| Burden | Something that is carried, oppressive, or difficult to bear
| Bearer | A person or thing that carries or holds something

I used to be a burden bearer. The “used to be” was only a couple of months ago, but I have come a long way. I was proud to carry burdens on my back, like I was a rescuer of sorts. A burden bearer takes on the burdens of others and situations as if they were their own. The burdens become wearisome and heavy, but that is okay, because carrying a burden helps, right?

I used to lose a night of sleep worrying about a project that was due the next day or a conversation that I needed to have. I used to be so focused on things outside of my control that I could not enjoy the moment I was in. How sad is that? I have spent more tears, energy, headaches, anxious moments, worry, and sleepless nights on things I have zero control over. I decided that I no longer wanted to live this way, and you can too.

A couple of months ago, I went to SOZO (Bethel’s Holistic Prayer Counseling). I knew it was something I needed to do because I never talked with anyone after battling depression. I have been on a journey to bring dead things back to life. As a counselor myself, good holistic counseling was a natural step for me, and it ended up being the catalyst I needed.

Side note… It is good to talk with someone. It is okay to be vulnerable. I strongly believe everyone should meet with a counselor throughout the span of his or her lifetime. You could see a licensed counselor, a pastor, or a mentor. It does not matter what your story is, how difficult or easy, talking with someone trustworthy helps you. Period.

Back to my life of being a burden bearer… My husband is the opposite, and it is annoying. He lives without worry. The common phrases I hear…

Relax
Let it go
It’s not a big deal
Whatever
It is what it is

I love all those phrases. They are my favorite. (Sarcasm)

I hate to admit this, but these phrases usually speak to exactly what I need to do.

I have learned that bearing burdens does ZERO good for the person or situation I was taking that burden on for. Living burdened is bad for your health, relationships, purpose, and joy. It is hard to be fully present in life when you are burdened by circumstances outside of your control or domain.

With that said, there are good burdens… yes, I know I just spoke terribly of burdens, but there are two different kinds. One is a burden you take on yourself; the other is one that God gives you.

Amos was a burden bearer. In fact, Amos in Hebrew means, “Burden Bearer”. He lived up to his name, as God called him to bring an unwelcomed message of repentance to Israel. Amos did not wake up one day and decide to take the burden of an entire Nation on his back, God chose him. It was then up to Amos to either embrace the burden or run from it. I would argue that running from a God-Given burden would leave you with a lifetime of asking, “What if?” You may think you found freedom, but a comfortable life outside of your calling is just the opposite. True freedom is found in the embrace of what you were created to do, reaching whom you were created to reach.

The best part about a God given burden is that you do not bear it alone. How cool is that? God gives you a burden and then He helps you carry it. All He asks of you is that you are obedient and willing. Obedience could be as simple as you opening your mouth when you see injustice. As simple as buying a plane ticket to Honduras to build an orphanage. As simple as extending a friendly smile to the cashier at Wal-Mart.

Join me in my quest to stop the enemy’s burden bearing game. Break the cycle. He wants you distracted, worried, frustrated. The more you focus on things outside of your domain, the easier it is to keep you from stepping into your calling.

Take a moment to think over your life…

What burdens are you holding that do not belong to you? Ask God to help you. He WANTS to take your burdens. Freedom is within reach.

What burdens are you called to bear? What simple step do you need to take? It is time to live in the freedom of your God-Given domain. The territory belongs to you. Take it.

– Meg Hope