I had been slighted, forgotten, ignored. Their words had left me feeling unimportant and invisible; their actions had left me feeling rejected and inconsequential. I had been overlooked and it hurt. It broke my heart because I thought I could trust them. I thought they loved me and I knew I loved them. We were friends, after all. Close friends.
I sat in my bathroom, tears pouring down my face, wondering if it was worth bringing it up to them. Did they even notice? Would they think I was being oversensitive and dramatic? Would they apologize in true surprise or would they dismiss me as exaggerating? I was afraid of the confrontation because I was feeling raw and insecure about our friendship as it was.
So I let liquid disappointment pour out from my soul and my first attempt at reaching up to the Lord was a tirade of accusations towards my offenders. I ranted about their insensitivity and their lack of understanding. I raged about the unfairness of the situation and I bemoaned my own thin skin and my sensitive nature. I was angry and I was broken-hearted and I wanted his audience and his sympathy.
I wanted to hear God say that I should approach them to let them know in no uncertain terms how they had made me feel. I wanted to hear that I was right, that I deserved an apology, and that I was justified in demanding one. That He would be my avenger and my shield bearer.
But He didn’t. And I should have known.
The One who had been slighted, rejected, and broken in worse ways than I could even imagine, who did not defend himself, who was quiet and gentle like a lamb led to the slaughter had these words for me: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 to bear, and the burden I give you is light (Matthew 11:28-29).
And slowly, very slowly, as my soul began to settle, I began to understand. He wanted me to leave on the altar of that bathroom the heavy burdens under which I was collapsing: my pain and my disappointment, my injured pride and my self-righteousness, my unforgiving spirit and my need for restitution, my insecurity and my need for recognition, my self-pity and my indignation, my frustration and my anger, my requirement for fairness and even my desire for an apology.
He was asking me to let it go for the sake of the relationship.
In exchange for the sacrifice He was offering another yoke. A much lighter yoke. A yoke I would not carry alone and that would not bend my heart over with its weight: forgiveness and compassion, peace and joy, service and a worth found in Christ, understanding and mercy, hope and trust, and love.
I unloaded my heart that day before Jesus and I walked away from the pain. I let it go. And the next time I saw them, I hugged them, and laughed with them, and I joyfully prayed for their needs.
And, as He promised, my soul truly did find rest.