Some years ago, a sister and brother in Christ had a baby girl whom the doctors said would not survive the pregnancy. Once she was born, the doctors said she would not have long to live (below is a stock photo, not actual).
Immediately after birth, baby was hooked up to many tubes and machines. I felt led to pray and offer the family support. One of the things I did was visit mom and baby in the hospital.
Talking to mom was easy. The way God wired me … I do not get spooked when people share their emotional suffering. After all, He made me a counselor before I knew Him.
But the baby was another matter. Oh I loved her, prayed for her life, but could barely look at her tiny body connected to this and that. (Please know this little girl is thriving in her home in spite of physical limitations God gave her).
It’s more than simply feeling inept.
It’s empathic weight.
Growing up in an alcoholic home, I “fixed” every situation I could. Those I couldn’t, I packed a huge sack full of worry, crammed helplessness atop of that. Then, placing my feet shoulder-width apart, bracing myself, I tossed it upon my shoulders.
I didn’t know one day I would meet my Savior, whose shoulders carry our Government, our Peace, our entire world’s sin.
This empathic weight doesn’t happen much anymore, now that I know my Lord and Savior, now I know where to unload ALL burdens, now that I know what true surrender to Him means.
So why is it I get weak in the stomach when I pick up my son who just had wisdom teeth surgery?
I told Jason it was the same twisty feeling in my stomach when I picked him up from surgery four years ago.
Did I pray enough?
I prayed, perhaps more for Braedon than myself.
This visceral reaction is old. My gut is trapped: you must be responsible; to be responsible is to be alone and competent.
That’s only part of it. I can see this part now because He lifted the veil in His healing of my heart.
Underneath the surface, where He has tended the soil, weeded the chokers, replaced dysfunctional legacies … He is growing roots, planting anew, shining His light on who I am in Him.
It is not a nurse, hallelujah!
I pray I am a reflection of Christ first and foremost as I love my family and those around me. God has given me gifts in preaching, teaching, and writing. It is my responsibility to steward them, remaining in His will as I do.
Do you have any idea how freeing it is to let go of the need to be everything to everybody?
If you are still there, feeling responsible for too many things, be strong only in Him, not yourself. He will walk you through the letting go.
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you abide in My Word, you are truly My disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32, NLT).
This freedom didn’t just appear in my soul. It took deliberate prayer and leaning into Him, reading His Word, opening my heart to hear His confirmations of who He says I am, and who He says I am not.
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (2 Corinthians 5:17, NIV).
Praise the Lord! We don’t have to everything to everyone. That’s His job, thank you Jesus!
Feel free to start a conversation here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
How is God shaping you?
Who does Jesus say you are? And who does He say you are not?
Join me later this week for reflections of God’s work in our family amidst the surgery, etc. Our Braedon is only one day after surgery. He does have some swelling and some discomfort, but I believe the Lord is healing!
All photos in this post are from Pixabay.com.
Have a beauty-full day no matter the weather.
Love in Christ,