I Double Dare You
10 min. read
“Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee; He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved” (Psalm 55:22)
Good morning love muffins! Happy Monday and happy 2019! This is my very first post of the year! Yes, for those of you judging me (rolls eyes), I know it is March, but a girl is trying to finish nursing school so can I live? Thank you! Anyway, I am super excited to write this message! It has been on my heart for some time, and I know there is someone who needs to hear it. Whoever you are, know that I am praying for you.
Let’s jump in…
According to the World Health Organization (known as the WHO), suicide has become the third leading cause of death in the United States. It is estimated that a death by suicide happens every 40 seconds. While mental health disorders, such as depression and substance abuse, account for more than 90% of all suicides, sociocultural factors, such as a loss of employment, disassociation from one’s community or social group, or dishonor, are also factors that can lead to a person committing suicide.
I am not a therapist, but I do see a common denominator in each of these causes–despair. Now, before I move forward, I want to acknowledge that there are people who suffer from endogenous depression, where there is no obvious event or trigger that is causing it. Mental health professionals believe that it can be caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. My focus, however, is for those who have situational depression. Meaning, they have experienced some life-altering event that has caused them to feel depressed, and eventually despair.
Merriam-Webster defines despair as “utter loss of hope; a cause of hopelessness.” Hope is defined as “to cherish a desire with anticipation; to want something to happen or be true.” How many of us have hoped for something for years, and it never came to fruition? Let’s take it a step further, and I’ll ask how many of us Christians have hoped for years that God would change a situation or give us something we have prayed for, and we are still waiting?
What I love so much about God’s word is that He already knew what that feeling brings. He said, “hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life” (Proverbs 13:12). When you constantly hope that God will bring you out of a financial struggle, or He will send happiness to your life, and you never have that expectancy fulfilled, it leads you to a point where you feel that it is time to give it up. When hope leaves, in walks despair.
Take a moment to do an evaluation of how our introductory verse makes you feel. Do you have a list of burdens? Have you casted them upon the Lord? Do you even know what it means to cast them? Do you believe that He really will sustain you? I just bombarded you with questions, huh? I know, I know! Nurses are big on establishing a baseline for their patients, so I am pretty sure this is a reflection of the nurse in me! LOL! I need to know where you are now, so that we can tackle how to move forward.
Before we allow despair to invade our hearts, lets figure out a plan together. There is victory in numbers! So, we will take each question one by one.
Do you have a list of burdens?
Your burdens can be anything from financial hardship to unruly children to desperately wanting God to send you a mate. If it weighs heavily on your heart, it is a burden. I want to encourage you to write your burdens. I don’t know about you, but I can say that I grew up with parents who always reminded me that someone else’s situation is much worse than mine, so count your blessings. Well, I love my mom and dad, and that kind of thinking has made me who I am; However, now is not the time for that. If you hear that advice in your mind, block it out. Yes, there are many hurting people in the world, but you cannot empathize with another until you have taken care of yourself. To you, these are weights, and no one can tell you how big or small they are. If it ignites any form of a negative feeling inside of you, it belongs on the list.
Do you know what it means to cast them upon the Lord?
Yes, I skipped a question. Why? Because I cannot ask you if you have casted these burdens upon the Lord before I ask if you even understand what that means. Casting your burdens upon the Lord means you give them to Him, and leave them there. LEAVE. THEM. THERE. That is by far the most important part of casting your burdens upon the Lord. It does you no good to cast them, and go back to get them. I have a close friend who I have been encouraging for some time. He gets angry with me often because he says I am telling him this “God stuff” but what happens if I am wrong? Then what will I say to him? I have literally been frustrated with this conversation for months.
Yesterday, Bishop TD Jakes said in his sermon, “stop trying to explain God to people. He cannot be explained. He can only be experienced.” O M G! That’s it! I cannot explain to my friend or you how to have faith that God will see this through for you. What I can do is encourage you to allow the experience to take place. I mean, would you rather spend your time feeling low and like things will never change or would you like to take a chance on God? I am a living, breathing example of what happens when you experience Him! That’s why this part is so near to my heart. I’ll share a quick story with you…
If you have been following my writings, you know that I went through a very bad breakup. Two therapist, contemplating depression or anxiety meds, crying every day, more bad relationships to fill the void… the list goes on. I kept trying to hold onto my own burdens, and figure them out accordingly. I gave up hope that there was better out there for me, and despair pushed me backwards. I was going to look past all of the bad, accept my ex’s ways, and just figure it out. I mean, if I was going to deal with heartbreak anyways, it may as well be with the person I have a kid for, right? Guess what happened! He told me no! He may think that it was rejection from him, but I know that it was rejection that God orchestrated.
How do I know? Well, after that, with tears in my eyes I knelt down to pray, and told God,”FINE! My heart belongs to you. Do what you want with it and I trust you.” I felt angry, but my heart was sincere. At that point, I gave it 100% to God, and I left it there. For two months, I hit a dry spell. No dates, no phone calls or texts, nothing. It was just me, my kid, school, and my Bible. Every single day I said, “Well God, you know our deal. I trust you’ll see it through.” Friday, November 23, 2018 at approximately 9:15 am, I got an instagram message. It was from someone who I knew in passing back in college, but was not friends with. I rolled my eyes, and told my best friend, “who is this and what does he want? I don’t have the time.” She laughed, and made me remember who he was. I started talking to him that day, and the rest is history!
I almost went back to someone who made me cry every other day because I never knew if I was the only woman or not, to now someone who makes me cry tears of joy on every date. The thought that God loves me so much is overwhelming! I cannot explain it to you. I cannot explain it to him. All I ever say is “BB, I am just so grateful and blessed.” Turning over my cares to God has changed my entire life! For me, my burdens were centered around wanting a companion and having a family. I was so tired of being hurt, lied to, and strung along. Not just my son’s dad, but each of the relationships after him were all the same way. Lies, inconsistencies, games…constant tears and exhaustion. The issue was, I told God that I wanted him to send me a good man, doing what I thought was casting that upon Him, but I would revert back to the list of things I wanted. Subsequently, ending up with a man that never worked out. The day I decided to truly give God my entire heart along with the burdens of it, was the day I destroyed my list. I cannot even tell you what was on there anymore. I gave the responsibility to God, and trusted that He would get it done. Let me just tell you, He has completely out done himself!
Have you casted them upon the Lord?
At this point, I think the better question is–will you cast them upon the Lord? You have a real life testimony of how to cast them, leave them with Him, and the outcome. Are you ready? I know it is scary. I mean, I am asking you to give up every thing that worries you, hope for better despite not receiving it, and walk around trusting that God will work in your favor. You have not even seen this God person, and I am asking you to believe that He will fix it! What’s worse is, I am asking you to keep hoping for better, meanwhile none of the signs point to a happy resolution. You got it! That is precisely what I am asking you to do. I know it hurts. God already told us hope deferred makes the heart sick. So, my love, I dare you to do it, sick and scared! Who does not love a good dare?
Do you believe that He will really sustain you?
The last part of the verse says “…and He shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” After saying all that I have, the final question is– do you believe it? I gave you the word, and I shared a real life example of success. Do not get caught up with what the enemy wants, and down play my story so that you can justify your despair. For example, saying “Janea, you’re talking about a man, and I’m saying I don’t have a place to live.” Well, our burdens are different, but our God is the same! The text does not say “cast only those burdens that seem important.” Instead, it says “cast thy burden upon the Lord.” That means, whatever your burden is. If you are at the point of despair, that means you have hoped long enough, prayed long enough, fought, etc… and nothing has changed, give it to Him. Maybe you think praying about them repeatedly is casting them upon Him. I’m here to tell you that it is not. When you pray about something over and over, you are holding onto the power. Like as if you can somehow pray hard enough that God will move on your timing. It’s not always about who prays the longest or the loudest. Sometimes, it is about who trusts the most. Will you sleep during the storm like Jesus did on the boat, or will you panic like the disciples? Will you curse God like Job’s wife suggests, or will you allow Him to strip you, with the hope of being replenished? Only you can decide.
Before you choose despair, will you consider an encounter with God? Can you wait on Him to give you that experience, even if it is not in your time frame? I cannot tell you what it will be like, but I can promise you it will be unlike anything you have ever felt! The great thing about that, is, you know where you were and you know where He brought you, so it is no longer a conversation about what you did to get where you are. What you did was, nothing! You let God do it. When He does it, your tears will change from hurt and despair to tears of an overwhelming feeling of favor. I double dare you to invite him in. This, my love, will truly be an experience of a lifetime!
Let me pray for you…
Dear God, so many of your people are hurting. Hope has left and despair has crept into their hearts. Help them to keep the faith. Allow them to have an experience with you. Send a vision of the future you have in mind for them. I come against the spirits of depression and suicide. Let hope abound in their hearts. Show them what being favored by you is like. Help your people to cast their cares upon you, and rest in the belief that you will work things out for their best. Touch the lives of everyone reading this post. May your word flow in and out of their hearts, and a sense of renewal come into their spirits. I ask this in your son Jesus’ name. Amen.
xoxo my loves
If you or someone you know has suicidal thoughts, help can be found by visiting the National Suicide Prevention website here