It's me against the world. I'm having a hard parenting day, or a friend is genuinely busy, and I think I'm being ignored ... or a light, offhand remark becomes an insult that I dwell on for a week. My emotions rise. I'm hurt. And I stuff it all inside.
I've talked to my very wise mother a few times about this. She's labeled me a "stuffer." She's allowed to say so, because she was once a stuffer, too.
Fun fact: Stuffers are usually self-made martyrs. We stuff all these feelings in our emotional bag, a bag that keeps getting heavier and heavier. But we carry it with only an occasional deep sign, and an, "Oh, that? Don't you worry about that. I've got it. I'll be fine." I've been reflecting on this a lot lately, and God has been showing me in some pretty big ways that actually, I'm not fine. That being a stuffer is a big mistake.
You see, at some point, what happens to a stuffer is that all that stuff starts to push at the seams of our emotional bag. Eventually we have to stop carrying the bag, and have to start dragging it. When that happens, it's only a matter of time before the bag explodes, and those hit hardest by its explosion are those closest to us.
The questions that God laid on my heart this weekend were, "Are you willing to let me help you? Are you willing to let me relieve you of your burden?"
The interesting thing about both earthly and heavenly help is this: You can only be helped, if you will let yourself be helped. You must communicate with your family and friends, with Christ. Let them hold your hand, instead of insisting on walking the road alone.
Is this not faith, at its core?
Those who know your name trust in you,
for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.
- Psalm 9:10
Psalm 62:8 says, "Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge." At all times. I'm embarrassed to admit that I once viewed this as weakness. That's simply not true. The truth is that it takes a soul with the unwavering faith of a child to trust in God at all times. As rational adults, overflowing with sinful pride, can we completely surrender ourselves to anything? Think about that.
Am I light as a feather, without a care in the world? No, I'm not. Nor, as a human, do I imagine that I'll ever be. But I am praying for relief in Jesus.
I've been rehearsing this simple mantra in my mind: "Let it go. God will provide. He will take care of you." I received a difficult piece of mail last week, and my instinct was to cry, to ask God why he was heaping another worry onto my overflowing plate of worries -- but then I started to repeat "God will provide for us" over and over in my mind. I even said it out loud a few times.
I won't tell you that I wanted the chance to practice. Really, I didn't, and I don't. Life is beautiful, but it is also full of hardship. Take it from someone who knows, friends ... Don't stuff the hard stuff. God is willing to take it for you. All you need to do is let go.