As I sat in my oversized La-Z-Boy chair at 2 a.m. rocking my 9-month old, I heard my oldest boy waking up, crying. A week prior, he'd had a procedure done on his legs. He will have both legs in walking casts for the next few weeks. He woke up with discomfort and was very frustrated about having to wear casts on his legs; he was hot and itchy and wanted me to take them off.
As I got one child settled down and back to sleep, I went to comfort my oldest son. I couldn’t do much to help him, which was heartbreaking. I talked to him, put some lotion on his toes to help with the itch and prayed.
As I walked back to the kitchen to make myself some tea before going back to bed, it hit me, just like one of those sneaker waves at the beach: I felt overwhelmed.
I couldn’t really do much to control the situation - and I didn’t like it. I wanted to throw myself a pity party; it seemed justified that I should feel sorry for myself. Life at that moment seemed very hard. The events of the days prior had left me very exhausted and overwhelmed. I felt justified in my wallowing.
As I started to grumble in my heart, I remembered a blog post I had read earlier about being overwhelmed by Ann Voskamp. The quote that kept repeating itself over and over to me from that particular post was, “And nothing can overwhelm me — like grace can overtake me.”
Life can be very overwhelming. There are situations we have no control over, and challenges we never expected. But I have found that grace doesn’t allow room for self-pity. Instead, grace gives me godly insight into my circumstances and helps me work through them instead of getting angry and frustrated. Our situations may not change, but I know when I focus on God's grace, I can deal with what is going on around me with hope instead of fear and dread.
It is not something that comes easily to me; I am still learning this, even this past week. But I know that life will always give me different situations and challenges where I can practice accepting God's grace for the situation instead of being overwhelmed.
Jayne Gautreau is married with three children. Read her Mondays on Douglas County Moms.
Life at that moment seemed very hard. The events of the days prior had left me very exhausted and overwhelmed. I felt justified in my wallowing.