When COVID-19 hit, I started the terrible habit of clenching my teeth. I was getting headaches almost everyday for 2-3 weeks straight before I realized what was happening. It took another few days after that to figure out that what was causing my head pain was my jaw being clenched shut unintentionally for way too long a period of time. After taking medicine regularly to help ease this continual headache, it hit me —“Why am I clenching my teeth so much? Oh yes, we’ve been going through the strangest year of our lives. And my body is telling me I need to stop and process this because it is stressed out and upset, even if my brain doesn’t register it.”
Once I finally started processing everything, I realized that while I loved some of the things in my life, I was really angry and sad at others. I simultaneously loved and hated being at home 24/7. I loved it because I’m a homebody, so honestly there are a ton of advantages to staying home (books, cozy bed, recipe experimentation, etc). But I also hated not seeing my friends in person, not being able to travel, living in an apartment where there are literally only two spaces to go between, and more.
During the processing I realized I wasn’t really welcoming God into my space. In fact, I was kind of ignoring Him because I wanted to be okay so badly.
During the processing I realized I wasn’t really welcoming God into my space. In fact, I was kind of ignoring Him because I wanted to be okay so badly. Sure, I attended church at home, read my Bible on occasion, and participated in virtual small groups and daily prayer, but I wasn’t actively welcoming God’s help, and that is crucial.
Psalm 55:22 says, “Pile your troubles on God’s shoulders — He’ll carry your load, He’ll help you out.”
There is a keyword in that verse, and it is the word pile. In order to pile something onto someone you’ve first got to hand it over. Now, I don’t know about you, but if I’m being completely honest sometimes I hold on a little too tightly to my problems because it feels way less risky to carry my backpack full of problems than to hand it over to a God who I can’t visibly see. And yet, if I am going to live out my faith, I have to believe that when God says He’ll carry my load, He means it and will do it. In fact, if I say that I believe that God loves me (which I do), my not piling my troubles on God means that I am stopping my own self from experiencing God’s peace that passes all understanding. All because I am too stubborn to believe God by acting on His word.
Now, this is not a one and done thing. That is why Romans 12:2 says “…be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” We have to renew our minds weekly, daily, hourly, to get over our own stubbornness. How? There are multiple ways. I have reminders like, “God’s got this,” or, “He’ll never let me down”. Sometimes I have to blast a worship song and sing it at the top of my lungs, especially to tune out my anxieties. When I have no words, I will read Psalms out loud (highly recommend). And when none of it works, I remind myself that God still loves me even when I can’t let go. Tomorrow is a new day and I will continue to do my best at handing God my pile of troubles. Will you?
Laura Victoria is the Communications Director for The Life Church. You can catch her doing anything from reading a good fiction novel or baking, to hiking/being outdoors, to watching anything Jane Austen related or Avatar: The Last Airbender. She has a passion for the church, creativity, and helping people find freedom in Jesus.
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