this season of rest is increasingly hard.
it seems like as the days go on, i am getting more weary. my heart is tired and my hope feels shakey. this is not a feeling i enjoy. this is not where i thought i would be. i feel confused and sad. each day is another lesson. and i feel like i am not learning any of them.
in this season of rest, this sweet invitation, i am still falling back on my old tricks. even though i think i am “resting” and am taking down time, i am painfully aware that i am missing the point.
yes, He has asked me to rest.
yes, rest means physically taking time to recover & sleep & grow.
no, rest does not mean working hard to rest.
no, rest does not mean striving to “rest well.”
as i look back on this time of rest, i am very aware that i have been working so hard and trying even harder to figure out what it means to rest and how i can quantify how much i am resting. this has ranged from going to the park, taking in a troubled dog, spending days in my apartment without leaving, watching Dr.Phil reruns, journaling, reading, watching sermons, spending time with family, calling friends, eating tacos, applying for a billion random jobs, making salads, avoiding cleaning/packing my apartment, the list goes on.
but as i look at this list, i see something missing:
intentional time, face to face, with Jesus. resting in who He is. settling into the promise.
i have been trying to externally rest, in all the ways i could think. but i think i am coming to release something bigger. maybe rest is more about my heart than my nap time. i have been relying on friends and family and preachers and worship leaders to tell me what comes next, to hear from God, to have confirmation for this season. and while all of that is good, and needed and has a place, it is not what was asked of me.
today i got another job rejection. and i really don’t think i am taking them personally, just more out of frustration. a feeling that i missed the mark. but i did really want this job. so upset, i cried/yelled at Jesus and asked Him “WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT? I CAN’T FIGURE OUT WHERE YOU WANT ME!!!!” and so sweetly He responded:
that is all He wants. He wants me. and i have been doing everything i can to keep it from Him. i have been hiding from Him. afraid of what it might mean to be seen by Him in this season. afraid for Him to see my weariness. afraid for Him to see my inadequacy. afraid of being let down. afraid that maybe He isn’t as good as i thought He was. afraid that maybe He can’t handle my expectations. i have been putting going to the park, taking in a troubled dog, spending days in my apartment without leaving, watching Dr.Phil reruns, journaling, reading, watching sermons, spending time with family, calling friends, eating tacos, applying for a billion random jobs, making salads, avoiding cleaning/packing my apartment between us. hoping that He will forget and take this lame offering of “resting” as obedience and give me what i want without having to really do the work and be vulnerable.
what the even heck?!
i have spent the last few months working on being seen by God. i have found the immeasurable sweetness that exists only in being known and seen by Him. that has been one of my biggest victories this year. and now, here i am, back to square one. striving to prove to Him that i am resting well, that i am obedient, that i am faithful & faithfilled. and here He is saying all He wants is me. just me. not my striving. not my excellent resting skills. just me. that’s what He came for. that’s what He died for.
i am so tired of resting, because i have been trying to do it on my own. i have been trying to crack the code. i have been afraid to show Him that i am tired of this cat & mouse game because i feel like i should have more faith than to doubt what He is doing. what if that disqualifies me from the promise?
i have been asking, “okay, if i do this, can i get a job then?” like it’s a trade off. i have been trying to distract myself from having to sit still. i have been so focused on the system, the outcome, and the process that i have missed being a part of them. i have missed the Source. and He has missed me. He just wants me back. He wants to spend time with me. and let me rest. and be restored. and be renewed. but like St. Augustine said:
“You have formed us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in You”
my heart has been restless. i haven’t rested, yet. i’ve spent a month striving to, but i haven’t been able to. i am maybe more tired than when i started. because i have been trying to do this on my own. trying to perform “rest” well enough for God to get the go-ahead for the next season to begin.
this resting thing is rich. it is full of goodness, mercy, compassion, provision, stability, and kindness. He wants to offer me all of those things. but instead, i have been experiencing fear, doubt, uncertainty, confusion, isolation, striving, loneliness and comparison. none of those things were included in the invitation from the Father. but i made room for them at the table. and He let me bring them, because He is generous. and He knew how weary i was. and even more than that, how confused i was. how i thought those were my friends. so He let them come to the table with me because i insisted.
and now He is preparing the table before me, in the presence of my enemies. He is reminding me that He was the one that sent the invitation in the first place. because He could see how tired i was. and He wanted to take care of me. He wants to provide the sweetest rest i could ever imagine. He wants to repair my tired heart. and remind me of His goodness.