A Prayer for When the World Expects More than You Can Give
By Lori Freeland
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)
I should be doing laundry, cleaning my bathroom, making a much-needed grocery run, checking my daughter’s homework, calling about a prescription for my son, editing a client’s chapters, and starting my new book—or at least returning my writing partner’s frustrated texts. But I can’t.
Every minute I spend thinking about doing even one of those things tightens my chest, and I find myself trying to breathe under a 100-pound weight.
Crazy, right? Every item listed above is menial. Normal. Things most people do every day—if you substitute my writing tasks for your job.
But I can’t do normal. I can’t jump—or even crawl—out of bed most mornings and look forward to my day. I can’t go to lunch with my friends, small talk with my neighbors, sit through church with a smile.
It’s the expectation of “normal” that feels overwhelming.
I’m exhausted and sad and lost. Every little thing on my to-list, every invitation from my friends, every event I should attend, and every unfinished project makes me want to run away. So I stay in bed, avoid the phone, put off my friends, and procrastinate the things I should be doing until we run out of clean underwear and milk, and I worry the only friend I’ll have left is my cat.
There are a lot of words thrown around for these kinds of feelings—depression, anxiety, grief—but other people’s labels cease to matter when you find you’re the one who can’t get out of bed.
Your story might be different than mine. I’m not a psychologist, and everyone’s situation is unique. All I can share is my experience and what is helping me move forward.
I’ve found Christians are sometimes the worst when it comes to understanding what I’m going through. We’re taught to believe all we need to do is pray harder, believe more, and “turn it over to God.”
And as Christians, we’re blessed to have that option. But “turning it over” isn’t always simple. It’s never been for me. It’s been a process. A long process depending on where I am in my faith walk.
So what do I do while I’m walking the journey God’s laid out for me? While I’m in the process of “turning it over?” What can you do?
As I peel back the covers and step out of bed, I’m choosing to give every second of my day over to God. I’m choosing to tear up the world’s to-do list, walk away from what others expect, and ask God what He wants from me today.
Here’s my prayer for me and for you.
Lord, be with me when the only thing I can even ask for is peace. Be in the big moments, the little moments, the in-between and uncertain moments. Thank you that you are, “…not a God of disorder but of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:33 NIV) and that Your peace, “transcends all understanding, (and) will guard (our) hearts and (our) minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). Help me to trust in Your word and in this verse. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13). I’m so glad You’re a God who understands—even when the world doesn’t.
Editor’s Note: Content taken from “When the World Expects More than You Can Give” by Lori Freeland. You can read that piece in full here. All rights reserved.