My Lightened Load

The day was challenging and my husband knew it. No matter how hard I try to conceal my frazzled nerves for his sake, he sees right through me. It’s a hidden blessing. And this day, he didn’t even hesitate. Simply offered to take our son out for a bit alone. Before I knew it, I was nestled in my chair catching up on my Bible in 90 days reading. With just the tick of the clock to keep me company.

Looking back, I see how God set the stage perfectly. How He ensured my undivided attention while I read it. The census sin of David summarized in I Chron 21.

I don’t expect you to remember the story. It’s mentioned a couple of times in the Old Testament, but is generally just that: mentioned. To recap in my own words, satan tempted David to take a census of the people of Israel. When David instructed his army commander Joab to do just that, he was warned it was a sin. David insisted. And the Lord was not happy.

God was very displeased with the census, and he punished Israel for it.
Then David said to God,
‘I have sinned greatly by taking this census.
Please forgive my guilt for doing this foolish thing.’
I Chronicles 21:7-8 NLT

No sooner did I get to the 8th verse and the churning started. My hands turned clammy and I knew. God wanted me to take a second look. There was a lesson for me here.

I read it over and over. My Lenten journey had just begun and I was certain this was something God wanted me to leave at the cross this year. But I didn’t know how it pertained to me.

My first thought was obvious. A census has a lot to do with stats. Am I focusing too much on my stats? Maybe blogging stats or Facebook/Twitter friend stats?

I was sure that was it and prayed for forgiveness. I offered to ignore those stat pages. They don’t mean anything to me, anyway, as I have no idea how many people God wants me to reach. And I went to bed thinking this would be my easiest sacrifice yet.

When I woke the next morning, I knew I was missing it. I only had part of it. There was still more lesson to be learned.

Friends, it took my entire journey to the cross this year to see it. After finally asking for help from a few friends (thank you, friends), I came to discover what God was trying to show me.

When my heart was really ready to hear, this is what I felt Him say to me:

“My child — you matter to me. You can bring Me glory by being the way I made you to be. I don’t need the multitude, I need you. You to show up and be my voice. Don’t worry about who you’re speaking to, just have your words come from me. Don’t worry about making mistakes, I see your heart. And intentions do matter.

“My beloved, it is you I want. I have big plans for you. And how many friends, readers, posts, even children you have doesn’t change the way I feel about you. You see, it’s you I want to have the relationship with. And if you will give me your whole heart, I can do wonders through you. Let me take care of the details. That’s not where joy comes from, anyway.

“My love, leave those worries at the cross. Give them to me and I’ll replace them with a peace that passes your understanding.  Keep your eyes on Me, child, and I’ll take care of the rest.

“Let Me delight in taking care of you. Let Me show you what I’m capable of. Let Me bring you closer to Me. For you matter. You are not just a number to Me.”

On Good Friday, I did just what He asked of me. I left those worries at the cross. I don’t intend to pick them up again. Thank You, Lord, for carrying my burdens. With this light load I can be what You’ve made me to be.

How about you? Do you have a load that needs to be lightened? Do you have any worries to leave at the cross? It’s never too late. He’s ready and waiting. For you matter to Him.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

Back at my friend Emily’s today for Imperfect Prose!

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28 thoughts on “My Lightened Load

  1. “Let Me delight in taking care of you. Let Me show you what I’m capable of. Let Me bring you closer to Me. For you matter. You are not just a number to Me.”

    Beautiful Nikki!

  2. Thank you Nikki for this post. Your words are pure sentiments of my heart. I was praying and jornaling this morning and my thoughts are the same. I need to grasp and hold onto Gods words, that I matter to Him.
    “My beloved it is you I want.” WOW….I love that! Those seven words came right on time!

    • So encouraged to know I’m not the only one who struggles with remembering this, La’Sonnia! Thank you so much for sharing with me. those words came at me, too. Hard. Wasn’t expecting them… Let’s strive together to grasp it. We matter! He’d pick each of us. every time.

  3. Beautiful post, Nikki. I’m sure every blogger can relate. We’ve all been bitten by the stat-bug at some point or another. But it’s so freeing when we finally lay that down and simply focus on Him and what He’s trying to teach us.

    I love your heart. And I can just imagine the Father smiling upon you.

    {HUGS}

    • Thank you, Denise, for always making me feel normal. I still can’t believe I was bitten, since I have no idea what all those numbers mean. But, I can see how easily it would be to get wrapped up in them and I refuse to go down that road! Glad He showed me early!
      I must admit, the hardest lesson here for me was Him telling me my number of children doesn’t matter. that tore my wound open wide and has taken me the longest to heal from…But I’ve done it. And I’m determined to leave that at the cross, too.
      Thanks for the hug–I’ll take it today! ; )

    • Oh, friend, that’s exactly why I had so many to lay down this year! And I’m determined to leave them there. as I’m sure I still have more to shed. Love that He refines me at a pace I can handle…and am so honored to be on this journey of striving with you, Laura! You bless me. thank you!

  4. Oh Nikki, how I’d love to sit with you and chat over a delicious mug of coffee or tea. :) Reading your writing just lights up my heart. I’m in a weird place right now, myself. I don’t know if its a stats thing or a directional thing for me, but I feel like I need to refocus myself and my purpose. I’m taking a few days to listen for God’s lead. I think I have a general idea of where He wants me to go next in my writing, but I need to make sure it’s not just my idea or my thoughts, but rather His prompting….His nudge. Thanks for always being such an inspiration dear friend. :)

    Blessings to you,
    ~Rosann

    • Friend, when can you come over! I’d love to take you up on that, too. You bless me so. I read your post this afternoon and prayed for you because I feel like I know what that feels like. And I know exactly what you mean–ensuring it’s His plan and not your own motives that lead you. I’m certain He will ensure you hear Him during this time of seeking. You take as long as you need to. And if you ever want me to share some of my own experiences with you, I’d be more than willing. Just shoot me an email.

      and I just realized you won’t get this reply on your twitter handle — I’ll tweet you instead! :)

  5. Love this post friend!! Each time I hit publish I pray that He will use my humble {sometimes silly} words and stories to reach one person who needs to hear them. And He does! Every time!!

    • Isn’t it amazing — I don’t know why I ever doubt. He always finds a way to reach someone when I’m open to be used by Him! What a blessing! And so are you. I know–I’ve been one who’s been blessed by your words and stories, too! ; )

  6. Thanks for sharing your heart with us, Nikki – especially on a topic that we (as bloggers) relate to so well. I loved how you put this: “Don’t worry about who you’re speaking to, just have your words come from me.” When I get side-tracked with stats from time to time, He always brings me back to this – that my focus is listening to Him, and sharing from an overflowing heart from what comes from Him. This love relationship with Him is what counts and is most important. Appreciated reading your thoughts …

    • Oh, so true, Cherry. This love relationship with Him IS what is most important. I’m striving to soak Him all in. and am overwhelmed to see Him respond so when my heart is willing. What a blessing! And so are you. Thank you for sharing with me. Always appreciate your thoughts!

  7. smiles…you are not a stat, but special yourself…and there is nothing you can do to earn that…it is given freely….i think too that sometimes we can get caught up in ourselves…and our worldly stats give us a false feeling of that love….but it is more for sure…

  8. I know that social media is a thing that I struggle to put in the right place. Sometimes I want to replace the things that matter with the comment count or the stat counter. Thank you for sharing, it helps to know I’m not alone. It’s such a blessing to hear how God is working in the lives of others. He does want us, me and you, and not the crowd but just the person. I love that you pointed out His desire for relationship, not popularity.

    • Thank you, JoAnn! it is a comfort to know I’m not the only one who struggles with things that seem so petty when I look back at them. Striving to keep my eyes on just Him and our relationship. and trusting everything else will fall into place as a result. He’s capable to work it out…

      Thrilled to have met you through Imperfect Prose!

  9. I am hearing this too Nikki, it’s a sacred echo. Read a great post on this topic regarding stats from Jon Acuff today. I re-posted on my FB writer page. But really, this is all about relationships isn’t it? With Him and others or what we have to write is just meaningless.

    • Thank you, Shelly. I saw your link on FB and read Jon’s words today. It was a great post–thank you! And yes…it is about relationships. Striving to keep that my number one priority. (and Manning has met my kindle! yay!)

    • You are such a blessing, Emily.
      I simply feel like I’m a woman He pursues. And some days I let Him catch me….striving to have some days turn to everyday…
      Hugs to you, friend.

  10. Well, I guess being incredibly behind on reading my favorite blogs worked out good for me today! I truly needed this message today. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself and for being such a faithful blessing.

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