When we were preparing to move God told me something. That this year would be my year of rest.
With everything going on, packing, moving, living temporarily in caravan, battling solicitors to speed up the purchase of our new home, finally getting into that home, getting the children into new schools, my partner starting his new job, I can tell you it certainly didn’t feel like it was a year of rest. In fact I felt frazzled and uneasy for most of the time as well as homesick for Cornwall.
But once the storms of life began to pass, God kept telling me that he was doing something new. That he makes all things new.
I am coming to the end of this year of rest and I am thankful for this time. It has not been easy and at times I felt anxious because I feel like I should always be doing something, or going somewhere or generally being busy. But what I found was that I had time to process and seek God, time to cry and be angry, time to enjoy this new phase, time to join a church and begin serving there, time to spend with my family and friends, time to finish my book and begin editing it and most importantly rest. I had no idea how tired I was but God did. I had no idea that I needed time, but God did.
I needed a break.
A chance to stop and lay everything that I had been carrying at Jesus’ feet.
It’s not easy, sometimes I end up picking up those things again because it feels strange to be without them. I need to learn and develop a deeper trust. But this simple verse helps me to do that in Psalm 119:
“You are good and you do good, teach me your statutes.”
I can trust in the father’s goodness, it is the source of all the wonderful things in my life and carries me through the not so good parts too.
I have to be honest, at certain points during this year, I was drowning. I couldn’t keep my head up above the water. I felt like I was tossed around, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. I began to notice this happened more when I allowed my emotions to take over of fear and anxiety. I started to have bad dreams again and I struggled to serve my family. But every time I cried out to the Lord, he stilled the storms that were raging in me. Through his word, through a song, or through prayer or his people God kept me going.
Case in point: I recently went to my house group and we are currently studying the Holy Spirit over eight weeks looking at different aspects and truths. A friend led this particular evening and did a wonderful demonstration. She used an empty glass, a jug of water and a plate. She asked one of us to demonstrate how the Holy Spirit wants to operate in our lives. So one of us poured the water in the cup until it was overflowing. But she made the point that spoke directly to my heart with the plate, she put it on top of the glass and continued to pour water over the top. God does not stop pouring out his love and the Holy Spirit does not stop wanting to fill us, but we can stop God and the Holy Spirit with the barriers we put up. I realised then that I was still so angry with God for what I thought was loss at leaving my life behind in Cornwall. It wasn’t until I was honest with God that I felt peace and I could begin to see the good in this year.
So now as I am approaching the end of my year of rest, I am wondering what God has in store for me.
Part of this is that I have started to look for work again. I have started the process of looking for a job and filling out really long applications.
But God keeps telling me to trust him, to keep looking to him and seeking him. Psalm 23 has been popping up over and over again.
“The Lord is my Shepard, I shall not want.”
I can trust that Jesus is with me and will keep all that concerns me, including my future.
What I have learned is that it’s ok to stop, rest and take a break. God doesn’t want me to burn out and I think that God is preparing me for something. I don’t know what it is yet, but whatever it is, it will be good.