I remember feeling that way. I would frequently pray and ask God to just make me numb so that I wouldn't hurt anymore. I couldn't always articulate what was making me feel so sad, but sometimes I would cry so hard that I could even feel my chest get tight and I could just picture my heart breaking. At only 30 years old, I felt weary at the prospect of living the rest of my life like that. Being angry, sad, or anxious all the time is exhausting, so the thought of not feeling at all seemed like the answer!
Who knew that feeling empty could make me feel so heavy? How come feeling "nothing" feels like more weight than you can bear? Because emotions (even bad ones) are a part of us. We can't just turn off the ability to feel things and the truth is, we don't want to. No one wants to be robbed of the ability to feel happy. The absence of pain will never be worth the price of forfeiting joy. So, instead of trying so hard not to care, we can ask God to help us manage the emotions that threaten to overwhelm us.
As I was thinking about this subject the other day, I imagined this story....
Once upon a time...
....there was s a farmer with two workhorses. One day, he gives both of them a load that is too heavy.
One horse becomes angry with the farmer and defiantly decides to carry on as if he doesn't notice the extra burden. He says to himself "The farmer should have known this is too much for me but I'll show him. I'm going to keep going, like I don't even notice or care that it's too heavy!" The horse is strong enough to keep it up for a while, but soon he wears out, because the weight is the same, whether he chooses to acknowledge it or not. Even though he has the "will" to keep going, his body can't endure.
When the second horse realizes his burden is too great, he just stops and tells his master "This is too much for me. I can't carry this on my own." So, the benevolent farmer takes away some of the extra burden and rearranges the way the work is carried until the horse is able to finish his task.
In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus says: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 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. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” In these scriptures, Jesus doesn't say to quit caring that our spirit is burdened. He doesn't say to ignore it and hope it goes away. He is inviting us to trade our heavy load for His light one.
No matter what you try to tell yourself, it will always hurt when your spouse yells at you, or your child disrespects you, or a friend rejects you. Don't try to bury that hurt or deny that you care. Please don't invite bitterness into your heart that way.
In order to grant and receive forgiveness, we have to remain soft and tender and, even though it's scary, vulnerable. But 1 Peter 5:7 says to "Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you." God cares about us, He cares when you hurt or are angry or afraid; He cares when you think you've had too much and can't hold on another second. Decide to trust that God knows how you feel and that He can help.
You are not alone. Know that the Intentionally Yours ministry team cares about you and the worries you carry. Even as I type these words now I'm praying that God will bless you and send relief to your weary heart!
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