Less than 24 hours stood in the gap before I’d leave my young girls and husband to board a plane for Uganda, Africa. The number of items on my to-do list far exceeded the emotional and physical energy within me. Yet, instead of tackling the list, I found myself paralyzed with stress, sitting at the end of a long table in Thursday morning Women’s Bible Study.
The word “overwhelmed” doesn’t do justice to my state of mind as I spent the ENTIRE study crying uncontrollably. After the Beth Moore video, the study leader immediately locked eyes with me, “How can we help you, Laura?”
Between sniffles and tears, I listed what still needed to get done before I left for Africa. One gal offered to pack my luggage. Another said she’d watch my kids. Can you believe I was too proud to take their sweetly offered gifts? Then Kaki, the study leader, prayed for me, and I’ll never forget what she asked God.
She asked God to multiply my time.
The thought that God could do this had never before entered my mind. But He can. And He did. And He does.
Oh how I wish I could go back to that day and whisper these words into the heart and mind of my anxious, tired, threadbare self sitting at the end of the meeting room table:
You are overwhelmed because you’re trying to do all these things in your own strength, darling. Once again, you’re trying to do too much, but it’s going to be ok. You don’t know this yet, but God is going to do the impossible and multiply your time.
Some of the people you need to call today for work? They will call you and change their mind. That deadline you thought you had to meet will get extended. Your children will cooperate, and all the items you need to buy will be available in one simple stop at Walgreens. You will end up having more than enough time.
Of course, even as I’m telling you this, you’re probably not believing me because you’re so used to doing things on your own. You haven’t reached the breaking point just yet, but you will a few years from now. So even as you flick away these whispers as silly, you’ll continue to stress and fret and cry. All the while, God is placing people and situations into order to do what Kaki is about to ask of Him. You see...nothing is impossible with God. Not even multiplying time.
And those lovely women, who are about to offer to do the dirty work of packing your luggage and watching your kids? That’s God at work, too. Accept the help they offer and even more time will be gifted to you. Not to mention the exchange of love, service, and relationship you desperately need. Stop being so proud. You’re missing so much with eyes closed and fists clenched tight.
Your trip to Africa will change your life, Laura. Get ready. There are lessons to learn and people to love. Get yourself out of the way and watch God work.
You can learn from this true story, my friend. God is at work in all ways and in all things. BELIEVE IT. LIVE IT. WATCH FOR IT. The next time you find yourself slipping down the worry trail of an overwhelmed life, ask God to multiply your time. Then watch and see what He does!
Laura Fleetwood is a Champion for your R E S T L E S S soul. She’s a Midwest gal, wife, mom of girls, and sister of sisters. Her career crisscrosses from climbing the corporate ladder and traveling the world to being a stay-at-home mom, college instructor, and now a published author, speaker, and communications director for a large church & school in the St. Louis area. SeekingTheStill.com is where you can find Laura’s words for Messy Miracles. There is hope. You are not alone.