Ministry

The Hard Work of Rest

The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.Last week was a doozy. My husband had surgery on Thursday, and all week leading up to that was filled with appointments and errands and preparations. Our routines were completely upturned, we both had mild anxiety about the procedure, and as if that wasn’t enough to stress us out, I began the week with a sore throat and had to deal with all of the above while feeling achy, run-down and struggling to breathe.

It felt like everything I’ve been saying here about rest and grace and slowing down went out the window as we lapsed back into survival mode.

The thing that’s hardest about survival mode, or one of the things, anyway, is getting out of it once the crisis has passed. In a lot of ways, I’m still struggling to completely climb my way out of this mode after a long, drawn-out season of hardship and grief. It started nearly eight years ago with the loss of a good job. This was followed fairly shortly by back-to-back miscarriages, and we had just enough time to catch our breath from that before both of my in-laws passed away in rapid succession. Then we managed to go a whole year without anything devastating happening before my website business went belly up and left us in dire straits.

I could probably write dozens of blog posts about all of the ways God provided for us and sustained us during this time, but that doesn’t change the fact that it was stressful, and that kind of chronic stress, drawn out over a period of years, isn’t something you can just turn off once things are better.

And things have been better, for a few years now. Not perfect by any means, but better. Even so, I still struggle with anxiety sometimes. God used this long period of hardship to bring me to a place of surrender, of learning to be completely dependent on Him instead of trying to exert control over my life, but it’s been a long, slow process of learning, healing and yielding, and I’m not completely there yet. I may never be completely there in this life. I’m still at a point when any kind of crisis or stressful situation, even when I know it’s temporary, puts me right back in that place where I’m walking around with my entire body clenched like a fist and my gut constantly churns with a vague sense of dread.

It hasn’t been as bad this time, but it was a struggle. It takes effort to rest in the Lord. It takes mindfulness to hold onto His peace. Rest and peace are there in these stressful, anxious times, but we have to consciously reach for them and fight to hold on. We do this through prayer, through making time to just be in God’s presence, and by keeping our minds steeped in the truth of His word.

It also takes trust and letting go. Letting go of our own efforts to control the situation. Trusting that HE is in control and everything will work out the way it’s supposed to, and that no matter what the outcome, He’ll be with you, strengthening and sustaining you, holding you and carrying you.

One thing this long season of hardship and healing has taught me is that the more I’m able to loosen my grip on life, the more rest and peace I have, and the more He’s able to move and establish His plan for my life, which is so much better than anything I planned. I keep learning to get out of His way.

Still, old habits die hard sometimes, and it can be easy to forget what we’ve learned and lapse back into old patterns. Lord, help us when we do so, making us mindful and reminding us that You are in control and it’s not our job to fix things or hold things together. Our job is to trust you and draw close to you for rest and peace. You are our battle fighter, and You hold all things together. Help us, Father, to get out of your way.

Amen.

He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. – Colossians 1:17

The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still. – Exodus 14:14

Do you struggle to get out of crisis mode? Is there something that’s got you in survival mode right now? Let me know how I can pray for you in the comments.

Love,
sig-transparent

 

 

PS – Find more encouragement at the following linkups:

Holley Gerth’s Coffee For Your Heart

Missional Women’s Faith Filled Fridays

#DreamTogether at God-Sized Dreams

The LORD will fight for you.
Pin this post

 

JeanA Jesus girl through and through, Jean Marie Bauhaus is on a journey of healing and rediscovering who God purposefully created her to be. She’s the wife of Matt and mom to a crew of four-legged dependents, all of whom make their home in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Jean counts coffee, dark chocolate and a yarn addiction among her vices. She’s the author of Restless Spirits, a family-friendly paranormal romance coming October 31st from Vinspire Publishing. You can learn more about her novels and short fiction at jeanmariebauhaus.com.
Advertisements

4 thoughts on “The Hard Work of Rest”

  1. Jean, I am glad to be your neighbor at the God-Sized Dreams Link Up. I wouldn’t say that I’m in crisis mode from any specific series of events, but I can relate to putting my agenda before God’s plans. I am reconsidering some career options, but I don’t know what that would look like yet or if I’m even supposed to change. I keep dreaming up all sorts of plans, and God keeps having to remind me that I am following Him, not the other way around. Your post was encouraging, and I pray that your family is able to find rest. I hope you have a blessed week!

    1. Thanks, Courtney! We appreciate the prayers, and I’m praying for wisdom and patience as you figure out the next steps for your career. It can be SO hard to keep from grabbing hold of the reigns and running out ahead of God, especially in this area.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Yes! I can so relate. We’ve moved A LOT in a short span of a few years and it completely wiped me out. I developed an auto immune disorder that I still battle. And while things are better, when stress rears it’s head I can feel my body tensing up. I have to remind myself that God is going before me and is with me, daily. I just need to trust Him.

    1. Oh, I’m so sorry to hear about the AID. I have yet to be tested for it, but I strongly suspect I have Hashimoto’s. Whether or not that’s the case, PCOS plus hypothyroid makes things extra hard sometimes, so I totally get it, and I’ll keep you in my prayers. BTW, your post on waiting at GSD last week really ministered to me, and I’ll be linking to it in my next blog post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s