Breaking Down Walls
One big thing that new Christians are often told is to let go of worry, give your daily burdens to God. When I started to reach out to other Christians to help me with my walk I often came across this verse: Psalms 55:22 ,”Cast your burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain you; he shall never let the righteous be moved.” In Bible studies, sermons, and group discussions I was constantly told to turn to God and give Him my stresses over school work, or money troubles, or relational difficulties. They had it ingrained into my mind that if I could only just let my weekly worries go I could live a happy life.
I worked persistently on remembering to give my anxieties to God but still did not feel that those quick prayers were helping as much as I thought they would. I fully understand how important it is to not let petty problems run your life, give them to God daily so you are not consumed with them. However remember that we should not only focus on surface ‘problems’.
Before coming to understand Christianity, I allowed worry to consume me. There were times when I would make myself physically ill over things I didn’t know how to handle alone. I often attributed my ailments to immediate worries like exams and presentations, concerns for family and friends, or other emotionally taxing events. I neglected to dig deeper, not because I was afraid to, but because I didn’t know how. I failed to put two and two together, completely missing the possibility that I was feeling sick over worries bigger than I realized.
In those Bible studies and group discussions I was never asked to take a look at the bigger picture, to think about long-term struggles that I dealt with. It wasn’t until very recently that I realized I had serious burdens I was trying to carry alone. And even after realizing that it still took me several weeks to want to stop carrying them alone. I had to reach the point of desperation before going to God with them.
For the first time in my life I sat down, pen and paper in hand, for the sole purpose of talking to God. I prayed that He would show me everything I was trying to hide and by the end of the hour I had no room left to write. I had eleven bullet points showing major concerns on my heart and beside them were round about dates showing when I started carrying them. There were several things on that paper that I carried for more than ten years. I couldn’t believe I had written what I was reading.
After the initial shock wore off, I opened up my Bible to Psalms 72:12-14 and found this: “For he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help….He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight.” I was oppressing myself and allowing emotional violence to exist inside of my head because I did not deem myself precious to deserve freedom from it. But in a leap of faith, begging Him to show me my own problems, was me crying out to Him for refuge.
I cannot explain the freedom I felt after folding up that piece of paper and throwing it away. My daily burdens are surface problems now, no longer deeply rooted anguish. I’ve allowed God to break down the wall I built between us and open up my heart.