Learning to Rest

There are certain seasons where I often find it hard to even begin to share all of the things that God has been teaching me and ways that He has been growing and shaping my heart and love for Him. This is certainly one of those seasons, and for that I am SO thankful because it wasn’t this way just a few weeks ago.

A few weeks ago my heart was in a state of discontentment, worry, and uncertainty. I remember feeling frustrated with the fact that I knew all of the truth that Scripture shares and that I have heard repeatedly throughout my life: that God will provide, that God has everything under control, that God has a purpose for my life and will reveal that at the right time. Although I knew all of this truth and have experienced it in my life so many times, I was having a hard time actually believing it.

I realized that the core of the issue was that I felt a lack of purpose. I had a lie stuck in my head that since I am done with school and just working right now, my purpose was to bring in an income. For a while I was only working about sixteen hours a week nannying and I was trying so hard to find more work, but nothing was working out. I felt discouraged that nobody wanted to hire me since we planned to move back to Michigan in July. Still I kept thinking and trying so hard to trust, “God will provide. God will provide.”

At a certain point I finally realized that I had to dig down into the core of the issue in my heart. Why did I feel a lack of purpose? Why was I feeling burdened financially and worried when I had absolutely no reason to? I realized that I wasn’t focusing on my true purpose. My purpose is not simply to bring in an income and to nanny. My purpose is to glorify God in every simple thing I do throughout my day, to be a supportive wife to Joe while he finishes school, to be a good friend to all of the amazing people in my life, to bless others even if I feel that I don’t have much to give.

As I continued to look for work, I realized that for some reason God was blessing me with a season of rest. Although I didn’t really want this season and I wanted to stay busy (because I felt that people who are busy are achieving more and therefore have purpose, when really God was trying to tell me to be still and rest in Him), I started to try to accept this season for what it is. I picked out some great books and I started spending more time in God’s Word. The way that the words in Scripture and in these books have been changing my heart is incredible. I am so thankful for this time of rest because it has changed my heart and my days completely.

My mindset on rest has changed completely. I am learning how to rest properly. I used to rest by laying in my bed and watching Netflix for hours as I escaped reality and rested by body. What I am learning now is how important rest is and how much God wants us to prioritize it. I feel like I should have wrapped my mind around this a long time ago because ever since the Creation of the world God has been telling us to rest. To rest and remind ourselves of the truth of who He is.

As I’ve been reading through the Old Testament and doing a study in Hebrews, I continue to realize that people continue to search for God’s rest. God’s people witness incredible things that God has done, yet they continue to turn away from Him because they forget who He is and what He has done. Still so often we turn away from God for periods of time because we forget how amazing He is and think that other things with satisfy. If we are regularly resting by spending time in Scripture and reminding ourselves of who He is and what He has done, we will find true rest as we fully hope and trust in His promises.

Basically, I am learning how to use my time in ways that matter. To make the most of every situation that God has put me in and try to glorify Him in any way that I can. I’m trying to enjoy the calm moments where I can reflect on who God is and how He has made me, rather than trying to live a busy and frantic life. I am sure there are plenty of busy and frantic moments in life ahead of me – so I will enjoy where I am at for now!

This blog has already been longer than usual, but I’m going to share part of a book that I have been reading. It is called Bread & Wine, by Shauna Niequist:

“We have, each one of us, been entrusted with one life, made up of days and hours and minutes. We’re spending them according to our values, whether or not we admit it. When things are too crazy, the only voices I hear are the voices of fear and shame. I stop being able to hear the voice of God, the voice of rest, the voice of hope and healing and restoration, the voice that gives new life to dry old bones. And instead I hear that old song I’ve heard all my life: You’re not good enough. You’re not good enough. But that voice is a lie. And it’s a terrible guide. When I listen to it, I burn the candle at both ends and try to light the middle while I’m at it. The voice of God invites us to full, whole living – to rest, to abundance, to enough. To say no. To say no more. To say I’m going to choose to live wholly and completely in the present, even though this ragged, run-down person I am right now is so far from perfect. Let’s be courageous in these days. Let’s choose love and rest and grace. Let’s use our minutes and hours to create memories with the people we love instead of dragging them on one more errand or shushing them while we accomplish one more seemingly necessary thing … I pray that we’ll understand the transforming power that lies in saying no, because it’s an act of faith, a tangible demonstration of the belief that you are so much more than what you do. I pray that we’ll live with intention, hope, and love in this wild season and in every season, and that the God who loves us will bring new life to our worn-out hearts this year and every year, that we’ll live, truly and deeply, in the present, instead of waiting, waiting, waiting for perfect.”

So basically, I am learning and I am growing and God is good and I am thankful. Another awesome thing is that once I became fully content in this season God has me in and felt that I completely trusted whatever He had planned for me, He started providing me with way more work! The timing was amazing and pretty ironic. Now I find myself longing for moments where I can rest, be still, and dive into His Word. I’m learning to just fully love whatever God has for me and make the most of it for His glory!

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