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When You Feel Overwhelmed with Stress - iBelieve Truth: A Devotional for Women - April 20

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When You Feel Overwhelmed with Stress
By Bonnie Gray

"You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, for he trusts in you." - Isaiah 26:3

When my kids’ schools closed due to Covid-19, I felt overwhelmed and ill-equipped, trying to “homeschool” with everyone under one roof. It felt like a mountain of burdens tied up my heart and anxiety was building. My trying to come up with a “schedule-will-fix-everything mode” to set structure wasn’t working. Instead of calming chaos, it was adding strain on everyone. I needed to move in a completely different direction: to prioritize emotional health above all else for my kids, my husband & myself.

As we sheltered in place here in Northern California, there was the stress of adjusting to having everyone under one roof, all the time! We've never done school at home (I have two boys, Josh who is an eighth-grader, and Caleb the fifth-grader). It was a really hard adjustment for all of us. My husband is working from home as well.

We're all faced these conditions for the first time, and no one really knew what worked, right? It was a lot to hold on to.

But, we are women of promise, not panic. If you are still in the thick of it, I have words of encouragement for you to cheer you on!

1. With God, We Can Shelter in Peace as We Shelter in Place.

"You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, for he trusts in you." - Isaiah 26:3

Now, I worry just like anyone else does. What I’ve learned having overcome my season of healing from anxiety and panic attacks is this: having God's peace doesn't mean we are perfect. We have ups and downs through the course of a day. Having God's peace doesn't mean the absence of stress or wrestling when we feel afraid.

But when we panic, God holds us together. He carries us! Having God's peace means we have His perfect love to hold us when we worry or struggle. When we bump into our imperfections and stress out, we can turn to Jesus for refuge and comfort.

We don't have to be perfect because God's peace is perfect.

In Whispers of Rest, I say – "Peace is a person. It's God's presence." Isn't that beautiful real, deep peace? Knowing we have someone we can go to, who understands us completely, who will love us unconditionally – even when we mess up. Who helps us pick up the pieces and never leaves us. Now that is "perfect" peace, simply because God lives in you!

2. Be Gentle with Yourself

”Your right hand upholds me; And Your gentleness makes me great.” - Psalm18:35. Don’t be hard on yourself. Be gentle. God love is gentle,

You are all shouldering a lot as moms, students, nurses, sisters and daughters. Many of you are carrying too heavy a load. You can only do what you can do! Some of you have shared you are caring for sick loved ones, parenting children with special needs – while trying to work. And many of you are also feeling anxiety and experiencing increased symptoms in your mind and body.

It's time to prioritize your wellbeing. Not be harder on yourself, friend! Your emotional health is important to God!

Jesus whispers, “It’s okay. I’ve got you. I’m gonna love you. And I understand you. I will take care of you.” See the gentle love in His eyes for you? You are the beloved.

Have you been hard on yourself lately? Take a breath and exhale into the loving arms of Jesus, who is holding you up gently. How you feel is important to God.

Be gentle with yourself. You're worth loving. Take better care of you. Prioritize doing something that feeds your soul. What would that be?

A Prayer to Calm Anxious Hearts

Dear Lord Jesus,

You love us. You understand every worry we carry and you whisper to us, “Let me carry them for you.” Reassure us of your love for us today. Take care of the ones we love and fill us with your powerful promise to always be with us. Help us as we lean on you. When we feel overwhelmed, overwhelm us with your perfect peace. Thank you for never leaving us. We love you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related: Listen to Bonnie's FREE Podcast on Stress! The Stress Less Podcast with Bonnie Gray. For more episodes, visit LifeAudio.com!

Related Resource: Spring Clean Your Life: 10 Simple Tips for a Joyful Home & Work Life

Are you a Christian mom trying to juggle work and home? You're not alone! I'm Rebekah Scott, host of The Encourager Podcast, where I share insights gained from 15+ years of balancing family and running a business. My aim is to help you find harmony inall your important roles. Join me as we explore ways to create systems for success at home and work while keeping it real!

In this episode, we're simplifying spring cleaning with two easy tips for each of our five systems: Me, Food, Family, Work and Home. Join us as we explore practical ways to bring joy and simplicity into your home and work life! And if you love what you hear, be sure to subscribe on Apple or Spotify so you never miss an episode! 

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