Since I often talk about the importance of getting into the Word, I started a series where I share one scripture or passage of scripture each Wednesday and talk about why it has meant so much to me. I hope it encourages you to get into the Word and to use these scriptures as starting points perhaps, but to also find meaningful things in the Bible on your own as well.
Ever since my first miscarriage I feel like I've been on a roller coaster; highs and lows that I feel are out of my control. But I've noticed there is one thing that keeps me stable, and that is God's Word. Hebrews 4:12 says that it is ALIVE, meaning that we can interact and engage with it! When you open His Word with an open mind, He will fill it as you read and you will walk away feeling encouraged, challenged, peaceful, and joyful no matter your earthly circumstances!
From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
| PSALM 61:2 |
I chose to quote the KJV translation of this scripture today because many other translations say "when my heart is faint," but I love how the KJV says "when my heart is overwhelmed." It sounds more dire + desperate to me, as if this prayer is coming from the depths of the psalmist's soul.
I know how it feels to be so overwhelmed that it seems as if there is no way out; how it feels to fall all the way to the very bottom of the pit of despair. When you get to the bottom, you hit hard. And that is what comes to mind when I think of the word "overwhelmed." I know from many first-hand experiences that in those moments, the only thing that helps is Jesus.
It's the moments where you have long since passed the point of numbing out the pain with a pint of ice cream and Netflix. Maybe a singular event brought it on, or maybe it's been building up over time, but either way, it feels like a floodgate of bitter despair just opened up and poured into your soul. I've been there and I know how it feels to wish for death because you truly can't see a way out.
When you are overwhelmed it seems as if all of your emotions build a wall up in your mind so that you're unable to see how you will ever cross over that wall to the other side. When I reach that point of overwhelming despair it's hard for me to pray. Sometimes I can squeak out "Jesus," but I often just feel too burdened to pray. But I know that when my soul cries out like that, the Lord is faithful and He responds with His peace.
At the bottom of this blog post is a photo of my Give Me Jesus journal on the one year anniversary of my first miscarriage, November 15th, 2016. A few weeks prior to this anniversary (and only two months after my second miscarriage), Michael was told he had to go out of town for work on the 14th, 15th, and 16th of November. I fell head first into a pit of deep despair with that news. I was so angry at God for allowing this to happen. But not once did I think that maybe it was exactly what He planned for me.
I ended up tagging along with Michael on his work trip much to my despair. It's hard to read in the photo, but in my journal towards the top of the page it says, "Today I am grateful for:" and I wrote: "being known by God."
The trip was exactly what my soul needed on the anniversary of such a hard day. I began that day by going to The Electric Brew, the cutest little coffee shop, and spent time reading my Bible and journaling. I somehow ended up in Psalm 61 and the Lord really spoke to me through His Word. I wrote:
No matter how far away He feels,
He's ever so near,
working on me and my story...
No matter where I go,
no matter how hopeless it seems,
or how far away from God I feel,
I will keep crying unto Him.
The day before, while in a gift shop in Shipshewana, I picked up a little book called Prayers for an Anxious Heart. The next day in the coffee shop I opened it up for the first time right to the prayer pictured below. The words were just what I needed to read that day and maybe they are what you need today:
Lord, life happens all the time, and no matter how much I try to plan or prepare for the future, the unexpected occurs. I try to control my world, and just when I think I might have it all together, something happens to remind me that I am not in control. From deep grief to small disappointments, those things can cause my emotions to spin out of control and overwhelm my heart.
When those times come— and they will— lift my chin and help me focus on You. You are a very present help in times of trouble. Only You can calm the storm inside of me when a tornado of uncertainty spins from within. You are my peace and my strength. You provide shelter and safety to my wounded heart. When I look to You, I find a place of rest from all the questions running through my mind.
Thank You for always being there for me when I cry out to You. Thank You for always settling my soul with Your presence. I put my mind on You and I rest in the sanctuary of Your love. Help me live my life under the shelter of Your wings. I close my eyes and rest in You now. Amen.
Friends, when your heart is overwhelmed, cry out to God. He is so, so faithful to meet us in our moments of despair. In the middle of our mess, He enters in with peace, sits with us through the night, and helps us move forward in hope to the breaking of the dawn.
Past Wednesdays In The Word:
Remember to check out what my friend Anne Marie is doing over at The Loved Bible Project! She wrote this sweet post about Wednesdays In The Word and how we are teaming up! Each week I will continue to post about a scripture that has helped me in my time of loss and Anne Marie is going to make a free printable that you can find in her Resources page! We encourage you to print it out and spend time soaking in God's Word as you decorate it and then include it in your own Bible or start working on a Loved Bible!