“Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” Matthew 11:28.
Sounds good right. It does to me! Because, let me tell you, I am weary. I don’t know if I really knew what that meant before three kids, but I do now. Tired doesn’t really cover it; I am down right weary, all the way to my bones. If I could sleep for 24 hours straight, it still might not be enough. Every part of me aches for rest.
And the burdens, oh my many burdens. I carry burdens all day everyday like I’m trying to haul in a whole load of grocery bags in one trip. I have the bag of trying to be a good mom, the sack of trying to be a good wife, the tote of trying to be the person God desires me to be, the literal weight my body held onto with each beautiful baby and the shame that weight brings each time I look in the mirror, the rolling suitcase of anxiety I have developed since becoming a parent and all the fears it’s created (I don’t think they could fit in an oversized uhaul truck!) and the depression that always tags along with the anxiety, the cute little clutch of trying to maintain a social life (I always seem to drop it first!) the perilous paper bag of balancing the budget (which always feels like it could rip at any minute), and the box of still feeling like “I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up” balanced on top. I carry it all, at all times. Couple all that weight and bulk with the expansive exhaustion I feel, and I don’t know how I stay on my feet most days. I’m pretty sure I qualify as both “weary and burdened.”
The verse goes on to say, “and I will give you rest.” This is the part I struggle with. I feel like I go to God and I leave, still heavily weighted down and oh, so very tired. I go to Him and I stand there, telling Him about all the bags I’m holding. I describe each one and show Him the contents. And then I go on about my day, wondering where my rest went. I have trouble remembering that He already knows what’s in each bag. I don’t have to waste my time with Him talking about them. I also don’t have to stand there, holding them all. He knows I can; I don’t have to impress Him with my strength. He knows I’m strong because He made me this way. There’s no shame in going to God, dropping it all in one big messy pile, and flopping down in a matching disheveled heap. There’s no shame in laying my head down and taking comfort in His safety. We both know I have the power to pick them all back up.
I have to remind myself daily to go to God and be a mess. Let it all go and just rest. Some days I succeed, others, not so much. I hope one day to go to God and leave with fewer bags. I don’t know if it’s truly possible to ever leave them all, but it’s an amazing goal. Until then, I’m constantly trying to do better and building some nice muscles along the way.