The Weight Around Our Necks

    I am a lover of words.  They can pack a punch, and yes, they can hurt us.  I keep visible items around me everyday that challenge me to the core to BE who God created me to be, and to love people no matter what. I’m also pretty particular about surrounding myself with any words that may be contradictory to how I live, or want to live, my life. If I can’t jump on board with the message fully, I typically don’t wear it, post it, tattoo it on me (yes, really). Why? Simply because I can be oh so very human and that sticker I might put on my car may say one thing, but my road rage may be saying quite another.  I just don’t want to be an oxymoron.

  

File_000About a year ago, give or take, a song captured my heart. Its words woke me up to the reality that I had been living life out MY way, and my days ended more often than not, empty. Ever been flat out sick of yourself? That was me. It was in those days that I heard these words, “I found my life when I laid it down.” (“Touch the Sky”, Hillsong) It was if God had sent me those slap-you-upside-the-head messages I have to have from time to time.  “Amy, stop carrying the weight of YOU around your neck. Let me show you life to the fullest!” That day, the words of that song literally lifted a ton of bricks off of me.

 

We’re pretty good at overthinking, over-complicating, over-controlling our lives – all of its burdens (many of which we make), all of its interactions (many of which we assume mean one thing, but mean another) and all of the MUSTs (many things we think we HAVE to do or have in order to have it all) – at the end of the day have us feeling like we’ve carried the weight of the world on our shoulders. Those things which we bind up around our necks choke out the life  God meant for us to live, and can be seen in the lack of time we have for Him, or for our friends and family, or the lonely days when we feel we have no one all because we’ve been chasing a life that is really no life at all. You’ve felt it, haven’t you? That empty, what is it all for, life. Promises made that He’d be your #1, only to be broken when something else better came along to fill up a void. Friend, let me tell you a little secret…He is, and forever will be, the ONLY void filler in this life. John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” What does the life thief look like in your life? Maybe it’s working overtime just to have something you really don’t need? Maybe it’s a relationship that you don’t need to be in, or maybe it’s being so busy that you say, “I’ll see you in church Sunday”, but something else ‘better’ comes along. What’s the result? Forsaking the BEST thing for the NEXT best thing. We all probably know the right answer, but the grip of wearing the chain of it all around our necks is strong.

 

Today, maybe it’s ONE move toward the Father that is all you need to feel like you catch your breath. The words to a song put life to my heart that day a year ago.  A gentle reminder that I absolutely do NOT have to do it all, but He can do it all through me. Nice, isn’t it? Sweet sister, He is truly all we need to put anything that happens after Him in perspective.  The abundant life…His promise, His fulfillment.

“For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere.” Psalm 84:10a. It is. It truly is.

 

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