When We All Hit a Wall – at the Same Time

I was describing the royal funeral procession to my husband, “Charles and Anne first, then Edward and… you know, the other brother, what’s his name? Was married to Fergie. In a sex scandal. What was his name? … Oh yeah, Andrew.”

Of course I know the names of Queen Elizabeth’s children. But my mind is very slow on the uptake these days. Feels like I’m slogging through mud sometimes. And please don’t ask me what time it is. Or what I accomplished yesterday. For the past 15 months all the days have looked very much like each other. So much so, that each morning I set my phone alarm to go off all day just before each zoom meeting, appointment, or as a reminder that it is a day I work outside the home and I need to run to the car.

Tensions are running high everywhere – at home, at work, all over the country. People are snapping, and then doing radical things that make no sense at all. Things we would never do if it weren’t for the fact that we have been living through a pandemic.

One writer recently confessed, “I feel like I’m in quicksand. I’m just so exhausted all the time. I’m doing so much less than I normally do – I’m not traveling. I’m not entertaining. I’m just sitting in front of my computer – but I’m accomplishing way less. It’s like a whole new math. I have more time and fewer obligations, yet I’m getting so much less done.”

Collectively, our world has hit a wall – all at the same time.

“Hitting a wall” is running terminology. In a marathon it usually happens about the 20th mile when the runner feels she cannot go any further. Experts say this is part physiological and part psychological. And though she only has six miles to the finish, the temptation to give up is strong. But the reward in finishing is usually greater.

Do you sometimes feel like you cannot keep putting one foot in front of the other? Perhaps part of the problem is that we don’t know how far ahead the “finish line” is. No one can tell us when or if “normal” will ever return again.

Uncertainty and stress are usually managed in small doses, but over time they begin to affect our resilience. No wonder we feel the impact in our bodies, minds, and souls.

One psychiatrist who specializes in the brain says, “The longevity of the pandemic – endless monotony laced with acute anxiety – have contributed to a sense that time was moving differently, as if this past year were a long, hazy, exhausting experience lasting forever and no time at all. The stress and tedium have dulled our ability to form meaningful new memories.” (NewYorkTimes2021/04/03)

I’m an extrovert who loves people. In fact, every time someone asks me what I’m most looking forward to as the world begins to open up, I reply that being with people will be a great joy. And yet, after being isolated for so long, I’m finding that re-entry has its own set of challenges. Recently I was thrilled to speak at an event in person and interact with people eager to embrace encouragement from God’s Word. My heart was so full and grateful. But afterwards I was physically and emotionally exhausted from being in a crowd. Such mixed emotions struggle inside us and fight to win the day.

I know that God’s strength will continue to fill me as He opens more and more doors for me to walk through face-to-face with extended family (soon!), my community, and audiences that I am privileged to embrace. In my prayer journal is a postcard someone gave me (was it you? I don’t remember) and I pasted it in. “But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me.” 2 Timothy 4.17

Right about now you may be wondering, What is the point of this blog? Good question. See, even my writing can ramble these days…

I guess my point is to affirm you if you have hit a wall lately.

A recent health survey found that 41% of Americans showed some symptom of an anxiety disorder or a depressive disorder in this new-year-that-was-supposed-to-be-better.  (WashingtonPost2021/02/09)

If you lost your keys or cellphone (for the zillionth time), lost your temper, lost your desire to get out of pajamas and into pants with a waistband, lost your creativity in your work, lost your interest in looking forward to the incredible gift of life each day…. then, dear friend, keep calm. And carry on. You are not alone. And neither am I.

When you hit a wall, call out and God will give you soul strength. Take a deep breath. Take a walk. Take a nap.

“I give thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise… On the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased.”  Psalm 138.1,3

May the grace of Christ, the love of God, and the friendship of the Holy Spirit  bring you comfort and strength, Lucinda

“Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity and Strength”

©2021 Lucinda Secrest McDowell      www.LucindaSecrestMcDowell.com

Lucinda Secrest McDowell is a storyteller and seasoned mentor who engages both heart and mind while “Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity & Strength.” She has authored 15 books including “Soul Strong – 7 Keys to a Vibrant Life” and “Life-Giving Choices – 60 Days to What Matters Most.” She writes from “Sunnyside” cottage in New England and shares encouraging words at LucindaSecrestMcDowell.com


  1. Cathy Baker on April 21, 2021 at 11:26 am

    I can so relate to this post! My nose isn’t scuffed by concrete but it is a different world, ushering in a whole new set of needs that can sometimes feel overwhelming. And nothing remedies that feeling more than giving God thanks with a whole heart. (I’ll miss seeing you at Blue Ridge next month.)

    • Lucinda Secrest McDowell on April 21, 2021 at 12:52 pm

      Cathy, Yes, times are challenging all ’round. But God is bigger. Thinking of you with fondness and praying. Have a great time at Blue Ridge!

  2. Maureen Miller on April 21, 2021 at 12:25 pm

    Thank you, dear friend. This is an encouragement to me… YOU are an encouragement to me! ❤️

    • Lucinda Secrest McDowell on April 21, 2021 at 12:52 pm

      Oh Maureen, YOU encourage me. Hugs to you and also those sweet soul strong gals…

      • Sharon banta on April 21, 2021 at 1:30 pm

        Thank you sooooo much. Your love and expression of words help me to keep calm and carry on. Of course GODS word does too, but you bring the words home to me in a refreshing way. May our LORD bless and strengthen you too!

        • Lucinda Secrest McDowell on April 21, 2021 at 2:05 pm

          Great to hear from you Sharon. My love to all the sisters down at the shore. And I thank you for reading.

      • Jim douglas on April 21, 2021 at 4:43 pm

        Excellent and timely words. Really helped me a great deal. Thanks.

        • Lucinda Secrest McDowell on April 22, 2021 at 9:54 am

          Sending hugs to you and your family Jim, hope to visit Nashville one day again…

  3. Ginny McNamara on April 21, 2021 at 1:38 pm

    I look forward to your Wednesday message each week. This one sure did hit the nail on the head. Thank you for sharing your words each week.

    • Lucinda Secrest McDowell on April 21, 2021 at 2:06 pm

      Ginny! Right? Thank you for your encouragement. You and Paul take care.

  4. Melody Chapman on April 21, 2021 at 1:39 pm

    You described the covid time warp very well. Thanks!!

    • Lucinda Secrest McDowell on April 21, 2021 at 2:06 pm

      Hey Melody out there in Kansas! Thank you for reading. Feel free to share. Blessings!

  5. Karl Merritt on April 21, 2021 at 1:42 pm

    My outlook was made much brighter by reading and identifying with your experiences. Thanks very much.

    • Lucinda Secrest McDowell on April 21, 2021 at 2:07 pm

      Thank you for reading, Karl, I remember meeting you at that Writers Conference so many years ago. Blessings!

  6. Carol H Hinson on April 21, 2021 at 5:21 pm

    Thank you Lucinda. I am experiencing the same things that you describe. Some are because of my disability and anxiety and depression are a part of my life now. But, as you say, God is bigger than all of this.

    • Lucinda Secrest McDowell on April 22, 2021 at 9:55 am

      Carol, thanks for reading and I’m praying blessing all over your life today. God is big.

  7. Denise Ann Goosby on April 21, 2021 at 9:10 pm

    Thank you, Lucinda, for expressing what I’ve been experiencing. And thank you for Psalm 138–it is a treasure trove of God’s faithfulness.

    • Lucinda Secrest McDowell on April 22, 2021 at 9:55 am

      Yes, the Psalms are indeed a treasure. Praying great joy in your two book releases, Denise.

  8. Maggie Rowe on April 21, 2021 at 9:21 pm

    Excellent post, Cindy – you hit the nail into the wall we are all hitting! This needs to be widely read.

    • Lucinda Secrest McDowell on April 22, 2021 at 9:56 am

      Thank you for being such a cheerleader and best friend, Maggie.

  9. sarah on April 21, 2021 at 11:40 pm

    Such timely and encouraging words! Explains me to myself :o) Thank you, Cindy. And thank you so much for your book Soul Strong. It is a great book for small groups. Also timely for now. May God keep you strong, dear friend!

    • Lucinda Secrest McDowell on April 22, 2021 at 9:57 am

      Oh Sarah! I just hate that I missed your sweet and so encouraging phone call last night! It thrills me no end that your group is working through “Soul Strong” and that you love it. I keep praying God will use in to encourage and challenge women everywhere. Thank you again for leading the study and for being such a dear lifetime friend. I don’t know when I will next be in NC but I hope to one day….

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