Beth Armstrong

Christian wife, mom, & author. Doing life with my eyes fixed on Jesus. I walk, I stumble, I fall. But God is big. And this is what I write about… Thanks for stopping by!


In the Beth Armstrong Dictionary for Prosaic People, “overwhelmed” is defined as that paralyzing brick wall you run into that won’t move, crack, or crumble. It’s the hurdle that threatens all forward progress. It’s the vacuum that sucks every breath of fresh, hope-filled air out of you. And to be quite clear, I do not like stated walls, hurdles, or vacuums.

You know exactly what I’m talking about. You’ve all experienced that frustrating feeling between the exciting rush of downhill acceleration, and the sudden stop of momentum on the ensuing uphill. In other words, you’ve run into the wall, crashed into the hurdle, or been a victim of the vacuum. But do the walls, hurdles, and vacuums always have to win? How can we rise victoriously? Let’s figure this out, shall we?

1)  Problem: The Brick Wall

  • Solution: Study the Bricks— Rather than allowing the brick wall to intimidate us or thwart our progress altogether, study the bricks. Identify the contents of the wall. Ask yourself what the wall is made of, what its contents are, how thick it is, why it’s there in the first place, and what it will take to scale it. Frequently, brick walls paralyze us, not for lack of effort on our part but lack of information. Outwit the wall.

2)  Problem: The Hurdle

  • Solution: Stretch— Often, as happens in running hurdles in track, the runner’s lead leg doesn’t get high enough to clear the top of the hurdle. If he’d only stretched just a little bit higher. Stretching isn’t a single event, it’s a process. It’s going beyond ourselves a little more each day. It’s flexing those mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual muscles each day. That way, when the hurdle comes, we’re prepared to clear it with ease and grace.  

 3)  Problem: The Vacuum

  • Solution: Mount a Counterattack— If we only match the amount of power against the vacuum (which is the thing sucking the life out of us), then it will result in a temporary stalemate (we’ll go nowhere), followed by sheer exhaustion on our part for fighting it. The counter attack doesn’t necessarily mean try harder. It means combat that force (of the life-sucking vacuum) with a greater one. In other words, be creative, change your perspective, rest, regroup, enlist a few good men or women, etc. And if the vacuum is still sucking the life right out of you, refer back to #1 and #2 above.

You see, even though we may get overwhelmed from time to time, the walls, hurdles, and vacuums don’t always have to win.

What advice would you give to others who are overwhelmed? Please share…


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  1. Binny on said:

    I have aways refused to have “overwhelmed” as part of my vocabulary because I believe so strongly that when God calls us, He equips us to do the task if I meet His conditions. We as Christians a given tools to win. Usually “overwhelmedness” comes from getting my eyes on me, away from the goal and the power that God’s Spirit gives.

    • Bin,
      Thanks for your thoughts. Indeed, God equips us when He calls us, and I’m so thankful He does. Great advice on getting our eyes on the power that God’s Spirit gives us.
      Thanks again!

  2. Pingback: Clutter Interrupted

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