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How to Be an Overcomer When You Feel Overtaken

Tactics for surviving uncertainty

Listen to music. Worship helps calm wandering, unproductive thinking. When I listen to uplifting lyrics pouring through headphones, I stop clenching my teeth and relinquish repetitive thoughts. Saturating the mind with God’s attributes allows peace to flow into places where confusion, doubt, and worry have blocked the truth.

Choose a different version. Even the truth can become stale, like eating peanut butter toast every morning for breakfast. Reading a new version of the Bible can inspire what you already know with fresh inspiration. During our lengthy season of waiting to go to London, the everyday, straightforward language in The Message buoyed desperate days with hope.

Sleep and then rest some more. If you are in a hard season of life, your body needs more rest than usual. Instead of feeling guilty or using sleep as an escape, a middle-of-the day nap is a loving choice; a day off work duties, even better. God created Sabbath because he loves you, not as a spiritual hoop to jump through. Sabbath is a gift from God breaking into your busy life, not a measuring stick of spiritual worth.

Turn off the computer. Quiet the noise, quiet your thoughts. Like most things in life, our greatest gifts can turn into our greatest weaknesses when usefulness becomes an idol we cling to for comfort. Every email, comment, message, and text comes with a demand for attention. Definition of value and urgency is a freedom within your grasp, not a harness you accept begrudgingly.

Create. Unless it makes you tired. For me, cooking on Saturday rejuvenates and helps sort out mental knots. Photography, art journaling, and gardening also achieve the same result. When was the last time you allowed yourself to create for pleasure instead of accomplishment?

Walk. Or jog, or run, or paddle, whatever it is that helps cultivate new perspective. If I sit too long inside at my desk, everything becomes big, giant, overwhelming, especially in stressful seasons. Moving outside is the best prescription for weariness and only costs a few ticks on the clock.

Whether I binge-watch Downton Abbey, sit under a blanket on the couch with a page turner, or bump into a friend at a coffee shop, the outcome is the same­—an abiding awareness that God is with me in the waiting.

“God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes” (, MSG).

Shelly Miller is a writer, photographer, clergy wife, mother of two teens, and leadership coach. She enjoys writing stories that make people think differently about life, helping women discover their calling, and the luxury of being inspired by other cultures. You can read more of her stories on her blog, Redemption’s Beauty, connect on Facebook and Twitter, and join the Sabbath Society.

March26, 2015 at 8:00 AM

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