Endurance for the Journey, Grief, Hope, Lighten Your Load, Love, Words of Endurance

Lighten Your Load: By Establishing Your Priorities

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith,
let us strip off every weight that slows us down

When your journey takes you into the valley of suffering, it is so important to assess the load that you are carrying and discard any needless weight. Needless weight will slow you down and eventually burn you out. I know this from my own personal experience.

I always felt responsible for everyone and everything. I honestly once believed that whatever came across my path – God wanted me to take care of. And up until we entered our valley of suffering I did a pretty good job of juggling and carrying all that life threw at us. God soon showed me how ridiculous that belief truly was.

After Dave’s comeback, the breaking of his arm and subsequent surgeries, he required a large amount of care and attention. During this time, Dave was incapacitated and unable to do anything, I was Dave’s caregiver, the single parent to our two young children and also ran our household alone.

But the load became unbearable when I also tried to continue to meet the needs of extended family, friends and even mere acquaintances. Any request that was made of me I tried to fulfill – I could not say no – I wanted to please everyone. I remember thinking – isn’t this what God expects from me?

Of course, I could not sustain that unrealistic load and I collapsed under the weight of it all. In order to be restored and endure this journey, I needed to establish what my priorities were, reassess the load I was carrying and strip off any needless weight.

I was surprised to learn that while my top priorities were my husband and my children, my own personal health was a priority too. I needed to take care of myself physically, emotionally and spiritually so that I would be strong enough to take care of Dave and the kids – this was not being selfish but selfless. What a relief – it was OK for me to take care of me!

“…love your neighbor as yourself.”

I casted needless weight when I learned the truth that the extra burdens that I had been carrying had not been placed there by God but by me. God did not expect me to take care of every need that came across my path. I had the right to set boundaries and say no to lesser priorities so I would be able to take care of my higher priorities. What a revelation for me – what freedom!

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
JOHN 8:32

Praise God that He is not the taskmaster that I thought He once was! I learned the complete opposite to be true …

Then Jesus said,
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you.
Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
MATTHEW 11:28-30

Praise God for His Truth. He helped me lighten my load and enabled me to endure. Establish your priorities – allow Him to lighten your load so that you too may endure your journey.

On the journey with you,
Jan Dravecky