The Cure for Overwork and Overwhelm

February 7, 2023

Welcome back to The Brittany Bruce show!

Do you ever find yourself drowning with work, to do lists, meetings, obligations, carpool, expectations from family, friends… and you are TOTALLY overwhelmed with life, and even when you promise yourself that THIS YEAR will be different, THIS YEAR I’m going to have boundaries, and I’m going to rest more, I’m going to work smarter not harder, I’m going to focus on health, I’m going to open my bible, I’m not going to volunteer as much or sign up my kids for every single thing that comes home in their folder…I’m done. Thats! and then… a few days later, maybe even a few weeks later.. somehow, you end up falling back into the trap of busyness, overwork, overwhelm, and anxiety that cripples you to actually living a fulfilled life or truly experiencing the freedom Jesus desires for you.

Today we are going to talk about The Cure for Overwork and Overwhelm but before we dive in I want you to download the The Bible Study Guide! This guide was created to equip you with the tools and knowledge to study scripture on your own without a curriculum! The goal is to get you digging into the Word and applying what the Holy Spirit revealed to you! Just go to to get yours! 

Alright y’all, today I want to share a story that I’m not super proud of but i KNOW some of you will relate to! A few Christmas’s ago, December 2020, I promised myself that THIS CHRISTMAS I am going to slow down, really focus on the reason for the season, and truly just take a break from the hell that was 2020. I told my husband we should just spend time together, watch Christmas movies, take long walks in the cool crisp breeze, and just focus on Jesus, cuddle with our kids, not spend a ton of money, and just breathe. It felt like a really good idea since we just survived a historical global pandemic and at the time, one of our best years in business! Thomas was home now working with me full time, and the thought of it all made me feel like YES. This is how the holidays are suppose to be! Wow. Look at us. People should follow us and learn from us, because we clearly have wisdom. So…IT. WAS. ON.  I erased any courses and projects that were on the schedule. We pinky promised we would set boundaries with our families this Christmas so we can actually enjoy them. We told the kids we were going to spend time together and focus on Jesus and each other instead of a bunch of gifts. We were READY,  we were prepared, and we were GOING to SLAY this whole REST thing this Christmas! Ha! How cute. This sweet thought lasted a full 24 hours. TWENTY. FOUR. HOURS. One full day of commitment to our calendar before I started to get this nagging feeling of laziness, and worry I wouldn’t finish strong financially, and guilt because I wasn’t giving my kids an American Christmas they see on movies, and even MORE guilt that I would disappointment my family and friends and students who were asking for more of me. My family wanted me to cook on Christmas day for their parties, and students wanted a course about flash photography, and I felt the pressure to gift my team a fully paid beach retreat, and I felt even MORE pressure to start planning for 2021 because we are, in fact, a one income family now!….. 

So what did I do? I said yes to it all. When my spirit BEGGED me to say no.. my insecurities, and flesh, and fear said yes. 

I went back to my planner and I marked it up with to dos, and tasks, and launches, and deadlines, and parties, and team retreats, and meetings, and courses, and oh yea.. Cooking 4 different dishes and spending my Christmas morning in the kitchen, just minutes after my kids opened their ungodly amount of presents that they pushed aside before I could even turn off the oven. 

I should have entered the new year with hope and drive and focus. I should have entered with joy and thankfulness… Instead, I celebrated new years eve, on my couch, depressed and sobbing, having a full blown panic attack. I remember Thomas trying to calm me down as he reminded me of all the success we achieved in the year, but NONE of that meant anything to me in that moment, because when the expectations of the world, or REALLY the expectations of the world YOU BUILD for yourself leave you weak, tired, unfulfilled, miserable, lonely, and broken… nothing can fix the anxiety stirring in your spirit.

So I guess the first question that I have is….Why do we do this? Why do we overwhelm ourselves with work we created? And the schedule we make? And the calendar WE agree to! And the expectations from other people WE allow!? Is this the idea of a life God desired for us to live when he created us in the beginning?

Problem (WHY) (WE)

We are working 3 jobs, raising decent kids, creating content, leading Bible studies, trying to make more money, posting on social, building dream homes, hustling for more, doing what she does, cooking and cleaning so we don’t get judged by our Mother-in-law, trying to stay the same size we were at 18, make more babies, and we are tired, exhausted, miserable, never feeling finished, waiting to be happy, but we aren’t. We are more depressed and less fulfilled than ever before. 

We turn to working MORE, because if we work enough, we will EVENTUALLY not have to work so much because ONCE we make a million dollars THEN we can rest. 

Or if we spend more on the kids they’ll be happy or if we bring them to more trips, they’ll know we love them and ONCE they have everything maybe then they wont whine and complain and fight with their siblings.

The gauge of our worth and value is obviously how many people follow us on social media so if we post more, dance around more trying to gain attention and acceptance from people we will never actually meet.. Maybe just maybe ONCE we hit that certain follower account we will be worthy and fulfilled and happy and THEN we can rest and stop dancing around to the latest tik tok trend. 

If we buy a bigger home, or build a dream home that we KNOW is outside of our means, but we do it anyway because maybe THAT will bring us happiness and a sense of fulfillment and our parents and in-laws will FINALLY be proud of us…and FINALLY respect us as adults…ONCE we get into the house, we will be able to rest…fulfilled…And be happy. 

If we JUST get that promotion at work, or if we JUST launch this new business, or if we JUST get the right opportunity, THEN we can rest and be fulfilled and be happy. 

If we lead this Bible study, if we volunteer at this church event, if we serve on the praise team, if we read through the entire bible Genesis to Revelation in a month… THEN we will have favor with God he will give us everything that we want. 

These vicious cycles of not enough reminds me of my kids that say every single year for christmas, If i JUST have this ONE toy I will never ask for anything ever again! Or if I JUST get this ONE game, I wont ever need anything else, or if I just get THIS THING i’ll be happy!!!” And as parents, we laugh and say “SURRRE” Because we KNOW in 2 days they will be OVER it and looking forward to the next holiday or birthday! 

Do you wanna know the what the MAIN problem with this is? It’s that NONE of these things will bring you happiness, or rest, or fulfillment, or sense of worth and purpose…None of the things you add on your calendar or the yes you say to your family or the income you make at the end of the year will bring you joy. How do I know? 

Because I did and said all of these same things…Not that long ago.


And you are probably too. 

I was doing a really good job of creating and living the Instagram/Pinterest-worthy life … that didn’t bring me an ounce of peace, joy, or happiness, and especially no fulfillment. If I could just keep up, the world would deem me successful and would sleep well at night

I was overworking for my worth. I was over posting on social for my value. I was being walked over and abused so I would feel acceptance…I was serving my church for recognition. I was defining who I was based how much I could do and give and make. I was asked on a daily basis “how do you do it?” – and i would laugh and say “oh just Jesus and coffee”– but deep down- I loved being called superwoman. It fluffed my pride- and so I would continue to strive to do the impossible, go deep in business, spread myself thin, and I gave myself a trophy for keeping it all running successfully…gorgeous house, four cute kids, amazing marriage, incredibly successful business. Rest wasn’t an option for me. Slowing down wouldn’t feed my pride. And NOTHING was ever enough for me. I wanted more because nothing truly satisfied me. I was entering in the worst depression of my life. I’ve dealt with depression before…But this? This was the time that scared me the most. 

Why? Because I was far too deep in all of my work to stop any of it and far too invested to change any of it. I had a team who depended on my salary from me. I had a husband who I just convinced to quit his job to work with me. Students who wanted more from me. How was I supposed to stop doing ANYTHING? 

I felt like I had no choice. There were no more options for me. This is the life that I built…And my consequence was having to continue to live it… 

But guess what, Jesus, the Author of Hope and Salvation said otherwise. Jesus said that ALL I have to do is Come. That’s it. Come.

Solution (WHAT) (GOD)

In Matthew 11:28 Jesus says “Come to Me, All who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you REST.”

Could these words be meant for me? Even though what I was experiencing was my own doing? Yes. And these words are meant for you too. 

Come to Me. ALL who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you REST. 

This verse is so simple, and it’s one that you’ve probably memorized, but I want to break it down word for word so we can unpack the depths of the treasures Jesus has for us. 

This would be a GREAT time to get out your notebook and pens if you’re not busy or driving because these words are GOOD YALL, This invitation and this promise is one that you need to wear on your heart and remind yourself of DAILY .

Before we dive into the commandment and the promise I want to first touch on the fact that Jesus is clearly calling us ALL out. Jesus said, “ALL WHO ARE WEARY” 

No one is exempt from feeling weary and tired and exhausted. No one is living freely without the weight of expectations from the world. 

Why? Because we ALL have to work in order to eat! We have all been exposed to traditions passed down that we feel the pressure to keep, and religious principles from our church or our church leadership at some point in our life. We’ve all been exposed to the American culture– which is called the American Dream which glorifies money, success, perfection, having it all, while looking the part. 

We’ve all had parents or inlaws or our kids place unrealistic expectations on us which requires us to work and do and make and create far beyond what we are physically or mentally capable to do, but we do it because we love them and want them to love us back. 

So if you’re listening to this and you’re like, Brittany- I actually DON’T struggle with these things of overwork and overwhelm.. Why am I still feeling unfulfilled and unhappy? Well– John MacArthur says in his bible commentary about this verse… “Believers who feel weary and burdened are those who are ACTUALLY burdened by their own SPIRITUAL BANKRUPTCY which is the WEIGHT of trying to save THEMSELVES”

Jesus invites ALL of us… ALL who are tired, and worn out, depleted, unfulfilled, overwhelmed, anxious, and ESPECIALLY those who are spiritually bankrupt to do this ONE thing. COME TO ME. 

‘Come to me’ is an invitation. Or a command. It’s not a suggestion. It’s not a “if you want to”. He CLEARLY states Come to Me. 

According to the dictionary, the word COME means to approach or move to a person or place. 

It’s a verb that means you have to take action…Get up…Move your feet. Leave the place where you’ve been. Open your hands. Surrender your life to Jesus. 

This phrase reminds me of when my kids are worried or anxious or they’re upset that they disappointed me or scared if I’m mad at them because of a bad grade, the FIRST thing that I say to them is Come here. Come to me. And I just hold them while they cry. What else do we say as mamas when this happens? We hold them tight and say “it’s alright. I’m here. Mamas here. It’s okay. Don’t worry. I’m not mad.Shhh. Be still. Just let me hold you and rock you.” This is the posture Jesus is in, and the posture he’s telling us to be in as well. 

Just completely breaking in his arms and in his embrace. Holding us. Reminding us that he loves us and that its okay. 

Come to Me. 

Notice, He didn’t say, Come to Your Happy Place. Or Come to The Beach. Or Come to the Bar. Actually, in John 7:37, Jesus says, if anyone is thirsty, let him come to ME and drink.(not the bar- the amplified version) 

So he gives us the invitation, the direction the command, “Come to Me” and His promise to you IF you do this is that HE WILL GIVE YOU REST. 

Rest is the best thing you can give someone who is weary and heavy laden.. But here’s the best part- REST to Jesus means SO MUCH MORE than for us to just take a nap..or start sippin on our pinacoloda down the lazy river. Rest doesnt mean, quit your job and go on vacation.. 

The greek word for REST here in this scripture means TO BE EXEMPT. Do you know what that word, EXEMPT,  means??? It means FREE! You are FREE! The dictionary says that Exempt literally means FREE. FROM. OBLIGATION! 

Do you remember when you were in high school and your teacher said you were EXEMPT from taking your dreaded end of the year finals? That means that you were FREE to go! Free to leave the classroom! Free from the pain of taking that test and sitting in a cold bright classroom!! Do you remember that EUPHORIC JOY that came out of your body when you were told you were exempt?! 

This would be the equivalent of Jesus saying, Come to me, everyone who’s been trying way too much, who’s been staying up way too late trying work overtime and meet everyones expectations, who has been having anxiety attacks because your parents’ expectations of achievement or your kids expectations of MORE, ALL of you who are tired and worn out, ALL of you who cant continue to live like this anymore, COME TO ME and YOU WILL BE FREE FROM OBLIGATIONS.

Would not the ENTIRE world get up out of their worldly expectations and run to the Father? This SHOULD be our response when Jesus says Come to Me, ALL who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you Rest, Freedom, Exemption. 

But it’s not easy to slow down, or rest, or depend on Jesus. That doesn’t come naturally to us as humans. We are built to DO.

So…naturally, I’m sure you’re wondering, “How do we do this?” I’m going to give you one thing you can do to make this happen…And rest in the arms of Jesus.

Action (HOW) (YOU)

In Matthew 11:28 Jesus makes it CLEAR what we should do… 

ComeJesus says to Come. so that’s what we’ll do because we trust that this one thing is what we truly NEED for rest. When I tell my kids to come, it doesnt mean that I want them to look at me, read about me, or tell me how great I am from across the room. I want them to move towards me. And I want to hold them and cry and tell me what they need so I can take away their pain, worry, and distress. So.. when our good and perfect Father says to Come..This looks like getting up from your situation, from your busyness, from your going and doing and changing your posture. This may look like moving to a place of solitude, away from your toxic environment.. Sitting on your porch by yourself with Jesus…

Praying: This could look like getting on your hands and knees and ask Jesus for help. Ask him to help you say no to obligations that aren’t from Him. Ask him to help you strip away your to do lists and tasks. Ask him for courage to create healthy boundaries around people in your life that expect anything from you. (including your parents and children)  Ask Him to reveal to you what you are called to do in your work or in your service to Him. Ask him to make it clear and evident so you can move forward! Ask him to help you accept the gift of grace and freedom and exemption. Ask Him to reveal to you where you are striving and how you can give that striving to Jesus. This is prayer. This is where he first needs us to go… Straight to Him in prayer.

Journaling: You can start by journaling what’s going on in your life and letting go of what’s inside of you and putting on paper… dumping it all out at the feet of Jesus. There is something SO freeing, taking what’s boiling inside of your spirit and giving to Jesus to take care of. He WANTS your pain, he WANTS your insecurities, your worries, your anxieties, because He knows what you need. And HE is the ONLY one that can give it to you. It’s freedom from bondage. It’s REST from our worries. Its EXEMPTION from the pain of the world. And when you do this.. When you release it to Jesus and truly experience his rest, and his joy, and his freedom…THIS is where you’ll be FREE to Worship FULLY out of a thankful and undeserving heart. THIS is where breakthroughs happen, where you’ll hear His whispers. THIS is where you’ll see Him work and THIS is when you’ll participate in the work as a co-laborer with Jesus.

So next, time when you feel the sense of overwhelm, of overwork, and busyness, anxiety, and worry or when life feels heavy.. Come to Jesus. Run to Jesus. Rest in Him and allow Him take it away. He’s the good Teacher that exempts you from your overwork. He’s the good Father that holds you when you cant do it anymore. He’s the Friend that wants a relationship with you, and isn’t interested in what you can do, or accomplish.. He just wants YOU. Your love, your time, and your heart. Everything else that he will call you to do will come after that.

Put Jesus First, go to him. Rest in him. And experience His grace.

You May Also Like:

How To Study The Bible: Inductive Bible Study
Three Ways To Use Your Study Bible
The MacArthur Study Bible Tour

share this post:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: