You carried many things – some good and some bad; however, what hunched your shoulders, what sprouted sweat upon your brow, what grew a heart heavy, what made a spirit falter, what made faith dissipate, what made believing unimaginable were your burdens.

You carried

Lack of Money
Two-faced Friends
Backstabbing Co-workers
Familial Strife
Missed Opportunities
Societal Norms
Body Image Issues
Fear of Any and Everything
Worry about the

As the first burden takes shape, falls upon your back, and becomes a part of you; the tiniest of cracks forms. Invisible to the naked eye, invisible to all but two: God and the Devil.

God, the knower of all things, He who can do all things, watches, standing beside you, never leaving you, trying desperately to get you to believe, to remember that He never gives you more than you can bear.

But you can’t hear. That crack, that tiniest of slits upon your psyche is just big enough for the Devil to niggle his way in, to whisper in your ear, onto your mind, into your heart your worthlessness. He tells you, “Yes, you deserve heartache. Yes, your fears are valid. Yes, you will die from cancer. Yes, that person is better than you because you’re poor. Yes, you’re fat and no one will love you. Yes, feed off your jealousy and riddle your body with its murky green acid. Yes, your man hits you, but don’t you think you deserved it? Yes, you’re without money and you will always – forever and a day – worry about having shelter and food. Yes, you are nothing, and no good shall ever come upon you.”

And you listen. And you believe. And you allow every negative word to feast upon you until you’re so desolate, so empty, so without that you become like a cracked shell upon a beach – discarded and abandoned.

As that last burden, that last straw falls upon your back, breaking it, you isolate yourself. No one would ever understand what you’re going through. You have to be the only person on earth going through so much pain. You don’t want to lay your burdens upon others. You don’t want anyone to see you cry.

And when you are alone, in that quiet space that frightens you, you hear him – the Devil – whispering his ugly words, his death breath brushing across your cheeks.

Others try to talk to you. Friends try to get you to go out. Mother calls, asking, “Baby, are you okay? I’m worried about you. So is Dad.” And you try to smile, but the face distorts as abstract as a Picasso painting.

At the moment in which your back does break, you fall upon your knees and cry like a baby fresh from its mother’s womb, but it is you who are giving birth.

You’ve carried, for so long, your burdens – feeding them the right negative nutrients, nurturing them into angry growth – and as the water breaks from you, you cry to God to help you deal with the painful birth.

He smiles. He’s been waiting, lovingly waiting to hear His name, to feel your connection, and He whispers into your spirit, “Come to me, you who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your soul. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” (Matt 11:28-30).
You push. You breathe. You scream. You grunt. You bleed. You battle with the burden that has been a part of you for so long, it wishes not to depart.

But it does, when you scream with the voices of a thousand lost souls and allow your burden to rip itself from you and fall upon the ground – red and ugly as sin.

No nurses rush to its aid. No one tries to resuscitate it, for your burdens have now been laid.

Your breathing slows. Your weeping grows, but not of pain – of joy of the living water that pours from your eyes and caresses your cheeks as it takes its journey to your chin and falls away.

In the warm, glowing silence of after birth, you scream like a baby reaching deep into its lungs for its first breath.

And you are born anew.

I will be doing more pieces like this at my new MySpace page – Sisters of the WORD. SOTW is for ALL women – no matter the nationality – who have faith and who have power of the WORD (God’s and her OWN) to express the many facets of womanhood. Please join!