In Bible class at school, we split off into groups: the freshmen and sophomore guys, the freshmen and sophomore girls, the junior and senior guys, and the junior and senior girls. In our junior/senior girls group, we’re going through a book called Graceful: Letting Go of Your Try-Hard Life by Emily Freeman. It’s a study for young women about the many things we hide behind and the freedom of letting go and letting God. This is a section from a chapter called “The Heroine,” a section I read and said, “Wow.”
There is an intimate beauty to be found in admitting you don’t know everything. There is freedom, the kind you feel when you let go of the rope after playing tug-of-war. When my friend Faith and I went to New York to see Wicked on Broadway, we stayed with some friends living in Brooklyn. One night before dinner, we decided to head across the bridge to Central Park and ride one of those horse-drawn carriages. As soon as I settled into the seat, squeezed between my college girlfriends, the first thing I did was plop my heavy, touristy bag on the floor of the carriage.
Imagine this with me: what if I had continued to wear that bag on my back? My friends would have said, “Girl, take a load off. Put that pack down and enjoy the ride!” And what if I would have said, “Oh no, y’all. I can’t do that. I wouldn’t want the horse to have to work so hard.”
They would have called me an idiot because, duh, the horse was already carrying the load. No need for me to carry it too. But heroines don’t want to be high-maintenance. We don’t want to be seen as needy or weak. As a result, we live life like a girl carrying her own pack on a carriage ride. God is already carrying your load. Why do you insist on carrying it too?
In case you didn’t already know, I love analogies. Analogies are my favorite. They bring things into a whole new light, and often, it’s easier to understand an analogy than the story itself. That was true in this case, for me at least. We know God is sovereign. He’s got control of everything, and He’s holding you, and He’s carrying your burdens, and so on and so forth. We know that. But yet we insist still on carrying the weight of the world on our own shoulders. We try to manage everything on our own. Even though this particular book applies this to girls, it’s not just us. It’s everyone. Why? Because we like control, and we like feeling like we can handle things. It’s a whole lot of responsibility, but we as people are willing to take it on because we like to deal with things ourselves. At the very least, I want control of my own life and my own problems, because they’re my problems. I don’t want to be seen as needy or weak, so I struggle along on my own.
It’s not a bad thing to want to deal with things ourselves. After all, we’re only human. But in trying to take on responsibility for everything, we become the girl (or guy) carrying her (his) own bag on the carriage ride. We don’t want to be high-maintenance or hard to manage, so instead of putting our loads down, we try to carry them ourselves, so as not to “be a burden” to someone else. We even think we’re being burdens to God! But we aren’t and could never be burdens to Him. In fact, He’s saying, “Child, what are you doing? Relax. I got this!” Matthew 11:28 was spoken by Jesus Himself, and it says, “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” He wants your burdens. He’s already carrying them, but He wants you to relax, take a load off, and give them up willingly. Won’t you allow Him to help you?