Carrying Burdens - But No Longer Alone
"It sounds like you have carried many heavy burdens." These were the words from my counselor last fall.
I wasn't sure how to respond. There were moments of silence as I realized the amount of pain that my family had gone through, and the emotions I hid inside.
When I started counseling, I began unraveling all of the painful memories from the last several years. At first it wasn't easy. I wasn't used to opening up to someone I didn't know. Going to sessions took courage and strength. But, as I started to talk through what I had gone through, part of me started to heal emotionally.
What didn't make sense to me at the time was the tears that continued for several weeks, even in moments that should have brought joy. I finally transferred to my dream university, started teaching more, and was given opportunities to share my story. But, joy was not always there.
Even when I gathered with friends at college or dance, I would feel depressed inside. I would sit in my car almost every morning and cry. The more I cried, the more I started to isolate myself because the pain was too severe.
In truth, I was carrying heavy burdens on my shoulders. For too long, I let myself believe that it would be too painful to let anyone in. I didn't want my friends to know how much I was suffering inside.
Then something changed. I went to a church service last month. This is not normal for me. For about two years, I have gone into the habit of watching most services from home. Part of that is because of the current circumstance. Then there is also the amount of energy it takes in the morning. The fatigue became a barrier from attending church in person.
As I sat in the sanctuary of my church, I heard the song "Run to the Father" for what seemed like the first time. I have known of this beautiful piece of music. But, that morning, the lyrics brought tears to my eyes.
The words, "I've carried a burden for too long on my own.." brought together an image of movement. I started to picture a dance about laying down suffering to God. It represented how much I needed support.
This song reminded me not to hide away. I shouldn't be afraid to let others help carry my burdens. Most of all, I need to remember to always turn to the Lord.
Then a couple of weeks ago, I was reminded again of this message. I attended chapel along with other students on my campus. The speaker mentioned something about carrying burdens. He asked for students who felt a step of courage to stand up if they were struggling in some way.
In the past, I would have stayed seated. But, as I stood up, I noticed others around me who were also struggling. I felt encouraged because it wasn't just me. That morning provided me with the answer that I needed. Carrying burdens is something no one should ever face alone.
If you are carrying heavy burdens, lean on help from the Lord. Also, find those trusted friends or counselors with who you can share. Don't let these burdens lay heavy on your shoulders, but take a step of courage to reach out. You might be surprised at the amount of people you know who are feeling this way.
As heavy as these burdens can be, let’s not continue trying to hold it all together. Let others carry these burdens with you.
Music to Encourage
Run to the Father - Cody Carnes
Shoulders - For King & Country