This year has begun with a busy burst. Work has been manic – and me near burnout as December was definitely not a season of rest and holidaying (the life of retail). I have been sitting with stomach knots and anxiety and all I want is REST.
Finally I had a few days ‘rest’ , which sped by leaving me in the same position as before the time off. How could that be ?… It was like the stress and chaos was in me, holding onto me with its tallons.
How to run from stress?
Let’s look at the definition of Stress: A state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances. More on this: https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=20104
Do I feel I have had mental strain:Yes
Do I feel I have had demanding circumstances: Yes
Do I feel like a hamster running full-pace on its turn-wheel: Yes
So that settles it. Stressed I have been.
Running away from it seems so simple, yet it catches me every time. So what can I do to get rid of it? Run to rest? Go on a holiday? Spend a day at the spa?
I have often been on holidays and ‘forced’ myself to rest. Can I say its worked? Does it break the knot in my stomach? Well my feeble answer to trying to have it all figured out is : NO.
The reason for the ‘no’ is that the rest I’m trying to achieve is coming from the source of an anxious and weary heart. When I ‘will’ myself into rest, I fail. I’m restless and agitated and my poor body takes the brunt – my jaw clenches, my mind races, I wake up tired!
You might identify with a few of these symptoms: https://psychcentral.com/lib/the-impact-of-stress
I quiet my mind
I seek, pray and speak to my Father. Its not just a practiced lament, but a true one-on-one with my Pappa.
Something like this:
“Father, I’m struggling and tired and all I want is rest. I’m craving it and can’t seem to get it. I know I try to control the details of my life, but I really have failed at creating my own rest. I’m sorry I haven’t relied on you to meet all my needs. Please still my heart and help me to surrender to your rest for me. ”
When I seek the source of my rest, true rest over-takes me. No understanding of the how or why, but embracing it as my Father’s grace flows over me. “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:7.
My inner world
I understand that that holidays allow us to rest physically and I love them! But I am talking about living from a place of rest that comes from within, something that I alone cannot create. This is a rest that is given as an act of grace from my Father. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matt 11:28
That is a promise from my Father. So Instead of me taking control of my rest, I am taking surrender-steps toward my Father. As I step, I start to see the adventure God wants to take me on. I have a few clues about this adventure already, but am for the first time open to taking one step at a time and not leaping to the end of what I think it should look like.
I believe this year is graced in adventure and surprise and the most important part of this journey is the adventure of my heart.
Our Father is waiting for you at the well of abundant rest. Meet Him there and He will quench your heart.