‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’
For so long I felt burdened with a heavy burden. This went on from about the age of 14 to the age of 23 or 24.
i was living like the Christian life was supposed to be a huge burden. i lived the fast life, life in the fast lane, where I didn’t have time to slow down, i didn’t have time to think or to spend much time in His Word or grounding myself in the truth.
it often made me run ragged, exhausted, tired, sad, and anxious.
But in Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus says the exact opposite.
it makes me think. I wasn’t living the Christian life; I was trying to live ‘Emily’s version of the Christian life’, that was more about me than Jesus. i didn’t slow down to think, to praise God and be still in the silent moments He gave me. instead I tried to just move on and fill up those silent moments.
I was always running, not just physically going out on a run, but my mind was running. My mind was running with all the things that could go wrong, the relationships that I’ve messed up, the bad things I’ve done, but I didn’t focus on:
the redeeming blood of Jesus
the victory of Jesus over sin and death and the grave and the devil
Instead, I was acting like I still have to save myself. I was acting like I had to do enough for my family, my church family, to be enough.
and I was always anxious.
i would go on a run, and all I could think about was all the things ‘I needed’ to do when I got home.
i didn’t think about all the things God is doing right now, while I’m on the run.
every time I did the dishes I would go over and over, in my head, the things i still needed to do in order to be worth it and productive.
it’s not that God doesn’t love a cheerful worker, a daughter or a son that wants to do everything to the glory of God, but I was doing it all for the wrong reason.
that’s why it felt like a heavy burden.
So I had to step back.
I had to slow down.
God slowed me down and showed me that I couldn’t be a part of everything. i couldn’t be everyone’s friend to an equal level, but I needed to invest more deeply in those close relationships God put right in front of me.
Although, for a while, I was too fearful of saying, ‘Yes’ to anything, so I hid out for too long, worried about what I should do and shouldn’t do.
Yet this whole past year taught me something:
It’s okay to say, ‘Yes’ to the things that God places in your path, and it’s ok to say, ‘No’ to the things that I thought maybe i ‘should do’, but they were just the straw that would break the camel’s back.
I learned that i don’t have to do everything.
But I learned that if it was just fear holding me back from something, maybe I needed to say, ‘Ok, let’s do this.’
I want to walk in the Spirit, and not by fear of circumstances or doing too little or too much, and I’m still learning that lesson.
That’s why I love these gals: (Each one of them in a way has encouraged me to embrace the slow moments of journaling, the joys of saying ‘Yes’ to the right soul filling things, and no to those things that won’t build you up and grow you)
It’s ok to live slow.
That’s why I love fall. I love how the world seems to kind of slow down and go back to routine.
There’s time to think, time to meditate on all the amazing things God has done during the whole year in your life.
And that’s why I want to take these next couple months slow, as the Lord allows, and not feel rushed, like I HAVE to go to the next season. Instead I want to embrace.
Who else wants to embrace a bit of slow with me?