It’s been a few months since I’ve made time for blogging. Life got real lifey this summer when we had some major changes taking place with close family members. On top of that, the littlest Burleigh started preschool this fall, so I’ve added an additional drop off and pick up location and time to the Mom Taxi service schedule. How can one little change like that make us moms feel like we’re running around with our hair on fire!? Writing took a backseat while I processed a lot of these late summer changes. Some of the things we were going through weren’t really mine to share first, and I owed it to my family members to let them share on their own timeline.

To be honest, I didn’t also know what to write about or how to begin processing the weight that I was feeling, in particular from my mom’s cancer diagnosis, among the other shifts happening in our life. I just felt heavy.

I didn’t stop pressing in to my faith through all of this, even though I paused writing about it. So now I want to share part of what I learned in hopes that it will help someone else who’s lugging around some heaviness in their life.

I love a good object lesson, and the one that God impressed on me in this season was a backpack. I was carrying around many heavy things in my metaphorical backpack. In particular, I felt very burdened about my mom’s health. We had a lot of big decisions to make regarding her treatment plan. It’s also not easy to consider and to face the mortality of our parents. This among other things was the heaviness I was feeling, just like an overloaded, weighty backpack.

The Scripture that I have clung to in this intense season we have been going through is Matthew 11:28-30. It has come up continually and everywhere in my life. The verses say, “Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Through this Scripture, I felt God asking me to take off my backpack. Big problems and small problems alike, He showed me that none of these were my burdens to carry. Jesus offers me his yoke, his way to bear the weight of my problems – it’s through entrusting them to him.

The problems of life will never go away – we live in a broken world. But if we continue to carry the weight of our problems, have we truly entrusted them to him? Is there really such a thing as “trying” to trust God? As my five-year-old pointed out at random one day in the car, we either do trust, or we don’t! There’s no in between. You’re either bearing the weight of the backpack, or you’re not.

Jesus offers us a better way to live in the midst of our trials, that’s his yoke, and according to his words, it’s easy. When we trust him with the weight of our burdens, things that truly are not ours to carry in the first place, we can experience the rest he described in Matthew.

As I chose trust, I began to experience God’s peace. As I began to focus on all that is true about God and all that he is able to do, the weight that I was carrying lifted. I decided that no matter what I did, or what we decided, God was able to handle the outcome. There wasn’t any wrong decision we could make that would be impossible for him to correct. I’m not responsible for my mom’s life – that’s a God-sized job! Phew – talk about lifting the pressure! Some of us need to realize that we weren’t created for that kind of pressure. We aren’t God! We’re not powerful enough to derail his plans!

This summer I saw my mom through two surgeries and the decision to begin chemotherapy this fall. Those are big, weighty decisions. But God led every step of the way, and I can honestly say that I have walked and am continuing to walk with peace through those things. It’s all because I made the decision to trust him. I took off the backpack, left it at the cross. I’m embracing his yoke, the Jesus way, walking in peace, rest, and freedom from heavy burdens I was never made to carry. He’s been right there with me, bearing the weight of it all.

Are you ready to walk that way? Today can be your day – Take off your backpack, leave it at the cross, walk in Jesus’ yoke, experience his rest and peace. Your problems with be there either way, but you have the privilege of being invited to trust Jesus. He’ll carry the weight for you if you allow him. Choose trust. You will not regret it.

Catherine Burleigh
Tablet of Her Heart