of her life. When the first girl was done, she asked girl number two “And how have you been?!” After a few moments of hesitation, the second girl said “I’m overwhelmed, but I’m good.”
I laughed to myself and thought, “Wow, story of my life.” If there was one word to adequately sum up my constant state of being over the past six months, it was “overwhelmed.” Overwhelmed with eighteen hours of classes. Overwhelmed with the stack of unpaid bills on my kitchen counter. Overwhelmed with five broken bones in my foot. Overwhelmed with spending more hours at work than I do sleeping. Overwhelmed with living four hours away from my family. Overwhelmed with change. Overwhelmed with an uncertain future. Overwhelmed with doubt.
I’ve felt lost and scared and everything in between. Like whatever I’m doing isn’t enough. Like just when I get one thing under control, something else falls apart. My heart is restless and I am exhausted on all levels. I feel like I’m just treading water. Like I’m going through the motions but not really moving forward.
And until this afternoon, I don’t think I really understood why: I am overwhelmed because I am trying to bear the weight of the world on my own.
Alone. By myself. Here, at 20 years old, I have been trying to walk through this world without help from Jesus Christ. I have my own plans, and I was just expecting the One who created me to watch from a far and allow everything to fall into place. But God loves us too much to let that happen. He wants to walk with us. He wants to carry the weight for us. He desperately wants to provide the peace that comes from Him and Him alone.
God WILL give us more than we can handle because He never intends for us to handle it on our own. He lets us go through the hard things because He knows they will lead us back to Him. In the middle of the mess is where we find Him once again.
• • • • •
It’s easy to forget (and I often do) that this life isn’t even my own… It belongs to Someone Who has counted the stars (Psalm 147:4) It belongs to someone Who already knows every piece of the story (Jeremiah 1:5). Someone Who knows that my classes will be passed, my bills will be paid, and my body will heal from the inside out (John 14:27). Someone Who holds the world in His hands and promises to guide my steps as long as I remain faithful (Proverbs 3:5).
The past few months, I’ll admit, have not been pretty. But even when it’s not pretty, I know that it will be okay.
While yes, my life is messy, and some days I struggle to find the motivation to leave my bed, I AM overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with unconditional love. Overwhelmed with the promise of a prosperous future. Overwhelmed with perpetual forgiveness. Overwhelmed with God’s never ending grace. Overwhelmed with the chance, every day, to start all over again.
I’m overwhelmed, but I’m good.