how to get rid of that heavy burden in your chest


Over the last few months I do believe I have been through every emotion known to man. And you know I never exaggerate. :) But it really did feel like it.

Normal life, conflict, exhaustion, sadness, joy, anger, love- it seems like you feel everything more when hormones are involved. Or it could just be that I'm a woman, and I always have. :)

Through it all, God has been so good to me.

When I had been feeling down or overwhelmed or sad, or had a desire to dwell on something that I shouldn't over the past few months, He taught me something that helped me leave those feelings behind and that has without fail, restored my joy.

Every time I think about a situation or want to dwell on something that makes sad, angry, or upset, I ask Him to help me, and here's what He tells my heart:

Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.

Fix your eyes on me, He says to my spirit. Set your mind on what is good- and the only thing that is truly good is Jesus Himself.

Hebrews 12:1-2
1Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Holy, righteous, worthy of praise, full of love and mercy, redeeming the lost and making them new.

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty.

When I ask Him for help, my weighed-down spirit starts to praise Him- I start thinking about who He is, and thanking Him for what He has done. I start focusing on Jesus and giving Him praise, and the burden in my heart really starts to disappear.

Before I know it, I can only dwell on the goodness of God, and He has taken my heart's burden away.

It's completely unexplainable. It's supernatural- no amount of positive thinking will do what this does.

When I fix my eyes on Jesus, the Holy Spirit overcomes my worry, my anxiety, my anger, my sadness by setting my heart on my one true Hope. He reminds me of who is in charge of it all.

No weight in my heart or heavy burden compares to the one who is King over all creation.

There is no hope apart from Him. When I praise Him, I remember my hope is in him alone, and it gives me joy again.

Psalm 42:
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.

I remember one week a couple of months ago, when I was at the peak of the worst part of my sickness that God had been showing me this for the first time. I remember feeling like I had nothing left to give, and I told Him that.

And then God, in my weakness, took me and helped me put my eyes on Him instead of how I felt, or how much I wanted to give up. "Set your eyes on Jesus" became the phrase I couldn't get out of my head, in a good way. I had to repeat it over and over, and it gave my thoughts the right direction every time.

That very Sunday after that week, my friend Ashlee was leading worship with her husband, and the Holy Spirit led her to share what was on her heart about the song we were singing. And oh, I couldn't stop crying when I heard it.

She told us that when she was feeling down the week before, the Lord had reminded her soul to bless Him. She shared that He had showed her that it was not just a phrase that we worship or sing praise to, but a command for our soul to bless the name of the Lord, no matter what we felt like.

Psalm 103
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
2 Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
3 who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
5 who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Oh, how I LOVE the Holy Spirit! The tears came overflowing, because it was the very thing God had been saying to me when I was feeling down that same week. She said it so perfectly, and it was so encouraging to my heart. Our God is so ALIVE!! He is moving and working!! He speaks to us in so many ways!!!

Bless the Lord, O my soul. 

Look on what the Lord has done.

Set your eyes on me, He says. I will make your burdens light.

Matthew 11
 28Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Whatever your weight may be today, I want to encourage you- give it to Jesus by looking to Him for help.

Set your eyes on Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. Just praise Him.

He already knows your burden, and He will make it light.

Bless Him, even when you don't feel like it. When you want to dwell on that one thing that makes your chest heavy- start to praise the Lord for who He is and what He has done.

He is the Lord God Almighty who created the very air you are breathing right now.

What can He not do with your situation?

Praise Him, even when you are sad or hurt or just plain weary. Like Ashlee said so well- command your soul to bless Him.

Pray His Word over and over if you don't know what to say. David said it so well for us:

Psalm 34:
1 I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul makes its boast in the LORD;
let the humble hear and be glad.
3 Oh, magnify the LORD with me,
and let us exalt his name together!
4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant,
and their faces shall never be ashamed.
6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him
and saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
8 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
9 Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints,
for those who fear him have no lack!
10 The young lions suffer want and hunger;
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.

Oh, sweet friend, taste and see that the Lord is good- blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.

It's a promise. And it's true. I can tell you.

Look to Him, and He will give you rest from these troubles and make your burdens light.

Oh, how He is merciful to our stubborn hearts! He helps us in our weakness.

Psalm 28
7 The LORD is my strength and my shield;
in him my heart trusts, and I am helped;
my heart exults,
and with my song I give thanks to him.


Bless the Lord, oh my soul. Trust in Him, my strength and my shield.

He is good, and His mercy endures forever.

Will you fix your eyes and your hope on Him today?






With song, you can give thanks to Him like we did in worship on that Sunday. Did you guess what we were singing? :)




How have you seen Him working in your heart to lift your anxiety? 


Do you have a story of His goodness to you when you felt the heavy weight removed? Please share! :D You might encourage someone else's heart today!


31 comments

Anonymous said...

Oh, thank you for this! I've just come through the emotional and hormonal craziness of early pregnancy, and God used many of these same verses to speak peace into my heart.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 has also been a huge encouragement to me: "Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." It reminds me that no matter what anxieties I'm going through, and whatever questions I have about the future, God's will for me in the present moment is to give thanks. That practice has truly transformed me.

Anonymous said...

Love this. Exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you! <3

Amanda said...

I had to re-read this because it was hard to see through the tears. I am just feeling beyond weighed down with the weight of the world... with issues I have no control over that are consuming my mind and filling my heart with bitterness. I try to pray for those who have offended/betrayed me, then in my very next thought I am re-hashing their offenses and dwelling in anger. I will be writing down and reciting these verses today... as I did feel His peace the moment I started saying them... now to just make HIM my true focus!

Thank you!

Natalie said...

Thank you for writing this, you're speaking into my heart this morning. I've been in a big black pit of despair, envy and bitterness, the pit of misery is called "infertility" I'll never be able to have children and it's a constant sadness that drags me down..and of course it drags my husband down too. I've discovered Christ through this journey and now all that's left is to dwell in Him. To lay my grief and loss at his feet...I'm still learning to leave them there and not keep revisiting. It's constant, it's a heavy lonely sadness that never really leaves. Praying hard that God will help me and then maybe I can help someone else with the same pain...and perhaps through this someone else might come to know God. Thank you xox

Lis said...

Thank you. I forwarded this to a friend who I know needs to read this right now.

Jen said...

I've shared this post on my personal and blog FB pages - what an awesome bit of Bible teaching!

thehomemakerspost.com said...

Love it! I was just perusing my email and felt lead to open this one up. Just what I needed. I was feeling kind of heavy tonight (which I feel like I'm not allowed to feel because I'm blogging on joy for 40 days)...but in any case, talk about perfect timing! Thanks for sharing this,
Amanda

Mandy said...

Oh I love it! Thank you for sharing!! Awesome verse and reminder! :D

Mandy said...

Oh, I'm so sorry Amanda!! I know what you mean! Praying for you, I know He will take them from you, sweet girl!! much love!

Mandy said...

Oh, I'm praying for you Natalie! I'm so so sorry you are going through that. I know that He can and will take it off your heart and make you light again. I am praying for you, and I know others are too! much love to you!

Mandy said...

YAY! :D have a great night, friend! :D

Mandy said...

Oh, thank you for your sweet words and for sharing!

Mandy said...

Oh, I'm so glad it was a blessing to you! Thank you for letting me know, and I'm praying for you tonight!

Sugarplum Grace said...

Yes, I do have a story! I was going through a really rough time in our extended family, to the point of deep, deep depression. It seemed there was no hope and I had prayed until I was blue in the face!!! Then it seemed as if He just lifted my chin, and my eyes met His, and I knew that the things of this earth will pass away... Mourning will turn to joy when our faith is made known to us with our eyes... HOPE of eternity with Him and ALL things working together for HIS GLORY filled my soul with joy!!! Bless you for sharing Mandy!

Jenna said...

Thanks for this. I have been struggling so much lately with weariness (physical, emotional, and spiritual). The last week has been especially trying with my 3 year old and 1 year old. It's during times like these, though, that I am especially aware of just how much the Lord loves me. When I choose to turn to Him rather than to worldly pseudo-comforts, He NEVER EVER fails me. Whether it's through His Word or through answered prayer or just quietly speaking truth to my heart, I am so often brought to tears over how much He loves me...even when I fail so miserably. Psalm 34 was given to my husband as the theme chapter of our life when our daughter was going through serious health issues and we thought the Lord might call her home. It is a chapter that will always have a very special place in my heart. Our daughter's name is Elianna (Hebrew for "My God has answered"). Last year the Lord chose to answer our prayers with "yes" to healing her bone marrow and her blood :-)

TwoFourFive said...

Amen and A-men! This was so timely for me! Thank you for posting this much needed reminder. God is definitely calling me to do this right now. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

God is awesome! Wasn't able to sleep due to weariness and worry...your post was exactly what I needed to hear! Goosebumps and tears...incredible! Thank you, Thank you!

Anonymous said...

This was so encouraging to me. I have been clinging to Psalm 103 for the last couple weeks and have really been encouraged by it to Bless the Lord with my whole being. Thank you for your transparent and encouraging posts.

Mandy said...

awww that's AWESOME! I hope you slept well!! :D God is so COOL!

aliciainwonderlandblog said...

Thank you for sharing! This is something I have been trying to focus on myself. I have had an extremely difficult pregnancy, and despite a bunch of medical reasons why I should not be pregnant or able to carry a baby to full term, I made it to the full term mark today. My husband and I are so incredibly thankful that the Lord has guided us through this journey. I just wrote a long post about it on my blog today if anyone wants to read more about it. :)
aliciainwonderlandblog.wordpress.com/2013/02/27/my-pregnancy-journey/

gayledrawnIN said...

Mandy, reading His words through you...is like having a 3 way conversation...Him, you, and me. Thank you. Shaun set up Blogger years ago. Please let me know if this is too long - but I sense recent events in my life should be shared.

About 3 weeks ago, I was contemplating a fast. Reading Prayer and Fasting by Ronnie W Floyd.
The next day I worked,while driving to work, a woman pulled out in front of me and my car was totaled (front smashed in). Strange enough, I felt cushioned and a thought came like"okay now here's the impact". I wasn't scared.

During the week off I read Matt Redman's The Unquenchable Worshiper...and highlighted half the book!

First day back to work, at the end of the shift(you know nurse working nights), a wave of light headedness, nausea and fullness in my ears. Coworkers checked BP 174/88...No history of high blood pressure. To ER Higher and pupils dilated to the max.Admitted, stroke work up,extensive testing.But I was just delighted with interactions with hospital staff. But tests found no reason for BP event and 3 days later BP normal...no meds.

Now I'm reading again on fasting...hmmm :)

Thank you for your blog and you mentioning Matt Redman encouraged me share another special time with the Lord.

Esther said...

Thank you so much for this - I enjoyed it very much! My little son passed away in February and since then I've had to pray so many times that God will help me re-focus my mind! And God is good - He does it every time! It's like he is saying - I see the bigger picture...trust me!! Just to focus on Him and His plans (even though I don't know them) and His promises. It is so good just to be able to look to Him & to know that He knows what He's doing! 'I will bless the Lord at all times!' (not always easy, but always worth it!!) :)

Rebekah Harris said...

Thank you so much for sharing your struggles and how God speaks to you! I has be been feeling discouraged because of a situation in my life and hate when I get that feeling of anxiety in my chest. Yesterday God gave me Psalm 34... your words encouraged me to hold on to it! It's so amazing how when we get our eyes on Jesus , off of ourselves and our situation how he lifts our spirits and breathes new life and hope!!!

Briana Runde said...

Mandy, thank you for sharing this post on FB tonight. The Lord knew just what I needed to hear tonight and He spoke it to me through this post. I did guess the song; I LOVE this song! :-)

Heather said...

Mandy, I have been following your blog through must-follow Christian women on pintrest, You are such a delight to me, your fun thrifty finds, to your homeschooling journey, to your amazing love story with your hubby, and of course your faith in having the children God has called you to have!! I am expecting my 6th baby in May still really early on in the pregnancy but this is the hard time for me with all these crazy emotions, I have really bad nightmares and all my past comes up, This post blesses my heart more then you could ever know, I have an amazing sweet hubby that prays over me and reads scriptures to me, Psalm 34 is my life chapter!! And today we read Psalm 139! He knows me and He cares for me more then I could ever fathom! The journey at times can seem long but if you keep our eyes on the One Who made you and knows the plans He has for you, you receive the Strength to continue this race!! I pray for you, Mandy, Thank you so much for being real and transparent!! We need more friends like you! :)

Katie said...

Mandy, I just LOVE you! I can't tell you how many times I have been here in front of my computer with tears from the Holy Spirit streaming down my face as I read your posts. Bless the Lord for YOU! Thank you, just thank you!

Laine Keown said...

I needed this so bad! I love God's timing and He placed this on your heart to write and share just at the right moment for me to see it as encouragement and confirmation. We got some bad news about our attempts to try to have a 4th baby. Lots of your blogging inspired me lately. We have been praying about make this God led decision to have another baby. I have a heart for my children and just desire so much to have more. You see the process is actually much harder for us because after making a rash decision 8 years ago my husband got a vasectomy and we are now getting it reversed. We received notice from the Army that he was deploying days before Christmas now. That shortens our length to try for a baby after the surgery. Then we got another call from the army hospital, only days before his surgery date,that his surgery got bumped due to an emergency replacing his appointment. So now here we sit at a loss, just waiting on God to guide us. I have spent days in prayer and worship and just glorifying God for how good He is even in the confusing time. I am also a busy homeschool mom and I really feel God telling me to just be still. I do not see I as a bad thing but a time for refining, testing, and growing in faith. God will provide another child for us , but only in His timing. Verse that helped me are Psalm 118:5,6; Psalm 139:16; Psalm 90:2; and Psalm 46:10. Thank you again for posting this article. He is God, and all else I am letting go!
Laine

Anonymous said...

My husband and I have been trying to have a child for years. It has brought lots of tears and heartache. Everytime I feel weak or I lose faith the lord shows up with a reminder. One morning I was sitting in my car and feeling low. I picked up the bibleband asked the lord what hevwould have me read. I opened the bible exactly to luke chapter 1 about the story of elisabeth and zacharias. This reminded me of what a mighty mighty God we serve.

findingmyway4 said...

I am so thankful to have found your blog. Long story short, I am a single mother of three beautiful kids and have a child support meeting today. I get so lost during these meetings because I know that these are necessary and that I can not do it all alone. But after these meetings their father uses the kids as his way to get back at me, and I despise it. I find myself not sleeping or getting so stressed that I end up giving in to whatever works for him. But I read this last night and found myself sleeping soundly and right now, reading it again I am feeling ready for whatever I am going to go through. My faith has been kind of like the "Unlost" blog you wrote (that I read last night) and I know for my sake and the kids, I need to get right. My heart is unsteady, and I want to be peaceful I want to give my burdens to God and learn that he is thereto take them on, but only if I give my ALL to Him. So, I thank you greatly for your kind heart and your blog. You're doing amazing things through Christ, and are a fantastic example of who I want to become :)

Terrell Burrell said...

Thank You for being transparent! I was a single parent with two daughters fighting with their father for child support when one year he and his wife decide that they would keep the girls and finish raising them. The decision was never discussed with me, just as the summer was ending and I called to make arrangements to pick them up, he said that they decided to keep them. I didn't know what to do, I couldn't afford an attorney and I was afraid to just go and get them, I didn't want to get arrested for kidnapping and when I talked to the girls they said that it was time for me to do me. So, I just let them stay, it was the hardest thing that I ever did. I went through so many emotions, I thought they didn't love me anymore because we had a huge fight before they went to spend the summer with their father. I was devastated! But I learned later that their dad and mom said that they were tired of the girls moving around, not acknowledging his lack of support which would have made a huge difference in our lives. Anyway I started to feel a little better, the girls told me that it was time for me to focus on myself and take care of me...I don't know how to do that, even now, they are 23 and 21, and I am still more concerned with helping them than doing things for myself, which has me in the situation that I am in now. Their father and his wife have three children together and she has one from a previous relationship, so in all there are 6 girls, here's the blessing, they all get along. His wife and her family treat the girls well, I have no complaint there. The complaint that I have is I think that is wife has stolen or is trying to steal my children. I know that sounds irrational, but they taught the girls to call her mom, they said that they tried to think of other names, but couldn't, so my girls have been calling her mom since they could talk. When she and I talk the conversation is about us being a family and that she's not trying to replace me and that she makes sure that I it is known that I am their mother and etc. However, her actions say different. Not once since they have been there and were younger did I receive a card for mother's day, birthday or Christmas. The create crafts all the time, but nothing for me. I get no reports of how they are doing in school or awards they've received, I may find out later when I visit. Not once did I get a chance for them to spend the summer with me, because they are vacationing. I kept quiet because I've been accused of disrespecting her, bringing up things from the past and overthinking things. As a single parent I had to be prepared, I couldn't wait until the last minute to find out you're not coming to get the girls for the summer and had to find childcare, I lived on a tight budget. If I called and talked to her about the girls he got upset because he was their father, if I called him, I was disrespecting her...anyway, a few weeks ago I asked my daughter about moving closer so that I could help her and her sister, but she was concerned about how her dad and stepmom would feel about it. That hurt, and then mother's day was that next week. I was literally sick because I am lucky if I see them twice a year. It's always dependent upon what they are doing, I feel left out like a relative instead of their mother. They try to make things right but they are stuck in the middle and it breaks my heart, because I'm afraid that if I keep my mouth shut I will loose them and if I open my mouth, it may severe the relationship that they have with their sisters...your post has helped me to try and refocus and trust God, Thank You!

Doc Erhumu said...

Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I see light bright light melting away my worries, fear, anxiety and bringing back joy in my family. God bless you Mandy