“I am an inconvenience to the people around me.”
How many times have you felt this way? How many times have you apologized to someone after talking about the hard things going on in your life? How many times have you refrained from reaching out to someone in a time of need in your own life because you didn’t want to burden them with your problems?
The biggest lie we believe as human beings is that we are an inconvenience and a burden to the people around us, to the people who care about us.
Let me clearly state right now: that is a lie. You are not an inconvenience.
I want to share a little bit about my own struggle with falling prey to this lie. I have a friend who I frequently text on the bad days. He’s one of my best friends. We’ve been friends since high school. He’s seen me through a lot of my life and a lot of trials. The reason I turned to him is that I can text him and half the time he doesn’t respond because he knows that what I actually need is just someone to listen to me. Which is wonderful. But for years I would text him a super long text message about whatever was currently hard and would then feel guilty and like I was burdening him with my problems so I would send a “I’m sorry text message” and he would almost always respond to those texts telling me I didn’t need to apologize. He would tell me that I wasn’t an inconvenience or a burden to them. He would remind me that we are not meant to walk this life alone. Jesus didn’t walk alone and we aren’t meant to walk alone either.
After he told me this basically weekly for years that I finally started to hear what he was saying. Now I consciously have to stop myself from sending an apology text or saying “I’m sorry” to someone I’m talking to in person. It’s a regular, daily battle, that I’m getting better at fighting.
You are not an inconvenience. As a human being, we each have emotions and feelings. We all desire to be loved, to be wanted, to be cared for. We desire to know we are not alone, yet we feel that we are supposed to fight our battles alone.
Many things in our world strip us of our dignity and worth. We are always trying to label ourself by the things that we do, not who we are as a person. You are not what you do. You are not the challenges you go through. You are an amazing person. You are a beautiful person. You have a smile that lights up the room. You are important. You matter. Each person on this earth is unique. We each have a unique perspective to offer the world. We each have something to teach the world that no one else can because we are each so uniquely created.
The next time you feel like the challenges in your life our inconvenience to the people around you I challenge you to remember that you are not meant to walk this world alone and you are not fighting your battles alone.
Jesus was tempted with every sin. He struggled and he hurt while he was here. A friend who I hold very close to my heart recently came to me with a big, hard thing that happened to her. My heart broke for her. I cried after she told me (thanks to compassion and empathy). And I was upset that something like this could happen to someone. The morning after she told me I found myself staring at the crucifix in my room and asking Jesus why this happened to her. And asking Jesus in the heck did he give me such a big heart, a heart that loves so deeply. As I was sitting before our Lord raw and broken I started to realize that if my heart aches this much how much more must Jesus heart ache when his children are broken and wounded. I was telling my friend about my realization and she stopped me and said Amber, not only does Jesus ache for you and for this girl, but he aches with you. Your heart is not aching alone in this situation. Jesus heart is aching with yours. Hmm. shoot.
Think about Jesus time on this earth – he was never alone. Mary, John, and Peter were always with him. They journeyed together. And then there were the 12 apostles who were also with him often and then beyond that the many disciples. Jesus did not walk this life alone and he doesn’t mean for us to walk alone either. He is with us in all things, and he places people in our life so we don’t have to walk alone either.
Next time you feel like you are a burden to the people around you, I challenge you to combat that feeling by reaching out and by being vulnerable with someone. Vulnerability frees us to love and be loved. Take a step of faith, and see how much people want to show up for you because all any of us wants in this life is to love and be loved.