5 Ways to Find Relief from Suffering

This past week the walls started to close in on me.  I felt crushed under the weight of suffering.  It caught me by surprise, but it shouldn’t have.  I know the red flags, all of the signs to look for, and I even speak into others’ lives about it.

Rest
Margin
Time with Jesus
Slowing down
Simplicity
Don’t overschedule
Find Rhythm
Saying No
Sabbath

I’m pretty sure I’ve written 100 blogs on each of these topics. This is my life’s message that I preach to people.  And somewhere, in the past 2 weeks, everything subtly crept in, I got overwhelmed, and I wanted to run and hide.

I have been running hard, scheduling nearly every moment of my days with someone or something.  Then, unexpectedly and unscheduled, I had another failed infertility treatment Monday.  And I literally couldn’t even sit with the LORD and grieve until Thursday.  I had my week so packed with work and school, and I literally told my team at work “I am struggling, hurting, and I can’t even go to Jesus until Thursday.”

And after those words came out of my mouth, I broke.  I knew I couldn’t keep running like this. Even though everything fit perfectly on the calendar, suffering has a way of coming in unscheduled. Suffering hijacks your life, it makes everything blurry and heavy, and I wasn’t giving myself any margin to walk through that, or even just sit in it.

Then I remembered, there is a way up-a way out in the midst of suffering.  It starts with these 5 things:

Cry out for help
This week I had to confess:  I just can’t do it all.  Seems obvious, but somewhere along the way, I was taking on other people’s needs, other people’s Kingdom work, other people’s trials, and realized I just can’t do it all.  Especially when I am hurting myself. I raised the white flag and surrendered.

Call your people
I swallowed my pride, and I reached out to the few people I trust with my life, and said “I am feeling crushed by suffering.  Will you pray?”  I fought through the lies of feeling “needy” or “being dramatic” and reminded myself that God does not intend for us to do life alone.  He has given me people to “Enter In” with, and I needed them to pray for me and speak into my life.

Say no
I looked at my schedule, and I started to say no to things.  Ugh!  I wrote about this, Wise People Say No, and yet somehow I found myself saying yes to so much. So I took things off of my plate, rescheduled, rearranged, and made some changes to protect, well, my sanity.

Find rhythms
I had a conference call with my professor this week and he asked me 2 questions I didn’t have an answer to.  1)  What refreshes your soul?  2)  Do you have a time daily, and a time weekly, to reenergize?  I had no words.  He told me that I needed to find a rhythm in which I can refresh daily, and weekly.  Find a time and fill it with something each day, and also once a week that replenishes your emotional energy and reenergizes you.

Run to Jesus
It really doesn’t matter how much I say no, or how little I do each week, if I don’t run to Jesus.  I need time with Him, we all do.

What about you?
What do you do when you’re overwhelmed?  Suffering?
Do you have something that refreshes you?
Do you have margin in your life to sit with Jesus?

Let’s run to the One who can put our broken pieces back together and give us rest for our souls.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”  (Matthew 11:28)

Psalm 34

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