• Anna Brooksby

BLOG: (September 26-October 2) Isaiah 50-57, "Rest for Your Soul"


On this day in 2008 I lost my third pregnancy to miscarriage. It had been a hard year - my husband was in school full-time and working part-time, we were struggling financially and relationally, we were living 900 miles from our family and support system, we had just moved for the second time in a year that would ultimately include three moves - things were already heavy. This loss, after all the change and heartache I had already been through that year, was devastating.


For years, every September I would spend at least a couple of weeks in a fog of grief. The first few years it was unexpected, and it seemed to always take me at least a week to figure out why I was anxious and sad. After that, I came to expect and plan for it, and over time, the period of grief has lessened until it now only lasts a day or two. It hit me again today. I have learned not to fight the grief, but to allow it, to feel my sadness, to take some time to be quiet and remember the little one I lost. I believe he wants to be remembered. And I want to remember him. I want him to know he isn’t forgotten.


These verses in Isaiah have always been a comfort to me:


Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.


But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Isaiah 53:4-5



When Christ suffered in the garden of Gethsemane and on Calvary and everywhere in between, He felt the pain, grief, fear, and sorrow of all the world. He truly, miraculously, carried the weight of all of it - so much that the pressure caused Him to bleed from every pore. We each have our own portion of that mighty weight to experience. Grief and sorrow can and often do feel so heavy, like a physical weight on our shoulders and in our hearts. Knowing Christ has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows does not mean we will never feel pain or sorrow again. It just means He has felt it too, and He has already carried it for us so we don't have to be weighed down with more than we can bear.


There was a time in my life when I felt this in a physical way. I had, at that time, been engaged in a quest to learn about forgiveness. I had developed my own internal process for seeking the Lord’s help to forgive. Part of that process involved imagining myself gathering all the grief, hurt, anger - all the results of whatever action I needed to let go of - and passing all of it to the Lord, who would receive it so I didn’t have to carry it anymore. (My process was derived and adapted from this book, which is an excellent resource for learning about the process of forgiveness.) In the midst of this learning process, I was given some information that was absolutely devastating for me. I was completely overwhelmed and broken-hearted. I started to work through my forgiveness process and got stuck - I felt like I had been handed a hurt of such magnitude that I couldn’t even hold it, let alone pass it to the Savior. It was just too heavy. In the moment of greatest sorrow, I cried out to my Savior, telling Him everything about the pain that had just been handed to me, and asking Him to please just take it. I couldn’t give it to Him - I couldn’t even carry it - but I knew He could. And He did. He took that burden from me. I still had hurt to work through but the weight of it was gone, and I could move forward. That was several years ago, and I still feel the relief and awe that came to me in that moment, when He truly, literally, bore my grief and carried my sorrow.


To a lesser but very real degree, the past few weeks have been heavy for me. Everything from intense new responsibilities, to mental health struggles among those I love, to illness, to financial challenges - and all seeming to hit at once. It felt overwhelming, like I needed help just to comprehend it, let alone keep moving forward through it. But again, I remembered these words:


Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.


But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.


I remembered One who bore my griefs, and carried my sorrows; who took upon Himself the weight of all sorrow and pain so that I wouldn’t have to carry more than I could. I still don’t know how to carry all of this, but I am grateful to know I don’t have to - I can turn to Him for strength and He will give me enough to make it one more day. He has promised.


Matthew 11:28-30 reads:


Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.


Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.


For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.


Because Christ has already borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows, He is able to offer “rest unto our souls.” In Him, we can find healing and peace. I am so grateful that He was willing to go through all that He went through so that He could offer me His peace and rest.



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