I have been noticing the past few months that as I take a quick break from the pressure cooker of responsibilities and obligations in order to choose activities that encourage me to breathe deeply, I am suddenly overcome with sadness.
It happened one day as I chose to take a quick walk in a park by a river. I had my camera along and was taking photos for memories of this peaceful time. I walked along and suddenly felt as though I was about to burst into tears. Feeling too vulnerable to allow that to happen, I quickly stuffed my feelings away, but remained aware of the nagging ache within.
It happened just yesterday, I stopped at a favorite coffee shop, bought my Americano, and headed back to my car to continue on my drive home. I got into the car, set my coffee down, put my head back breathing deeply, and felt this incredible longing to not have to move. Again, the feelings of sadness filled me, and I pushed them away, starting the car for the drive home.
So, what is this about? I have been thinking and praying about it as I realized it was happening more frequently. I have come to realize through books I have been reading and through intimate times with the Lord that I am yoked to satisfying people. It is a hard yoke to bear. Jesus promises that His yoke is easy and His burden is light (see Matthew 11:28-30).
I have been trying so hard to control everything, to be responsible for everything, to please everyone, to do it all, but I cannot do it. I am yoked to an impossible taskmaster.
So what is the sadness about? The sadness is about my hungry soul. I have been trying to get it fed in so many places, but I never get the nourishment I need. I am left longing, starving, needy, and fragile. Fragile? Me, Miss Independent, Self-Sufficient? Yes, fragile.
I am needy for a place to grow that is safe, where there is food to nourish my soul, and a place to have belonging for my heart. I am needy for the place where the taskmaster isn’t cracking the whip to see how much I can do, or how many appreciate me, or if they are satisfied, but rather where there is unconditional love that I can be held in.
The place I am talking about is this, it is the place where I can put my fragile roots down in the soil of Christ’ love and be free and nourished so that the flower of my true-self can grow. It is being yoked to Him who knows me so well, so intimately that He will lead me in all of life to fulfill His purposes. But, the difference is, there I don’t have to prove myself, because I am already loved and accepted just as I am.
So today I am trying again to find that place, and stay there. It seems that the Lord takes off the heavy burden of the yoke of the other taskmaster, and I am relieved. But all too soon I have put it back on trying to find my own nourishment in the satisfaction and the appreciation of others. I lose sight of the love Christ has for me, I forget about the freedom I have in Him (see Galatians 5:1).
There is a place for the fragile me, for the hungry me, for the heart filled with unfulfilled longings, for the needy self, there is a place in His love for all of me. He is the One who can fully nourish and satisfy me. I know this in my head, but I have to yet learn to live there in that place.
How about you? Is your soul hungry? Or have you found the nourishment of Christ’ love and learned to live there?
I know the tears may still come when I forget that He is the One who meets my needs, it is just a gentle reminder that I have been trying too hard, not resting in His love. There is hope in knowing He will help me in this process because He is my loving Father.