It’s been a month.
A month of returning to work after the holiday break exhausted.
A month of my introvert crying out for just a little more me-time.
A month of hoarding time for fear I won’t be rested enough to face the next week, next day, next hour.
I’ve been frantically resting, which hasn’t been restful at all. I would come home from work, throw myself into a comfortable spot, fully committed to not moving until I was adequately energized with a mind set to conquer the next thing. I’d pull up Youtube or put on a show or slide a DVD into the player, hoping for escape and rest from that day’s stressful events. But the only thing I found was the need for more rest.
Something was wrong.
Then one night as I unplugged my earbuds, I heard a comment that both rubbed me the wrong way and made me stop to question how I’d been spending my time: “You sure have been into a lot of media lately.”
Traditionally, I’ve been one more likely to curl up with a book than to binge on Netflix. But I had just finished a book series that had been so fantastically good that I had slipped into some sort of postpartum, where no book would ever be as good as the one I just read, so why should I try to dive in and connect with some new characters when I just want to go deeper with the ones I just read about.
Watching something just felt easier. It provided an escape where I could shut the door on my heart and just veg.
The comment echoed in my mind as I took stock of the state of my heart. This “quick fix” I thought media would give me was only piling up more stress as I worried about getting enough rest. I glanced at the calendar as the days of January came to their end and February prepared to say hello. Something inside me begged for a new beginning.
“Okay, Lord,” I said. “We’ll do a little experiment this month. I’ll put aside the shows and the movies and the distractions. I’ll go get a few books from the library and I’ll see if I can find real rest.”
After only a few days I noticed the difference. I wasn’t rushing anymore. I wasn’t hoarding my time. I accepted what I had and laid out on the couch and read to my heart’s content.
Books have always been my resting places, the stories inside a refuge from life’s storms and stress. A place where the Lord comes to speak truth and life and minister to my weary and wounded heart. Stories are where I find hope and the courage to keep going.
Life was good. I even questioned whether I’d go back to media at all–I go hard, it’s what I do. But then the weekend comes. My schedule is clear. My heart has time to air out and the emotions don’t have to be suppressed.
And the desire to escape it all becomes a little too appealing. Like today.
Despite the fact that God is bringing healing and revival to a part of my heart that I have long called wounded, I am still in process. I remembered that today when the pain felt a little too raw. When I didn’t quite feel good enough and I questioned why I’m even wasting my time with hope. I wanted to plug in a movie and just forget about dealing with my one broken heart. But God called me to rest instead.
Rest in the reality that He is here and working, and I don’t need to escape the pain. He reminded me not to shut the door on the pain, but to let Him enter into it with me. He reminded me of grace in the process, grace He amply and abundantly gives; grace I need to learn how to give myself more often. He led me to my resting place, straight into a book store to peruse words on signs and in books, and on music albums.
Since starting this little challenge that verse from Matthew has been playing in my head about how when we come to the Lord in our weariness, we find rest for our souls; for the burden He asks us to carry is light.
I’m interested to see where I am at the end of this month, what else this time of rest allows me to deal with, what other blessings the Lord decides to bestow as I seek Him and stop hiding.
Live in His love!