Dear Overwhelmed Heart, Relief is Coming

Sarah Beth Marr is a quiet-hearted soul on a mission to help women find the peace God offers right in the midst of busyness. A former professional ballerina, wife, and mama to three growing sons, Sarah pens words of grace, truth, and hope to point women to the only One she knows who completely satisfies hearts. Sarah’s tender, gentle words will tug your heart towards God, tip your soul towards a more life-giving, grace-laced pace, and turn your focus back to the One who is tenderly guiding your steps. Let Sarah’s writing dance into your heart and help you slow your pace, savor Scripture, savor God, and draw closer to Him. It’s a grace to welcome Sarah Beth back to the farm’s front porch again today…

guest post by Sarah Beth Marr

How is your soul?

Our souls get crowded with worry, overloaded with the items on our to-do lists, and depleted from all that we carry.

Maybe your heart and soul feel a bit broken inside, bogged down.

Matthew 11: 28 – 30 is familiar to most of us. It’s the go-to verse when we’re weary. It’s the calming verse when we need rest.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,

and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you

and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble

in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Jesus modeled a pattern of retreating when He dedicated moments away from His busy life to spend time alone with the Father. 

Repeatedly, we see in Scripture how Jesus spent time in solitude, silence, and prayer.

Think of all Jesus gained during those sacred, quiet moments with His Father.

As we get alone with God, we will recover our lives. Maybe our lives feel a little caddywonk, and we are ready to let God get us back on our feet. He will gladly help us in that.

We will discover that we can keep that closeness with God as we go back into our lives, walking and dancing in step with His lighter rhythms of grace. As we keep company with Him, we will learn to live more freely and simply.

He knows about all those things on your heart. He wants to meet you in those things.

He wants to care for you and tend to your heart’s deepest needs.

He wants you to know He is able to replenish your busy heart and overwhelmed soul.

Not too long ago, my youngest son broke his arm, and we were both so excited to get his cast taken off after the prescribed amount of time. Maybe we were expecting more of a normal looking arm, but when the cast came off, his fragile arm was stiff, thin, red, peeling, and weak.

With tears in his eyes, he looked at me as if to say, “This was not the plan. This is not how it was supposed to look or feel.”

And I strove to keep my own emotions in check as the doctor informed us of how very careful my son would need to be for the next several months so that he didn’t fracture his arm again.

The doctor informed us that it was going to take time to build up his muscles and strength again. What my son needed for now was to retreat from activity and to rest. 

And his crookedy, scaly, frail arm reminded me in that moment of what my heart really needs in my overwhelmed moments: a retreat with Jesus.

I wanted my son to know healing was coming. I wanted him to know that his arm was going to be strong and stable and well soon. I wanted to wrap my assurance all around him and let him know it was all going to turn out okay.

We headed home from the doctor’s office, and I got him situated on the couch with his arm propped up and a blanket over him. After stumbling my way through what I think were hope-filled words to encourage his heart, we turned on Wild Kratts, ate some chocolate chip waffles, and sipped on a banana smoothie. He seemed to believe me that all would be well soon.

God wants me to know my heart is going to grow stronger and steadier as I retreat with Him. And He wants you to know that your heart is going to grow stronger and steadier as you retreat with Him too.

This is where it all starts.

Simply coming to Him or retreating with Him. Simply pausing all the chaos and sitting with Him.

Daughter, He knows all that is on your plate.

He knows you cannot stop your life from moving rapidly in all its directions, throw your responsibilities to the wind, and sit in your rocking chair all day with Him. Although, doesn’t that sound divine? I’ll have some sweet tea with that!

But He wants you to know He’s always here. He’s always available. So keep coming.

Come when your heart is full and peaceful. 

Come when your heart is anxious and tied up in knots.

Come in the morning. Come in the evening.

Come in the heap of laundry.

Come in the messy kitchen.

Come in the middle of the ballet studio.

Come in the outdoors or indoors.

He’s waiting.

Know you can always come to Him and you can always bring Him your mess and overwhelmed heart.

He promises rest for your weary soul. Your soul is on its way to wholeness, freedom, grace, and peace.

You have found the right place to meet Him.

Right here—with Him.

To operate well in the busyness, we need to retreat deeply.

As you retreat with Jesus, He will enable you to get back to dancing in step with His rhythms of grace.

Retreating with Jesus is where your soul finds wellness.

 

Sarah Beth Marr is the author of Dreaming with God and danced professionally for more than fifteen years as a ballerina. She now encourages women in the dance of life and faith through her writing, speaking at MOPS International groups and women’s events, and teaching the Word. How many of us find ourselves constantly busy and, deep down, constantly soul-weary? By striving to keep up our busy pace, we can easily miss out on a deeper connection with God. So many of us are overwhelmed and underfed. But there is hope.

In Whispers and Wildflowers: 30 Days to Slow Your Pace, Savor Scripture and Draw Closer to God, this inspiring and practical book, Sarah Beth helps women develop a regular practice of withdrawing from busyness to realign and refresh their hearts, minds, and souls.

Any woman who feels distracted, burnt out, depleted, or overwhelmed will find in Marr a gentle and uplifting guide to greater personal peace and simplicity.

[ Our humble thanks to Baker for their partnership in today’s devotion ]