I had to laugh when I looked into the back seat of my car. There on one side was a booster seat, indicative that I was caring for a small child, and on the other was a bedside potty chair, revealing I was also the caregiver to an elderly person. I’m in a season where I’m pulled in many, directions. You may be in a challenging season too. God is growing my faith and teaching me how to respond. Following are some suggestions for living in peace during a difficult season.
- See the situation from God’s perspective.Seasons are temporary. We can become anxious and frustrated when we think about the daily responsibilities we have, especially when physical exhaustion begins to creep in. In my situation, caring for a small child and everything that goes with that makes me weary. But then when I look at this precious little one from God’s perspective, not only now, but visualize her life a decade from now, I am filled with joy because these days with her are moments that I have the privilege of teaching her about Jesus, reading the Bible with her, and teaching her to pray. Priceless. I can’t help but feel joy! And joy energizes me!
- Every season has purpose.Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven. Let’s remind ourselves of this strength. Say it often. Write this truth on a sticky note and put it somewhere you’ll regularly see it.
- Get alone.No matter how demanding of your time people seem to be, mentally and physically move away to a quiet place and read God’s Word. Strength, wisdom, and peace are the results of your quiet investment.
- Have boundaries. During this appointed season, we may need to cut back on other activities. Ask God to show you specifically what you need to be doing and what to postpone or cancel. It is not wrong to say, “no.”
- Delegate where you can.Allow others who volunteer to help you. God did not call us to be available to ALL people at ALL times in ALL situations. He promises to meet our needs. And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19 NLT). And that promise includes our loved ones needs. He has commissioned another person with the desire to serve and help. They will be blessed for their service to you, so be careful not to rob them of their blessing by doing it all yourself! I was grateful when I got a phone call from Dot asking how the Sunday school class could help my mother, who’s been in the hospital and rehab for more than a month. She arranged for friends to visit my mom on the days I was working.
- Pray.It’s okay to tell God that you are exhausted. He knows it anyway, and wants a real, authentic and open relationship. But don’t stop there. Ask God for strength to function well, be a sweet spirit, and live “worthy of the gospel of Christ.”
- Ask your friends to pray for you. You need prayer warriors lifting you up. Jesus asks us to pray for others and we are obedient when we do. If you do not personally have close friends to pray with, most churches have a prayer line you can call for someone to pray with you.
- Sing (and dance) for joy!While visiting my mom I turned on some praise and worship music. The sad reflections of my sick loved one became a time of hopeful joy when I saw her smile and praise Jesus.
- Practice patience. Kind words are like honey—sweet to the soul and healthy for the body (Proverbs 16:24 NLT). With anticipation of a hard day especially, we can put this verse fresh in our heads and recall it when the people we are caring for become rude and demanding.
- God’s love for you never fails. What a beautiful truth. We can ask God to show us something new and turn this into a season of growth for ourselves.
Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions. Psalm 119:18 NLT
Debbie is co-founder of Shine! Ministries and a partner with The Polished Conference. She is the author of one Bible Study, “Shine! Young Women Radiating the Love of God,” available fall, 2015. In addition, Debbie is an instructor in the Education Department at Montreat College. She would love to speak at your next women’s event. For more information visit her website: www.debbiepresnell.com or visit her page on facebook: shineministriesnc. Contact her directly at email@example.com.