Reflections on Matthew 11:28-30

28 “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 crave the relief, rest, renewal, and help described in this passage. I feel so exhausted by all of the things on my heart and in my head. I feel like my ability to please people has been stripped from me, and, on one hand, it feels like a burden lifted, because I just can’t do what I just can’t do- but I still struggle with guilt and shame and frustration. I feel like the line between people pleasing and people loving is so fine and I have tremendous guilt and shame about falling short on the latter which is one of the things I value most in my life, one of my callings and purposes. I definitely feel weary and burdened by that shame. I feel like I am failing at what I’ve been made for, in many ways. But Jesus calls me to come to Him. He calls me to surrender my burdens and let him teach me, guide me, walking beside me with gentleness and humility, along the path set before me.

God does not want me to live weary, ashamed, afraid, silenced, subdued, in bondage. He has called me out of all this to live joyful, confident, secure, brave, rested, free, and fully living the life and purpose He’s created me for.

I’m asking God to help me to daily release the burdens i am carrying- new one, as well as the old ones I’ve unconsciously picked back up. Some of these burdens will have to be surrendered over and over, because it’s a hard habit to break, trying to carry it all.

I’m breaking up with:

People pleasing:

  • Saying yes when I know it will take me backwards in my healing
  • Trying to fit in the box of who “they” want me to be
  • Keeping silent when I’m hurt in order to not risk rocking the boat or losing love.

Carrying Shame

  • For not being “perfect” or “enough” by some outside standard.
  • For not growing or healing fast enough
  • For the times I need to say no
  • For the ways I genuinely have or do fall short along the way
  • For not being able to do “it all” even within the limited boundaries of my current season.

Instead I will become better acquainted with:

Celebration

  • Of even “small” victories along my healing journey
  • Of the beautiful gifts I’ve been given and the purpose that springs from them
  • Of the relationships that bring so much richness to my life

Rest (yes this is something I’m still having trouble grasping…):

  • Creating (and following through on) rituals that will renew my mind and body
  • Leaving margin in my days to just *be*
  • Figuring out *and doing* what i need to to have good sleep at night
  • Identifying and reducing and eliminating sources of stress

Truth

  • Of God’s character, especially His faithfulness, gentleness, and fatherly love for me (instead of this false identity for him created by my past)
  • Of my own identity and gifts and purpose created by God in me on purpose and for a purpose

Y’all! I wrote all that back in September! I have been praying over these verses and concepts a lot since then, and then today-the first in-practice day of the new year, so to speak, I opened my Write the Word journal, and this was the scripture passage for today. So, clearly, this is something God still wants me to apply and embrace as I Abide in this new year. Today when I read it I thought a lot about all of the things I wrote about above, but also the exhaustion of believing the lies my mental illness tells me moment to moment, day to day. There are a few big recurring ones to work through, and every one is a burden. Every one steals my focus, my rest, my joy, and my peace. Every one replaces confidence with shame and freedom’s wings with chains of fear.

I’m praying today for release from these burdens and the courage and strength and humility to come to Jesus as many times a day as I need to in order to release my burdens, and receive His rest. Little by little, my heart can be re-trained and healed.

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