What can we do to receive help with our overcrowded and weighed-down hearts? How can we live an authentic and resilient life?
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Have you ever said this?
When you’re really not?
I think we’ve all done it.
Perhaps you are currently in a season where you feel like you can’t catch up or catch your breath.
Maybe your heart is feeling extra heavy or perhaps your hands are overloaded with the weight of attempting to carry all the stuff piling up on your plate, right now.
Or, maybe your day-to-day life is so busy, that you can barely look at the schedule for tomorrow, because the right now moments of today are already overcrowded and jam-packed.
These are just some of the circumstances that can leave us feeling like we are caught inside an air-tight bubble. Where the available oxygen to breathe is quickly vanishing.
Like you are holding your breath, living inside one long, extended INHALE, with no exit for an exhale in sight.
A pulsing fear is growing, that if you actually let go of holding your breath and let your real feelings finally spill out…everything will crumble.
Friend, I don’t know what the specifics are around the many things you are tightrope breathing through right now.
But I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that your heart and your hands could use a minute to… exhale.
As a home decorating consultant, a major part of my job is spent meeting with clients in their homes and offering new ideas and simple solutions to their spaces that will easily help update and refresh their homes.
During a client’s initial decorating consultation, we will often walk through most of the house, room by room and make changes along the way. What I have come to notice and realize during these consultations is that many clients share a common and similar problem.
The common problem being?
They have too much stuff.
As in, the rooms inside their homes are failing them, because they are simply holding more than what they should.
And, it’s in these client cases, where my personal decorating mantra holds true:
“Half of decorating…is un-decorating.”
It’s in the literal act of removing the “stuff” that is weighing the house down…that we find peace in the progress of letting the room exhale, through the unloading process.
Once the room lets go of all that stuff it’s holding?
It can breathe again.
I can get busy doing what I do best…reworking the room to serve the people living inside more effectively and efficiently.
But what about you?
Does your heart need a little refresh?
A little reworking or rearranging?
I know what you’re probably thinking.
That’s all well and good advice for re-decorating a room, but I can’t do that in my real life.
I can’t just easily remove all the stuff that’s piling up and packed inside of my heart and my head.
I get it.
I get it, because?
I know it.
I live it.
Same as you.
We all have stuff we are carrying.
And, It’s true.
We can’t just get rid of it by dumping what’s troubling our hearts on the curb outside for easy roadside removal.
But, there are 2 practical things we can do, that will help our hearts and our heads to breathe easier.
Let’s look at Jesus’ words of truth from our key verse and break them down in two practical parts.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
The first thing we can do to receive help with our overcrowded and weighed-down hearts is to take Jesus at His Word.
1. Take Jesus at His Word.
We can choose to come to terms with the truth and honestly accept that daily pressures and stressors are going to, in fact, be a part of this earthly life.
As much as we would like to think, that if we can just run fast enough, we will eventually get out ahead of all this “stuff” overcrowding our hearts and minds, it just doesn’t work that way.
Life does have a way of continually getting overcrowded, pelting thoughts stun us into sleepless nights and our performance-driven, comparison culture seeks to cripple us.
Fast pitches and curveballs come, fogging our vision with distractions, detours, and dilemmas that threaten to thwart our path and suffocate our sight for knowing what’s right or what to do next.
Yes, oh yes, there is trouble.
Not to mention, our people are counting on us.
In fact, I’m willing to guess that you are the known and intimate shock absorber for everyone else’s earthquakes and skies that are falling around you.
Our husbands, our children, our grandchildren. Our adult kids, aging parents, church members, co-workers, and community are often looking to you to fill the needs of so many roles that often clash and collide with our limited capacities, leaving us stressed and overstretched.
If this beats all too familiar to the squeezed-out breath of your heart…there is hope.
An open window, waiting to blow the breeze of refreshment and renewal and revive the over-stuffed rooms of your heart.
A life of resilience is possible without the steam of striving to do it all on your own.
Right on the other side of resisting the old habit reply of I’m fine.
Slipping off the mask of self-sufficiency and surrendering to the gorgeous invitation to – take heart.
2. Take the invitation to “Take Heart.”
Friend, there is a way to keep going without having to keep up.
What I’ve learned is that when we put out hearts to the side, it comes at a cost. But, when we take the time to exhale our hearts to Jesus, it’s worth it every time.
We can receive Jesus’s instruction to take heart because He has overcome the world and in Him, we may have peace.
Praise God that He sent Jesus not only to save us but also….to sustain us.
Jesus invites us into Holy relationship with Him so that we can make peace with the pressures of our everyday life.
By taking our heavy hearts and all the anxieties of the day and humbling ourselves in our humanity, we begin the refreshment process.
It’s at the intersection of humility and honest acknowledgment, that we can’t supply what we need on our own, including our very next breath, where we have the opportunity to meet and live out our most authentic lives.
When we empty our hearts, and release the held-in for too long inhale…we are like the once over-crowded room. Only now, emptied and ready to exhale and receive the soul-level, interior room refreshing that only God can give.
Yes, humility is the vehicle that cultivates a life of authentic resilience because God’s Holy Spirit is our sustenance.
Because of Jesus, we have a Helper that is as close to us, as our next breath in us.
In Your Life
What would it look like to rely more on daily help from God’s Holy Spirit?
What windows of fresh peace might open if you resisted the old habit reply of saying, I’m fine, when you really aren’t?
In His Word
“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.”
For more encouragement, you are invited to read more posts from Heather:
Heather is a lifestyle blogger, women’s speaker, and owner of Home with Heather, a home decorating consulting business. She also writes weekly on her blog, heatherkrout.com.
For more inspiration for your home and heart, follow Heather on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest for inspiration to empower you on your walk with God and inspire you with new and fresh ways to love your home.