So you might have noticed I disappeared there for a minute. A month, actually. I’m sorry I didn’t say anything, but it was 100% intentional.
You see, at the start of March I was on the fast track to a breakdown. I was so busy trying to be everything to everyone–a self-inflicted responsibility that was in no way requested of me, that I started drowning.
As a self-diagnosed people-pleaser, the drowning thing happens sometimes. But this time, I saw it happening. I watched the water rising. And instead of kicking my feet harder determined to keep my head above the rising tide, I released the extra weight pulling me down. I gave myself permission to identify my true priorities and let the rest go.
I burdened myself with everyone else’s worries. Making other people’s problems my own is like a special talent of mine. A talent that’ll send me to an early grave. I care about people deeply, and I am painfully empathetic. If you are worried or scared or sad, I will be worried and scared and sad with you, for you. I can’t help it. That doesn’t make me a good person, it makes me crazy.
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will give rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.
I spent the last month connecting with my Life Group, investing in my relationships, and letting myself sit in silence occasionally. Honestly, at the start of the month, I couldn’t remember the last time I’d just sat, eyes closed, dreaming, thinking, planning. No wonder my head felt full and my heart felt tired.
We have this compulsion to do all the things. We’re tempted to take on the problems of the world and make them our own. But in the last month, I realized something so relieving.
It’s not my job to fix everyone else’s problems.
That weight is heavy. Exhausting. Debilitating. An empathetic person to my core, I couldn’t figure out how to stay true to myself without burdening my heart. But as I lost myself in the Word over the month and surrounded myself with the kindest of souls, it hit me.
I can take the problems of the people I love and care about and lift them up to God, laying them at His feet. I am simply a vehicle. It’s not up to me to carry that weight. It does me nor them any good to play the role of a martyr.
God gave me this empathetic heart to be there for people when their souls are hurting. I am the person people call. My texts are full of requests for advice, my thoughts, my opinions. And that makes me so happy. To know that people know they can come to me and find comfort without judgement gives me life. But I was I was doing it all wrong.
So I spent the last month cutting the weight. Instead, I tethered myself to God and let Him do the work so I could focus on using the gifts He’s given me.
I worked on this post little by little through the month of March. And now that we’re into April, I’m ready to publish it. But I wouldn’t feel right without addressing something that happened to me over the last couple of days,
and how my trust in God is the only way I’m coping.
I’ve found myself on the receiving end of unfair treatment due to someone else peddling a story that’s untrue (basically bearing false witness against me). I’ve spent the last 24+ hours navigating through the spectrum of emotions only to continually land on disappointment with a sick feeling in my gut.
I pride myself on the way I treat people. On my work ethic. And on the fact that people can, without a doubt, always trust me because I’m honest and transparent. And in this particular circumstance, none of that seemed to matter.
My only comfort as I start to heal from this is knowing that God knows the truth, and He’s all that matters in the end. I wish I could go into details here; I hate being one of those vague bloggers. But you’ll just have to trust me that the situation is awful, and without my trust in God I wouldn’t be doing too well today. (Not that I’m actually doing all that well, anyway. I am still human.)
All I can do now is to continue to live my life treating people in a way that when someone says something awful about me, those on the receiving end would have no doubts in my character.
I’ve never been in this position before because of the way I build relationships. But in the end, all I can assume is that it’s a blessing in disguise and trust God’s plan that hasn’t been revealed to me yet.
How has God been revealing himself to you lately? I’d love to know.