New Journal Entry: Day 1: Whelmed!

I realized something Sunday morning as I was preparing for my responsibilities as pastor and preacher. Friday I mentioned that I may not be blogging much–but then again–I might just journal what I had thought was a “New Journey”. What I realized as I was looking at myself in the mirror while shaving–is that it’s not really a NEW journey–helping watch over and take care of Dad. While the Journey to Heaven is Straight (and Narrow)–Life’s Journey has lots of twists, turns, and detours. This is where I am–a turn–a detour if you would–from my intended travels. And there’s a word that goes with what I am discovering in this–call it a turn or detour.

Whelmed! That’s a word we don’t hear very frequently. In fact–you may have never even heard or used it used at all. But the word OVERWHELMED? Let’s just say you’ve not only heard that word–you have experienced that word. Whelmed means “engulf, submerge, or bury”. In other words, it’s that feeling of sinking and drowning. Add to this word OVER–well you know what that means. It’s being more than sinking and drowning–it’s the feeling of having an anchor tied to your ankle pulling you down even faster.

Though Dad is still in respite care and will not be home until Wednesday, I find myself already on this journey. I’m preparing–well at least I’m trying to prepare–myself for what lies ahead. And that’s a good thing–to be prepared. I remember that much from my days as a Boy Scout. I mean, who takes a vacation without planning–the route, what to pack, and how to get there! But as I looked at myself in the mirror–I started feeling whelmed. And it didn’t take long until I felt OVERWHELMED. It’s not from thinking about taking care of Dad–it’s about all the other stuff!

Being a preacher means I should know better! I’ve counseled countless others on this very issue, reminding them that God is with them in those moments. Being overwhelmed hindersobstructsprevents us from moving forward while also realizing and being confident that God is both with us and will see us throughout this journey until it’s completed. It’s a paralysis that causes us to question ourselves–our abilities, our faith, and whether one can do what needs to be done in a way that is uplifting and encouraging. I’m questioning myself–more than I am God in this moment.

This is Day One of this journey. I know the solution that will fix that man in the mirror. But knowing isn’t the same as doing. Obviously, I’ve got my work cut out for me. There’s a raging battle going on inside me. I know God is with me in this battle. But I need the confidence that goes with that knowledge. Thankfully, my Heavenly Daddy hasn’t abandoned me in this conflict. So I refuse to give up even though I’m overwhelmed in this moment. Indeed, I need help! But as the Psalmist wrote: My help comes from The Lord!