6 Steps To Connect With God When You Feel At The End Of Yourself

Photo: getty
woman feeling the sun in her face with eyes closed

Matthew 11:28-30 states: "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.”

Before you look for the silver lining... Or count all your blessings... Before you power through and compare your situation to someone else who has it worse so that you feel better... Stop.

It is OK to come to the end of yourself. In fact, at the end of you, is the beginning.

When you are weak, He is strong. When you are lacking, He is sufficient. When you are afraid, He is a protective wall around you.

RELATED: What Is Spirituality? A Beginner's Guide To Exploring Your Spiritual Side

Trying to be "Positive Polly" when life stinks makes us feel worse.

When we feel bad, we hide in shame. We eat chips and cookies. We binge on Netflix. We make one-click purchases on Amazon. We snap at husbands and children.

We internalize the pain.

The collateral damage of that sort of persevering does not lead us to feast with the king.

When you feel afraid, overwhelmed, exhausted, anxious, and sad, this is not the time to power through.

Receive these feelings as memos.

They are your invitations to come sit in your Father’s lap. The King of kings.

The King always likes us to come as we are. He is not like those little kings who want a show.

He certainly does not want shame, filthy rags, or bad body odor to ever keep us in hiding.

Here's the cool thing: Once you spend time with the King, you leave refreshed. Renewed.

You have blessings to count and praises to sing.

When you feast with Him, you can’t help but not, especially when He was so gracious and loving to you when you were at your lowest.

"Come to me you who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest."

Can’t you hear him inviting you into your weak position?

Don’t bypass engaging with the Lord by thinking you need to be positive.

This is not how we persevere.

Before you put on the garment of praise, lay down your heaviness.

Before you cover the outside in pretty and strong, take captive your thoughts (clue: you can’t captivate something that you won’t acknowledge).

Before you step into doing things and pressing on, align your heart, your will, and your purpose with his promises.

Then, you can sing. Then, you can praise. And you will want to. For your eyes will move off the pain and onto the one who loved you in your lowly state.

RELATED: Signs You Have A Spiritual Connection — And How To Grow Spiritually As A Couple

Here is a 6-step reflection to connect with God when you feel at the end of yourself.

1. Stop and look at what you are feeling right now.

List three unwanted feelings that have surfaced or lived below the surface this week.

2. Engage with the Lord from those emotions.

Bring the thoughts to him that are causing the fear, sadness, angst, or whatever you're feeling. In a non-pretty way, talk to Him.

Sit there with Him just as you are by now inviting Him into your pain or discomfort.

3. Experience His closeness.

He hears you, sees you, and cares (remember He is the one who invited you and He knew all of this already). Sit there as long as it takes until you feel Him there with you.

4. Now shift your focus to his love, his presence.

Lift his name high. Speak of his faithfulness and his greatness. Remember all that He has done.

5. Move forward intentionally singing of His goodness.

Hold onto a truth about who He is as you step away from this engagement into your day. (In this way, you stay willfully bound and engaged with Him.) This is how you receive the goodness he offers.

6. Repeat day after day.

Trail after trail.

This is such a different process than trying to be spiritual and full of faith. And yet when you move to that place from the inside out, your faith and His Spirit well up inside of you.

Try this prayer:

"Father, I come to you feeling (fill in the blank _______________sad, anxious, fearful). Thank you that you hold my tender heart. Thank you that when I am weak you are strong.

Jesus, I find myself worrying...(list all the thoughts causing you pain; in this way, you take them out of hiding).

I give these thoughts and feelings to you. Thank you that you are one who sees me and cares. I turn my eyes to you. You are the joy and the lifter of my head.

You are the one in whom I delight. You have assigned me my portion and my cup. My lot is secure in you.

I take my eyes off my worries, leaving them at your feet. Thank you for hearing my cry. I put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness and now I lift up my voice to you.

Thank you, Father. I move forward standing on the firm foundation of your word and truth. Thank you that no weapon forged against me will stand.

Nothing can intercept your plan and purposes for my life. You are good. You are sovereign. And you are with me. You love me. You care. Thank you that I am not alone."

RELATED: What It Means To Be A Spiritual Person Vs. Religious

Jill M. Lillard, MA LPC, is a Gottman Certified Couples Therapist and Life Coach who helps Christian women step into powerful and exciting lives no matter what their circumstances. Jill has facilitated inspiring and faith-filled retreats and workshops for Christian women for nearly a decade. Get your free mini-course, The 4 Things You Must Do To Become The Happiest Wife, at The Happiest Lives.