“Let go” He said. And in my head I knew He would handle my “stuff” better than I could. But something in my heart still tightened my grip. Something within had me convinced that I needed to be the one to hold all my “stuff” ... that only I could control it all and only I could handle it in the right way.
We all do it. We all carry with us a burden of thoughts, worries, fears, angers, un-forgiveness, desires, secrets and memories that seem to make up our very being. Many of us have been carrying this load for so long we don’t remember how it became ours. All we know is that if we stopped carrying it, someone would get hurt. Something would break. And life would not be okay anymore.
The thing is, when we carry all this stuff around, we become that stuff instead of who we were meant to be.
Our life becomes all about how to maintain the strength we need to keep all that stuff balanced. Our life becomes a full time job of holding on and hoping no one notices how much effort its taking!
My son was a football player in high school. When I would come home with the groceries he would always come out to help me. Without fail, he would load up his arms with those plastic bags until there weren’t any more groceries in the trunk. He would carry ALL of my groceries in 1 trip. His arms were bulging and red, and his face would strain, but he would smile and grunt and move quickly to the kitchen where he would then relieve himself of this burden by plopping all the bags on the floor. Never once would he allow me to become aware that this had been a struggle, or that all those bags of groceries were heavy. He’d give me that proud look and swear it was no big deal.
Maybe to him it was no big deal, but whether he ever admits it or not… it WAS heavy and painful! Perhaps he took a certain pride in being able to carry them all.
Perhaps we do the same with our “stuff”. It could be that we take pride in the fact that we’ve survived some of those “things” and carrying them is a badge of honor. Or could it possibly be that we THINK it’s easier to carry them all then to make multiple trips.
The longer we carry all our stuff, the more “controlling” it becomes that we continue to carry it. Because so far, carrying it all has kept us safe. Carrying it all has become not only part of what we do, but by all appearances, who we are.
Until a shift in our thinking takes place.
He saw my hesitation, he saw my arms tighten around this heavy load and my back stiffen under the weight of it all. He whispered again, “Let go and put all that stuff down.” The battle between my head knowledge and my heart continued on. I’d heard it before in church after all…. the whole “let go and let God” spiel. All the intellectual reasons and arguments for whether or not to “let go” raced through my mind. He took a step closer and said yet again, “Let go” I paused in my internal argument and looked in his eyes. Then the quiet came. I felt my shoulders relax and I took a deep breath. He stepped even closer and finished His thought this time. “
You can’t hug me when your arms are full of all that.”
Suddenly, that’s all I wanted. There was no more turmoil over what to do. Every part of me wanted nothing more than to have my arms free so I could embrace Him. All that “stuff” I had been holding onto so tightly, dropped from my arms without a 2nd thought.
You know what? You weren’t meant to carry that load forever. It no longer matters why you picked it up.
Just like my son and all those groceries…. It’s time to put them down and relieve yourself of that burden.
Not because someone else can carry them better. But because you have a loving Father in heaven who longs to see your arms do what they were designed to do.
Embrace Him back.
It’s who you really are. All that “stuff” can sit on the floor for a while.
*this "story" came from an Immanuel Process a client of mine experienced during a private Life Coaching session. She gave her permission for me to share it in hopes that it would be just what you needed to hear too.
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