Hey there, beautiful daughter of the Most High!
(Actually, read that opening again. YOU are a daughter of God!) ?
Take a moment to let that sink in before you read on.
Now, with that reminder of your identity fresh in your mind, I want to share something with you that I’ve been learning in my own life. (I usually find it’s the best place to start as I’d rather speak about things I know from experience rather than ‘head knowledge’ alone. ?)
This year, God gave me a scripture for 2020. The passage is Matthew 11:28-30 in the Message translation. I’ll copy it for you below:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
I love these verses so much! And do you know what I feel when I read them?
A TON of permission.
- Put down the heavy and cumbersome things that I’m carrying.
- Re-evaluate things that once were easy but now feel hard and tiring.
- Tell Jesus I’m worn out and I don’t have the strength to go on.
- Admit I don’t know something because He’s promised to show me how to do it as I simply walk with Him.
- Rest (and another promise from Him telling me He’ll show me how.)
- Do things differently to the way it’s ‘always been done before.’
- ‘Recover my life’—aka the parts of myself that I feel as though I’ve lost along the way.
- Say ‘no’ to things that no longer fit me, my season, my current capacity.
This passage flies in the face of some of my well-meaning, but misguided Sunday school teachings from childhood—the messages that if I didn’t want to do something, if it was really hard, then God would surely make me do it to prove my love and devotion to him.
Nope. Not true.
I’m not saying we won’t go through hard stuff because that’s totally unrealistic.
I am saying Jesus said the things He gives us to carry will be a light burden, not an ‘ill-fitting’ one.
And if we’re carrying things that are too heavy, we are invited to come—in our tiredness, in our exhaustion, in our state of overload—and walk with Him.
And as we walk with Him, things will change.
We will change.
Like me, I know you’re seeking to do His will and desiring to say no to the things that aren’t.
Clues something is from Him (aka ‘His will’)?
- It ‘fits’ me—my current season, my current capacity.
- It also ‘fits me’ in that it aligns with my inborn gifts, talents, and natural strengths in life.
- It helps me facilitate healthy boundaries (thus, no religious ‘obligations’ that suck the life out of me.)
- It will help me ‘rest’—for real. Not fake resting that isn’t actually rejuvenating.
- It helps me recover parts of myself that have felt lost or missing.
Everything He gives us aids us in attaining true freedom, true life, and feels ‘light’ not heavy.
This means the things I get to carry with Him are custom made for me and my capacity.
It also means the way I’ve been created is in accordance with the things He gives me to carry. There’s a congruence here, which not only helps me trust Him even more, but tells me that the things that ‘don’t fit’ are actually not of Him in the first place.
As a recovering people-pleaser (perhaps some of you can relate here! ?) I’ve had to learn a TON about boundaries and saying ‘yes’ and ‘no’ and not feeling guilty about it.
When I awaken to the truth that the things Jesus has for me in this season feel light, they align with my current capacity and season, and are infused with freedom, then I can confidently say no to the other stuff. The ‘good’ but not ‘God’ stuff; the stuff that’s fulfilled its purpose and season but doesn’t spark joy anymore.
I can be thankful for the people and the process and the seasons. And I can let the heavy, ‘ill-fitting’ things go while picking up what’s meant for me right now.
Beautiful daughter, what do you need to bring to Jesus today?
Where is He wanting to teach you the ‘unforced rhythms of grace’?
What do you need to let go of because, even though it’s been wonderful in another season, that season has now ended and it’s time to move on?
You have so much permission.
There’s an exchange waiting for you right here, right now. He has answers and He has new things for you to carry, and an abundance of grace for you to learn how to walk each day in sync with Him.
And full of love.
It’s time we gave ourselves the permission He has already given us.
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