Hello my name is Trudi and I’m a To-Doer.
I love making lists and then setting about crossing things off. Years ago when Brett and I were in a marriage counseling session he managed to sum me up, and at the same time bring a never-before-realized awareness, with one simple statement. “Trudi comes from a family of hard workers.”
Picture me listening with my hand proudly held high. “Yep, that’s me.” However, in that particular moment, he wasn’t being complimentary. Picture him with a vision of me, clipboard in hand, dishing out orders with rigid instructions.
My family has entrepreneurs, businessmen and women, military officials, coaches and several CEO-type personalities in abundance. In all honesty though, you most likely won’t ever find me at the helm of the ship charting the course. But I am your trusty crew member ready to say “yes” to a task. And if you ever find me “slacking off”, aka resting, you could bet that I was fighting exhaustion and had the deep, slow booming Jamaican voice of my forefathers on loop in my head “Trudi-Ann. Get up. There’s work to be done.”
I’ve spent many a year redefining the word lazy and learning that resting is actually essential to living (maybe I’ll get a chance to share more about that another time.) But I spent nearly the entirety of last year with an intimate group of ladies, who attend Embrace Church with me, untangling a belief and a misconception that I had about God. I wholeheartedly believed that my evidence for how favored I was by God could be equated to how “easy” my life was at the moment. And don’t we all know that life rarely feels easy, no matter how it may appear or be perceived from the outside? Struggle, pain, disorganization, mess, chaos, heartbreak and hard relationships are all daily realities and their existence in my life were all signs to me that I must be getting it wrong… that I must not be “doing” something right …especially in the eyes of God. Essentially I had the idea that His approval of me was tied up largely in the things that I did, or didn’t do well or effortlessly. If it wasn’t easy, I wasn’t worthy.
Those women helped me come to know that God is not some boss sitting on high evaluating my every step and grading my performance. He is not a taskmaster but He is my Father. A loving Father, with a standard absolutely, but one that is way more concerned with my desire to love and to trust Him above anything else. So there, in my journal from those times of deep truth seeking and accountable conversations with these friends, is the rhetorical question that loosened that final knot for me. After months of digging in, peeling back layers, debunking myths, renaming expectations- mine and not His, and becoming practiced at seeking His will and tuning my ear to recognize His voice, I heard:
“[What] if the only thing I ever needed TO DO, was to love and trust God; to listen to and want what He wants?”
This realization hasn’t made the struggles less frequent, or the disorganization, mess and chaos non-existent, heartbreak and hard relationships can still be found, but it has made the load lighter. It is Matthew 11: 28-30 come to life for me.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, 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 souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Knowing your Creator loves you uniquely, unconditionally and irrevocably is disentangled freedom friends.
I still make lists and cross them off. And on the difficult and far-from-easy days when I might be inclined to tangle myself back up, I remind myself to lean in and listen to receive some truth from the voice I now recognize:
Jesus was the most highly favored of all, and His life could never be characterized as easy.
And know that whatever I have or haven’t To-Done is enough … and so am I.