In this post I get vulnerable. But I really feel urged to post it. So hopefully some of you can relate and find these few words uplifting!
This season is quiet and focused on rest.
With the current school gone out outreach, the base is relatively quiet and there’s more space. Quietness and space are something that sometimes scare me. I put the fear of dealing with negative emotions/issues under a label of “I like activity and people.” It’s true, I do love movement and change and I love people. Yet, I hid an insecurity underneath a truth and called it good. This way I can move and move and move and never sit still enough to deal with things that hurt.
But alas I’ve come to terms with the fact that I need rest. O Jesus, I need rest.
I think it’s easy for me to create and survive by this mentality that I can do it all. I take on every task, every moment, every pain, every joy, with an independent attitude as if my own strength is everlasting. It ain’t.
Holy Spirit, though, is so sweet and so strong. He’s been patient in my wandering.
After receiving a piece of heart-breaking news, like wrecking ball it hit me and I lost my strength to keep up the fight to ignore my pain. I became an emotional mess for a few days, not understanding where this seemingly unrelated hurts were coming from. It all became visible in the ruble of my emotions.
My prayers started to sound like, “what am I feeling God?” or “where are you God?”
Thus began a journey, over the last month or so, of learning what rest is, how important it is, and what it means for me. And damn, it’s been beautiful. Some days have been so hard because I have to lay down my pride and my “I can do it” attitude. Some days are just blissful and I feel close to Him and refreshed!
God has been stripping a lot of my beliefs to the basics and asking me great questions. As we go to the root of the things I believe, I can see what is a “healthy” root and what needs to be dug out.
He showed me I had been believing a lie that I won’t be taken care of. I wouldn’t have ever said that out loud. But I was operating under that belief. It manifested in my “I can do it” attitude because I thought my emotions weren’t worth anyone else’s time. God broke that down first and oh so kindly touched that hurt and gave me His time.
That’s the first lie He replaced with truth. You are worth God’s time and effort. He will take on your mess immediately. And He’ll be excited to because it’ll bring you closer.
Secondly, He showed that sadness isn’t bad or wrong. That was a big hurdle to get over. I often ignored negative feelings and trusted them to fix themselves. But they don’t fix themselves, they just settle. When my walls were knocked down, there they were, ready to be seen and felt again.
I’m not good at this one yet… might not be for a while. But I’m learning to feel the hurt when I get hurt. And to feel the sadness when I get sad. Because emotions are God-given. I don’t think that emotions should drive anything other than drive you closer to Jesus. We live wholly in a broken world. To not feel what you’re intended to is to ignore a very real part of you and to take into your own hands something you’re not meant to handle on your own. We need Jesus and our joy and sadness alike are meant to draw us close to Him and to help us know His character.
It’s straight up pride to think you do not need Jesus. Oof. How often would I sing “I need you, Lord” in worship and throughout the day, ignore His plea to be close to Him in my sadness, leaning on my crutch of “it’s fine, I’m okay.”
I need Him. I need rest. I need Him to hold me and teach me and let me cry out to Him. I need His mercy and His grace. I need to fall into Him. I need to ask Him “why?” all the time. I need Him to guide me through my sadness, my grief, my joy, my excitement. I need Jesus.
Another thing I learned is that it’s fine to be tired, as long as you take action in finding rest. I often find myself making excuses for not allowing myself to be emotionally tired.
As I am currently on a logistical role rather than a ministry role, I’d often say, “I can’t be tired. I’m not pouring out as much as so-and-so over there.” Since when do I decide when I deserve rest? When did I start making a line to cross of “after this point, you’re allowed to need rest”? Where did I come up with this idea of I’m not tired unless I’m physically busy?
I have no clue.
But I’ve been tired. My walls came down and I saw that too. At first I was ashamed of that because I was comparing my tiredness to other’s lack thereof. But then God showed me that rest is active. It must be sought out.
We often go to something numbing and call it rest. I tend to go to Instagram or a cup of coffee. I take my dose of numbing and say “I’m rested up and good to go!” when actually I’ve merely paused my thoughts or distracted myself momentarily.
Rest is replenishing. Rest promotes growth. Rest brings about wakefulness.
Instagram (or __insert unrestful distraction here__) is none of these things.
Rest looks different in different seasons so there’s no guide to learn how other than Jesus who know’s you inside out. Again and again, I learn that the closer I am to Jesus the more rested I am.
Rest is vulnerable. It means letting Him into the parts of you blocked by pride or letting Him into your wounds. Sometimes rest is sitting still and letting Him move for you. And sometimes rest is trusting that He’ll take every step with you as you move forward.
In the beginning of all this learning, He stripped my beliefs down to the basics. He asked me, “What are the consistent truths in your life? What are you sure of?”
My answer was, “I am sure He is good. I am sure He is actively pursuing me. I am sure I want to be close with Him. I am sure I am where I am supposed to be. I am sure He loves me. I am sure I need rest. I am sure He is rest.”
I really encourage you to ask that question yourself!
After He asked me that, a lot of things were a lot clearer. But mainly that real rest comes from one source only.
Rest has a name.