Encouragement for the heavy-hearted

There are some things we carry around that are way too heavy. They weigh down our spirits. They crush our hearts. They dampen our joy. They are heavy — way too heavy to carry.

Heartache. Sorrow. Stress. Rejection. Illness. Loneliness. Loss.

We can’t always avoid those heavy things — they attach themselves to our lives and often, we are stuck with them. But, that doesn’t mean they have to become cement in our souls, weighing us down and wearing us out.

Those heavy things are like bricks. And bricks are used to build.

When it comes to that heavy thing (or things) in your life, what if you use it to build? What if you transfer the weight to something constructive? Here’s what I mean.

We can think of the heavy stuff in our lives as bricks because just like our trials, bricks are heavy, hard and rough. We can use that brick to either build a bridge or build a wall.

Think about the difference between walls and bridges.

A wall separates, a bridge connects. That heavy thing in your life can be what connects you to God, or it can be what separates you from Him. It all depends on what you do with it.

If you hold onto it, hold it up as an injustice, you use it as a brick that forms a wall of bitterness. Every time you deal with your heavy thing, every time you feel its weight, you stack another brick, compounding the hurt, elevating the injury. Before you know it, brick by brick, you have built a big wall of bitterness or resentment or anger that separates you from the God you need most.

Or, you can lay it down.

If you lay it down, that brick begins to form a path — a path that leads you straight into the arms of the God you need most. The more you lay it down, the shorter that bridge becomes — the closer you are to God.

Sometimes you have to lay it down over and over and over. I sure do.

I refuse to let my blindness become a wall that separates me from God. Not only do I not want that because I really do love Him, but truly, I also need Him.

I need Him with all my being. I know I can be blind with God, but there is no way I can be blind without Him. That’s why I lay down the hurt, the questions, the stress… I lay down my heavy brick of blindness every single day.

How do you lay it down so it becomes a bridge rather than a wall?

Oh, my friend, I wish there were an easy, four-step formula! But there’s no formula, there is only faith. Faith to let go of what hurts you — faith to believe that God has a purpose. Faith to be honest with God. Faith enough to lay it down and leave it there — under His Sovereign care.

Instead of holding tight to the hurt, open your hands before Him and share your heart with Him.

The beautiful thing is that when you open your hands and you lay it down, you can pick up grace. And the even more beautiful thing about grace is that it is stronger than you. It can take the weight of that heavy thing you carry.  It can absorb the load so you don’t feel so alone.

The brick may always be heavy, but it doesn’t have to be a source of isolation, it can be a stepping stone to intimacy. Can you lay it down?

You will never move forward if you don’t lay it down. A bridge connects you to God. A wall separates you from Him. Let’s be bridge builders. When we lay down the heavy stuff in our lives, we build a bridge of surrender — and we can walk that path every single day— straight into the arms of God.

What do you need to lay down today?

Now read this: If you wish you had a different story

This post originally appeared on JenniferRothschild.com and was republished with permission. 

Jennifer Rothschild has written 14 books, including the bestseller Lessons I Learned in the Dark and Me, Myself, and Lies. She’s been featured on Good Morning America and Dr. Phil and is the founder of Fresh Grounded Faith events. Jennifer became blind at age 15 and now helps others live beyond limits.

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