So, I’m sure you’re sick of hearing about how I battle doubt every day, and quite frankly, I’m sick of feeling it. I wanted to write about something different than overcoming doubts today, so I made my vow to let down my net, spent my time with God, waiting for something to inspire me to write, excited for whatever today’s post would come to be.
Total empty mind. (Blessing in disguise?)
So empty. It started raining. I got sleepy. I took a nap.
Now before you judge me as lazy and unproductive, I must defend myself by letting you know that I don’t sleep well in general, I’m up at 5am every morning, and most nights don’t go to bed till after midnight.
I woke up a half an hour later (see, it was just a cat nap, don’t hate) and my first thought was, I am soooo thankful that I have the ability to nap in the middle of the morning.
That got me thinking, I have spent so much time worrying about money and focusing on overcoming doubts, trying to keep my faith at the forefront of my mind instead of fear, that I have completely overlooked all of the blessings in this situation.
I mean, seriously, I just took a nap!
Ezekiel 34:15 says, “I will take care of my sheep and lead them to rest, declares the Almighty Lord.” (God’s Word)
Well that verse alone kills two birds with one stone. The Lord Almighty declares he will take care of his sheep, so maybe I can let my hair down just a little, huh? He leads us to rest….this one is always so hard for us. Well, it’s hard for me anyway.
I don’t rest. I can’t rest. I’m a single mom. There is no rest. I have to keep going, all the time. And I think I’ve hit my “keep going” limit. I think God knows that, and I think that’s why I am here now.
God’s word says, in so many places, that when we are obedient to him, he leads us to rest. What does that mean? Does it mean quitting our jobs and sipping margaritas at the beach all day? Sounds like rest to me! Nope. (It was worth a try)
Does it mean hiding from all the craziness in the world and confining ourselves to our comfort zone, avoiding evil and, for my fellow introverts out there, people in general? This also sounds like rest, but, no.
So what does it mean?
I think it means coming to a place of submission to God. We cringe at the word “submission”, but think about it. Imagine the way a child can sleep peacefully at night, uninhibited by worries about material needs or emotional distress. Instead, she wakes every morning with complete faith that all her needs will be met. She trusts without even thinking about it that her father knows the way as he leads her on their journey for the day. As she takes his hand, she knows only that she loves him, and that wherever they go, he will be by her side. She knows she is his world and her purpose is to enjoy her time with him. She knows that if she disobeys him, he will correct her and that is how she learns what is right and what is wrong. She knows she is safe.
That is rest.
It is coming to a place of complete trust in our Father. It’s coming to the realization that no matter how hard we try and fight and strive, we can’t earn his love. It’s already there. In the same sense, there is nothing we can do, no amount of striving, no salary that will lead down the path to rest, joy, and peace. It is submitting to his will, not because we feel forced, but because we have uncompromised faith that he knows the way!
At the end of this month, I will no longer have a paycheck. I can certainly justify worrying about that. But in all honesty, even when I have a paycheck, it’s not enough. I’ve never made enough money to really support my family. And I worry, just as much if not more when I am working three jobs as I am worrying now.
I am not slacking off, and despite my admittance to indulging in a cat nap this morning, I am definitely not lying around in my jammies all day chillin. (I am wearing sweats today, but that’s because it’s raining, and rain makes me feel cold) Writing, speaking God’s truth to you, that’s my passion, and although I love it, it’s really hard. When you’ve re-written an article for the eighth time and you realize that you went off in a rant and completely lost the point you were trying to make to begin with, your mind sort goes numb and you understand why so many writers drink. It’s exasperating. But, like a piece of art that has been painstakingly revised by the creator until his vision is accomplished, when I finish writing an article, the feeling of pride and excitement is indescribable. (See what I mean about the point being lost)
Anyway, my point is, that I am working hard, but I am not striving. I am giving my all to glorify God with my work, not fighting to squeeze a dollar into my bank account by any means possible. I am patiently listening to my children, spending time with them, getting to really know them, instead of crying myself to sleep at night, frustrated at the knowledge that I have failed them and there is nothing I can do about it. I am uncovering nightmares from my past that have infected every relationship I have ever had, bravely ready to overcome demons with my Father holding my hand. I am no longer desperately seeking acceptance from the world. I am focusing on seeing myself through God’s eyes, seeing others through God’s eyes, and engaging in the relationships in my life that truly matter.
The cost of this feeling- knowing that I can let go and enjoy this place of rest where God has led me, knowing that God is on my side, that I can trust him to keep his promises…..
I am choosing not to worry about what happens at the end of this month. I am not ignoring it, but I am not going to worry about it either. Instead, I am going to enjoy this place of rest. I am going to trust that God will open the right doors for me as I step out in obedience. I am going to go swimming in the afternoon with my daughter, and then again after dinner, because that’s her favorite thing to do, and I have time now. I am going to have mocha in the morning with my son, because that’s when we have the best conversations, and I have nowhere I have to be. I am going to cook healthy, homemade meals every night (well maybe not every night) because I have time to actually put some thought into dinner now. I am going to make sure my house is clean, that we have a structured schedule, that we serve God in my house, because God has given me the opportunity to do so without feeling like I’m drowning in a never-ending to-do list. I’m going to enjoy the ability to take a nap if I need to.
I am going to count my blessings right here in this moment, praise him for what he is going to do in my future, and thank him every day for this place of rest that I am in.
What are you holding onto that God is asking you to let go of? Ask him to lead you to a place of rest…take his hand, and let him lead the way.
Check out a couple more verses on God’s rest: (all you have to do is click, don’t be lazy)