I’m realizing lately that I’m in a pattern of avoidance. It’s easier to read a good book or watch a good movie or go for a great run than it is to stop and face the grief, face the fear, face the loneliness. I’d rather feel good and productive than stop moving and face emotion head on.
Recently, my body forced me to stop moving…literally. I had a surge of pain that required me to slow down and rest. But in my rest, I started sensing a layer of heaviness that was sitting under everything I did. And I think it’s this bottom layer that I have been trying to keep hidden.
The week prior to my surge in pain, I had had a great week. We had an amazing amount of sunshine, which allowed me to run twice. I was able to listen to sermons both times and I felt God use both the run and the sermon to encourage my heart. I also had a chance to sort through over crowded drawers and closets – giving me a sense of order and accomplishment. Life felt good – for the first time in a while.
So when sadness started to creep up towards the end of that week, I tried hard to stuff it back in. And I think my body immediately responded with a surge of pain. One night that week I had to rock my daughter back to sleep in the middle of the night, and I felt God whisper to my heart that my physical illness and pain is actually rooted deep in grief. That underlying sadness has a name I’m tired of acknowledging and remembering. After a while grief almost feels like an excuse but yet I can’t deny it’s weight and heaviness.
God in His faithfulness kept speaking Matthew 11:28-30 over me.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
I wonder if I am sitting in the back seat of life still holding tightly to all of my burdens – insisting that I must carry them. And for some reason I’ve never considered grief to be one of my burdens. But perhaps God is encouraging me to entrust my grief and the rest of my burdens to Him, lean into Him, and let Him carry me during this season.
I realize many of you are likely not struggling with grief, but is there some other emotion that you are carrying: Fear, Sadness, Anxiety, Loneliness, Bitterness, Anger? If held on to long enough I’ve learned emotions can become burdens to your soul. But I believe that God is living life right next to you and wants to carry your burdens for you so that you can just enjoy life with Him. Perhaps we all need to face our burdens and daily exchange them for His yoke and let Him lead us and carry us.