“You made us for Your heart, oh Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You…"
Rest… something I’m not naturally very good at. When I’m exhausted or it’s time for bed, sure, I can rest and sleep just like anybody else. But taking the time to rest in Jesus? You might as well be trying to get a hungry or hyper baby to nap. I don’t mean to be this way and I definitely don’t like it; it’s just a habit that has formed in me over the years, a huge part of it attributed to always living in the city and being in that culture of constantly being on the go and in a hurry. And it’s probably the reason it’s so hard for me to sit and write like I used to. If I’m not disciplined, I can get so easily distracted- constantly checking emails and notifications, searching the Internet, finding things to cross off or add to my never-ending to-do list, surfing the TV… basically anything that pops in my head. Most mornings I can enjoy journaling with my cup of coffee, but even that has a limit. Thirty minutes to an hour and I’m itching to get going with all my things to do.
I am thankful for my ‘journaling with Jesus’ time because it starts my day off right, but if I’m being honest it’s also often an escape or cop-out from spending time in the Word or simply dialoguing with the Lord. And it’s a great excuse for not writing, whether my book or for my blog. Because, “well, I already wrote today, so…” or whatever excuse I can make up and pretend makes sense, really. And I can’t stand it because I long to be a writer. I long to write my books, to keep up with my blog. But I get discouraged almost immediately because I don’t have anything to say, and how can I if I don’t sit and rest and listen for His words? After all, I am a tool for Him- a deliverer of His Truth and a carrier of His love. I don’t want to spend my time writing meaningless words filled with selfish vanity for the racking up of my own pleasure; I want my words to change lives and wreck hearts because they’re filled with the love of the Father. And that is overwhelming, especially because I know that’s part of my calling. So, I can’t “just write,” no, I have to rest. And not only rest, but be in a state of rest all the time, constantly dialoging with the Holy Spirit and listening to what He’s saying. And that’s kind of scary when you’re used to listening to yourself and being ruled by your emotions and feelings. Us writers are especially good at justifying that, too, because according to the world that’s what shapes our writing and gives it life, makes it relatable. And I’m not saying that’s bad because I agree to an extent that our writing needs emotion or it’s flat and lifeless, but what if we were to marry that concept with being filled with the Spirit and allowing His love to flow through us when we write? Our words would not just be for ourselves or for licking wounds. We wouldn’t just be helping people to reflect on their emotions or dwell in their pain or escape from reality, but engaging them to the Truth that sets them free, speaking identity over them! That is worth all the painful stretches of yielding to Him and learning to rest in the world.
I knew starting this blog would be stretching as I learn to yield to what He wants to speak through me, and now as I feel called to finally write my book, as well, the temptation to be overwhelmed comes knocking. Who am I to have a blog about speaking love, truth and identity into girls and women? Me who is so flawed and still learning these things myself? And now I’m going to attempt to write a book? Ha! I am so unqualified by myself. I remember a time where I just soaked in my pain like it was something to be admired. And it was admired because that kind of dark writing usually is. It can be real creative and “pretty” sounding, but all it does is help us dwell in our own pain. I know for me it was so appealing because it meant I didn’t have to go through the even more painful reality of letting go or growing or being set free. It was a whole lot easier to stay where I was at- miserable, broken and wounded. So, now, years later here I am: a young woman who wants to use her past pain, her testimony, to bring others into the same beautiful revelation of the eternal love and identity being poured out by the Father. It’s totally laugh-worthy when you take Jesus out of the picture! He is the reason I’m set free from my past, my old self, and the “why” behind my passion. If it’s just me, I’m lifeless, just like my words. So, no matter how difficult and stretching these times are for me, I’m jumping up and down with excitement to share all of this with others. But how?
Like the autumn leaf I just watched fall from the tree and glide gracefully in the wind, I’m letting go and letting Him lead. That leaf didn’t have to do anything but be willing to detach itself from its comfort zone and go where it was called, the wind did the guiding. All it had to do was be still. And rest.
Rest in Him...