Somewhere towards the end of March, I came home after what felt like the longest day I had experienced this semester. My husband picked me up from my classes, and we left my car on campus; I was too overwhelmed to drive home alone. After gathering my backpack, various papers, and books, I trudged up the porch steps to our little home. Feelings of exhaustion hit me like a wave, so I proceeded to fall on our bed and cry. 

    Why am I sharing this embarrassing moment? I am a married adult, and I couldn’t handle anything that afternoon. My husband didn’t understand my frustrations, and I didn’t know how to explain my emotions. He took me to get cheap Chinese and blew off all other responsibilities that evening. We stopped everything else that was going on and left our worries behind for a couple hours. 

    So many of us feel like I did that afternoon. We get caught up in our responsibilities and bills, and frustrations have overtaken our spirits, causing us to feel that we can’t do anything. Personally, I was rushing through life, waiting until the last minute to get things done, trying to keep up with family and friends, and feeling like a crummy wife in the process. Since that afternoon, I have reprioritized my life. What do you do when life is swirling around you and you’re lost in the shuffle? 

  1. Be still. Your responsibilities aren’t going to lessen, so make time for yourself and your relationship with God. He calls us to rest in Him. Unfortunately, being still and resting is not a priority in our fast-paced world. When those around us are just trying to make it through the day, we can place that day in the Maker’s hands and let Him use it how He chooses. The only thing He asks is that we give Him the opportunity. 

  2. Get outside. Maybe you’re that person who hates the cold, heat, rain, snow, etc., but I have never felt closer to God or my husband than when we go out for a walk or hike with our dogs. We get outside and enjoy His creation and find peace in the stillness away from our phones and Wi-Fi. It’s good to unplug, and what better way to do that than to go outside and get some sunshine?

  3. Open up. Whoever said that expressing emotions is a sign of weakness is completely wrong. When we are living life in a hurry, our days become self-centered. We become so concerned with doing everything for ourselves that we forget it’s okay to ask for help. The truth is that I was weak that afternoon, and my husband lifted me up by asking about my concerns and trying to address them. He told me he would help me in any area I felt overwhelmed. I had no idea he wanted to take some burdens off of my shoulders; if I had let him see what I was struggling with, I would have known he was willing to come to my aid. It’s okay to express frustrations and ask for support. 

We need to slow down, enjoy each moment purposefully, and rest in our awesome God. “And [God] said, ‘My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’” (Exodus 33:14 ESV)

-By Tori Riddle, CITYLIGHTS Creative Contributor