Pressure. It comes in different forms.
Temporary pressure can be good if it helps us cross the finish line, turn in the assignment on time, or put the last touches on the doll house for a beloved daughter's birthday.
Longterm pressure can be relentless, crushing, and debilitating. With a close ally, chronic stress, it damages us in multiple ways—physically, emotionally, mentally, and relationally.
Because this type of pressure can originate from external or internal sources, it is extremely important to identify the specific sources in your own life. Otherwise, we can feel stuck—helplessly trapped under the unrelenting stress and pressure. (Believe me, I speak from experience!)
External Sources can include:
- family and friends disapproval of your homeschooling;
- financial issues;
- care for someone with long-term sickness, or care for an ailing parent;
- difficult marriage or divorce;
- the loss of a child or a spouse;
- move to a new home or new area;
- part-time or full-time job;
- sibling rivalry, disrespect, learning difficulties, etc.
Internal Sources can include:
- ongoing sickness and fatigue;
- demanding perfection of yourself, your children, your marriage, your home—or, conversely, believing you will never succeed, no matter how hard you try;
- impossibly high expectations for homeschooling;
- replaying the never-ending, sabotaging lies in your head;
- cramming your to-do list with far more activities than there are hours in the day—and saying "yes" to yet another activity or responsibility;
- fear of the uncertain future;
- painful memories, like abuse as a child;
- struggling to experientially know whether you are loved by God.
Take a few minutes to ponder. Do any of these resonate with you?
If so, find a time when you can be quiet and alone with God—early in the day, late at night, or in the wee hours of the morning.
In this place of quiet, ask the Lord to share His heart with you about what you are facing. One at a time, bring each and every pressure to the Lord. Truly, this is the step that can begin to dismantle the impossible load you are carrying.
Then, set up a special time with your spouse or a close, trusted friend to talk about what you are facing. Their love and counsel is a critical component.
There are some longterm pressures that you simply need grace and strength to endure, like a long-term sickness or loss of a loved one. There are other longterm pressures through which the Lord will gently lead you, like the disapproval of family about homeschooling. And, you may discover that there are longterm pressures where you can make big changes, like saying "no" to less-than-best activities on your to-do list.
We each walk our own unique journey, bearing our own specific burdens, and experiencing our own special joys. My prayer for you, dear friend, is that you will experience His grace as you deal with the pressures in your life.
Remember, He is relational!