Christianity · Church · God

Giving Over Your Burdens

DISCLAIMER: I don’t know why I’m writing this, it means it’s not coming from me. So…yeah.

If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to me and I will give you rest. Take the yoke I give you. Put it on your shoulders and learn from me. I am gentle and humble, and you will find rest. This yoke is easy to bear, and this burden is light.

Matthew 11: 28-30 (CEV)

This Bible passage was given to me last night by a friend who was told by God to give it to me. And to be perfectly honest, I totally understand why. But let’s give you a little back story to last night (Sunday 5th Oct 2014). To say that last night or that this week has been a little intense is a major understatement. If you ask any of my friends about me, they will tell you I don’t cry: particularly in public. However, after last nights intense God working session, it takes the crying tally up to five times in the past seven days: twice in public. So why am I telling you about my lack of crying because, you know, it’s a bit weird. Well, as verse 27 says:

If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens […]

My way of coping with life is to pretend everything is fine and dandy, to pretend that I’m okay even if I’m broken inside. My way of coping is to bottle everything up and deal with everyone else’s problems instead of my own. (Side note: this isn’t healthy, trust me.) I am tired from carrying so much baggage with me that this week it just got too much, that’s really what you need as you start your second year at university when things actually count and matter.

As soon as I walked into my church last night for the evening service I went from (excuse my similes and metaphors) being high as a kite to being at the darkest depths of the ocean. Literally as soon as I walked through those front doors I went on the spiralling slide down to the bottom. Didn’t know why, I’m still not one hundred per cent sure now. But, what I do know is, that as I write this these words aren’t coming from me, they are coming from the Guy Upstairs. That’s been happening a lot recently; okay, when I say recently the last couple of days, I’ve had that annoying God Buzz.

The sermon last night was on the Fruit of the Spirit: Peace which I already knew would be tough for me. What no one realised was, how many people (particularly students) would be in a mess afterwards. But that’s not the point. The sermon was on peace and the only reason I could think as to why my eyes were leaking and my make up was running (Life Tip: don’t wear make-up to church, it’s not worth turning panda eyes for.) down my face was God was prematurely working in me before everyone else turned up because Louise being Louise, we were there mega early. You know something is up when I don’t sing because singing is my passion, particularly singing God’s praises but I couldn’t open my mouth and sing. I sang one song. Yeah.

It got to the point in the sermon where our vicar was talking about you get heavenly peace and I guess I kinda knew what was going to come up: forgiveness. As some of you may know if you follow me on any other social media, things between my dad and my sisters and me have been, how do I put this, interesting and unhealthy for the past year. I haven’t talked to him since Christmas 2013 and it’s almost Christmas 2014. In July, just before my 19th birthday, he said some things that really hurt me and upset me and I was so angry. Angry is an understatement but it’s the only word that aptly describes the feeling but anyway. Fast forward to October, I’m no longer angry (hallelujah) but I still can’t forgive him. So it gets to the point in the sermon where our vicar was talking about forgiveness and my eyes started to leak again and more make-up began to run down my face…it was intense. I don’t know if that’s why I just felt generally crap but it could be but I’m not really explaining why I started this blog with a Bible passage but I’m getting there because I don’t even know myself yet.

After the service, people were a mess. I thought my tears were done, I thought that I was okay and that I could go pray for people and be the friendly Louise that people needed but no. That wasn’t allowed. The student pastor came over and she said ‘are you okay?’ and I answered ‘I’ve had my crying’ but she didn’t believe me and at that moment more tears started to roll down my cheeks. She asked if I was okay to go for prayer, if you’re friends with me you will know that I don’t ask for prayer, I really don’t, but I was a complete mess so prayer was a good start. Climbing over a pew whilst you’re shaking and a bit weak on your feet is really fun! Not. And then climbing some stairs to the prayer team was even more fun…

But (oh dear Louise, never start a sentence with but) once I got there I knew I was going to be okay. One of the lovely ladies who was praying said something along these lines ‘I just feel that God was telling me to tell you that you’re safe. You’re allowed to cry and break down, you don’t have to be strong. You’re safe.’ and at those words I just let loose, a torrent of tears flooded down my face and I just cried. I was safe. I am safe. Nothing can hurt me with Jesus on my team. Let’s go back to those verses because the Bible was handed over during prayer:

If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to me and I will give you rest. Take the yoke I give you. Put it on your shoulders and learn from me. I am gentle and humble, and you will find rest. This yoke is easy to bear, and this burden is light.

Matthew 11: 28-30 (CEV)

“If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to me and I will give you rest.” When I have a problem, the last person I go to is God, I’m sure that’s the same for a lot of Christians, well a few that I know anyway. This week I really realised how heavy my burdens were and are. I finally let go of something that has been bringing me down for five years this week and I as I type this, my eyes are leaking again. I finally let go of the pain and anguish, I was finally at peace over that aspect of my life. All the things that people said and did to me, I realised they weren’t true, they still hurt but it’s not truth so it doesn’t matter. But all my baggage from the past nineteen years…all the baggage I didn’t hand over to God because I felt like a burden to everyone on earth so why should I bother giving them to Him because just why? But last night and this morning, I realise that I am loved just as much as everyone else. I am not a burden so I can hand them over to Him.

“I am gentle and humble, and you will find rest.” If I had known this a couple of years, it would have made things a lot easier. God is the greatest lover and friend and Father and He really is the greatest guy. Sure, things happen in his timing and He’s got a real sense of humour. For example, guess who was made to message someone this passage at half one in the morning: me. Who was woken up at six am with words that could made a situation easier last night: me. Who is writing a blog post at nine in the morning when she should be sleeping before getting ready for uni: me. So He can be a pain but it all works out. The second part of this verse “and you will find rest.” If you give your baggage and your burdens over to Him, you’ll find rest. I find that a little difficult to comprehend, not going to lie, I do. I want rest, I do, I want to be able to live life praising Him, doing my degree, not wearing a mask but I can’t quite give over my problems to God. John 14:12 says,

I tell you for certain that if you have faith in me, you will do the same things I am doing. You will do even greater things […]

Another one that I feel is right, yeah, this one might be useful…um, is Isaiah 41:10.

Don’t be afraid. I am with you. Don’t tremble with fear. I am your God. I will make you strong, as I protect you with my arm and give you victories.

“Don’t be afraid. I am with you.” So what am I afraid of? Why can’t I just hand everything over to Him? Because it terrifies me, because I won’t have an inch of control, because everything will be in God’s court. (Did I really make sport’s reference…wow). What are we as human beings and Christians afraid of? A hell of lot, I know I am. But God is with us, he will make us strong as it says in Isaiah, he will give us rest like it says in Matthew, and we will do great things if we have faith in Jesus like it says in John. We need and want to be safe but ironically enough we think we’re that without God, we’re not. We need him. We need him to keep moving and for God to use us…this is Him using me. For the first time I can actually see and feel it. Times will get tough, you may carry heavy burdens, you may want to give up the fight – I know for sure that that’ll happen to me. I know it; but, if we have faith in Jesus – he’ll be there to pick us up again.

I don’t know if this makes any sense or if it is of any use to anybody but God is just annoying me about it so I had better post it. If you want to talk about anything then I’m here…if you’re a real life friend then you can FB or text me. If you’re an internet friend, you know what to do. And if you’re reading this blog for some other reason then (can you comment on these things?)…but that’s all I’ve got. I hope you all have a great day and God Bless.

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