“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
Several years ago, a friend gave me those words on a post it note. I was going through a stressful time at work where I just felt so out of control and I didn’t know what to do with how I was feeling. This friend was someone who I was learning to trust with some of the toughest feelings of my heart. She gave me these words from scripture and I put the post it in my car in a place where I could easily see it. This was the first time someone had given me words from scripture to help me with something I was going through.
I grew up in the church, but my relationship with God started and ended on Sunday mornings. I didn’t read my bible and I didn’t know what it looked like to have a personal relationship with Jesus. To me, a good Christian went to church and Sunday school and just tried to be a good person the rest of the time. Thinking you have to be a good person all the time is exhausting. For me, it meant striving for perfection in every aspect of my life and working really hard to not mess up. That didn’t go so hot for me because I messed up a lot and then I felt so much shame when I couldn’t live up to those perfect standards I set for myself.
Fast forward many years, and I was still living life this way, and now that I had a big girl job, I was drowning in lots of unmet expectations I was setting for myself. I was sharing this with my friend about how I felt. I was sharing that I was having a tough time managing my responsibilities while making sure everyone liked me and that I worked out every day and ate healthy and took care of myself and was a good girlfriend and daughter and the many, many other things I was thinking I needed to do or be to be successful. Her response to me was telling me this verse, and then writing it on a post it so I could read it often. When I would see it in my car, I would pray about it. I sort of knew how to pray so I would pray that God would help me with my stress, and that I would turn to Him for strength instead of looking to myself. For the first time, I was realizing that I didn’t have to rely on myself for perfection. That I wasn’t perfect, and I would never be perfect. But that there is a God who loves me anyway and wanted me to come to Him with the hard parts of my life.
This is how I started to really learn who Jesus was, and it all started with a post it note. I am not sure where you are at in your faith walk, but if you are just starting out, my prayer for you is that you can start to learn that Jesus is so much bigger than your stress. That He loves you in all your imperfections, and that He is ready and willing to give you rest.
written by Katie Choi