Jaime Redcay, and her husband, Jed, served with EMM in Costa Rica from 2009-2012. Now that she's living in Lancaster County with her husband and their three small boys, Jaime has started an online space called Embrace. Below, enjoy a blog post originally posted on Embrace.
I have a confession to make — I LOVE to fix things. I mean I have it bad, and if you have known me for long, you know this about me, because it has become such a core piece of who I am. As soon as I hear of a need, immediately I am brainstorming and asking, "What can I do? Let's fix this!
But something happened. I heard words in my heart that shot to my core, and instantly tears filled my eyes. Has this ever happened to you? You hear just a few words — they pierce and squeeze your heart. You recognize the voice, the One who knows you and what you need to hear.
Here is a little background: I am the oldest of four children, which right there tells you something about me. Birth order really is fascinating to study. Yes, I am the typical oldest child. My family has endured too many seasons of crisis. Part of my journey in coping was trying to balance the responsibility I felt, to make my family feel better.
As a young girl, I began praying that God would break my heart over the things that break his heart. He heard my cry. Let me tell you, friend, if you're hurting, I'm probably going to curl up and cry right there with you!
Now, some of our favorite opportunities together as a couple are the moments we can embrace those around us. We just love it ... to hold someone and pray in a crisis, to encourage someone as they prepare to marry, to walk alongside parents as they raise teenagers. We've dropped everything to run to a friend's house to weep and pray over them as their marriage seemed to be ending. I find myself wrecked over children who are hurting and not receiving the love and nourishment they desperately need. Together we have served in orphanages around the world and have seen this pain firsthand. We long to lead others into the Lord's embrace.
Speeding up to last winter; I sat in a small office with a counselor. My heart was pounding and my mind swirling. I just could not wrap my head around a solution for a relationship that was heavy on my heart. There were no easy answers — the only answers I could see required uncomfortable decisions for my family. No matter how hard I tried to work out a plan, I just kept unraveling into a basket case of nerves. And when I say "basket case," I mean, short of breath, rapid heartbeats, waking up in the middle of the night, shaking with tears.
It was in that small office that a wise professional pegged me and did so within only 10 minutes. "You're a fixer, aren't you?" "Yes," I said, with a sheepish smile. It didn't take long for me to realize that was not actually the compliment I thought it was.
"What would it look like if you stopped fixing things?" he asked. I was so caught off guard; that is who I am, it's what I do, it's how God designed me, or so I thought ... feeling slightly offended and embarrassed.
I sat with the idea for a week, and as it brewed, I could see.
First, I saw the toll it was taking on me. I was grabbing everyone else's pain and packing it on my shoulders. I was drained and weary. I was finding fulfillment in trying to make everyone else feel better, but in the process, I was so weighed down, I could barely breathe.
I was trying to navigate relationships for my family, which are complicated, messy and can't be fixed with my hands.
I would pray and believe for freedom for hurting friends and then before I even realized it, I had picked those things up I released in prayer and stuck them right back on my tired shoulders.
Next, I saw the toll it was taking on my family. It was so important for me to protect them from the mess of others, and to reach out to those who are hurting. But, by not fully releasing those burdens at the feet of Jesus, my capacity to patiently and wisely care for my three little rowdy Redcays had quickly depleted.
This resulted in a quick temper and the inability to see the heart of my boys. Instead, I was caught in a cycle of being frustrated by childish behavior.
With the determination to be free from the anxiety and fatigue I was experiencing, I began to press into the Lord. Instead of trying to fix everything for everyone, I chose to fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith.
Hebrews 12:1–3 says: "Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary or lose heart."
I love the words: "So that you will not grow weary or lose heart." This is powerful truth, friends. If I fix my eyes on Jesus, he will strengthen my faith. He has already made the sacrifice, endured the cross and opposition so that I will not grow weary or lose heart.
It's finished, I just need to receive it! If I am walking around fatigued and depressed ... I have lost my focus. Let me tell you, that can happen so fast for me!
But, I am learning to recognize when I cross the line from walking with and trying to walk for someone.
I know that my Creator designed me with a heart of compassion. I deeply care for others and believe it is a gift to be tender-hearted. I desire to genuinely be with those I love, through the messy seasons of life and then release it well.
Recently, in the midst of a time of crying out to the Lord on behalf of someone I love, these were the few words that dropped right into my heart and gave it a squeeze. "You are not a fixer." My whole body instantly warmed, and I found both rest and conviction in these words.
He was reminding me of truth and calling me to walk in it.
If I am not a fixer, who am I? I am called to be the hands and feet of Jesus — yes — but not called to BE Jesus.
We have a Savior, and He is VERY good at his job! I am called to fix my eyes on Him, as I follow His ways in loving others.
What would it look like if I stopped trying to fix things?
What if I am not a fixer, but instead I fix my eyes on Jesus and choose to invite others into that journey with me?
What if I weep with my friend, and release those tears to Him, who weeps with us?
What if I war in intercession for the lost, and choose to rest in Him, who is fighting for me?
What if I believe in faith for healing, and trust that God's will be done?
What if I listen well to my friends, and surrender those thoughts to Him who listens to me?
What if I serve those in need, and choose to rest in Him?
What if I fight with couples for healed marriages, as I choose to trust in the One, who brings restoration?
What if I reach desperately for the lost, and rest in the shadow of His wings knowing He is mighty to save?
What if I release the painful relationships I can't fix and allow Him to mend my heart?
What if I love fiercely, and also allow Him to fiercely love me?
What if I stop trying to pick up what I was never designed to carry?
For some of us, it does not come easily. In fact, it takes a tremendous amount of discipline.
If we love others through the thick and thin, with our eyes fixed on HIM, we will enter into a new freedom; one that embraces this truth: there is only one Savior! Let's leave the fixing to Him!
Jaime Redcay is the author of Embrace, a blog devoted to genuine sharing and encouraging teaching. Jaime and her husband, Jed Redcay, are alumni of both EMM and Youth With a Mission. Together they have traveled to multiple continents with a heart to extend the Lord's embrace to all people. Along with their passion for both international and local ministry, they find great joy in raising their three boys to be world changers.