My baby boy is six months old today.
For the first five months of his life, I felt like I was under water, but I didn’t realize it until my head finally broke above the surface. I remember it clearly – one day, I just felt like I could breathe again. I felt like I could something outside of the things that were completely necessary to sustain life around here – like dishes and laundry and diapers and feeding people.
I remember when I finally made the long overdue vet appointment for my dogs. I remember clearing off the table. I remember sorting toys. I remember the feeling of taking that first deep breath. I remember really wanting to dive back into my Bible and read. I remember really wanting to take my 30 30s seriously (more on that later). I remember finally feeling like I could be my sole motivator for that, like I didn’t NEED other people to help keep me accountable.
A lot has changed in the past few weeks as life returns to me. I have registered to Run the Year 2016 with my sister, brother-in-law, and dad. And I have actually done some running.
I have started a youtube yoga program, 30 Days of Yoga with Adriene, and I’ve actually completed 3 days of it. With kids! And dogs! In the morning! When everyone is awake!
I’m able to focus more on being WITH the kids instead of hiding behind my phone screen browsing the internet. I can think about things other than how to recharge my dead internal battery. I feel like I am me again.
How often in life does this happen? How often do we find ourselves overwhelmed at new changes in jobs or life circumstances or by the mundane drivel of everyday living? How often do we find ourselves shutting down at every moment possible because it seems to be the only way to survive?
Friends, you are not alone.
Life is hard. It is repetitive. It can get boring. It can get overly complicated and overwhelming. Hurt, sorrow, pain, and loss can threaten to steal away all our joy. Our souls can get heavy with the burden of living. Maybe you’ve lost a friend, a family member, a child and you feel so shattered that you’re afraid you’ll never find the pieces to put yourself back together. Maybe you’re burdened by loneliness because your friends live far away and you haven’t been able to make new ones yet, so you feel a little lost. Maybe you’ve pictured your life one way, and for whatever reason, it hasn’t turned out that way. Maybe you expected to be further or closer, to be established in a career by now and you find yourself drifting along, trying to find your next move.
Friends, you are not alone.
We have a friend in Jesus who never leaves us, who always walks beside us.
Or drags us, sometimes. Or carries us. Friends, we serve a God who knows us, who cares about us, who has been tempted in every way and yet was without sin. He gets it and, as my husband said last night, he will take care of us if we just let him. God will provide if we will simply let him. If we can let go of our own agenda and rest in him, God will provide rest we’ve never dreamed of. He will bless us in ways we couldn’t think to ask for.
So the big question, then, is what does that look like? Sure, that sounds great, but I’ve heard crap like that all my life, but no one has ever EXPLAINED what that means or how to DO it.
So what is resting in God? It is taking time to be still, to be quiet, to pray – without distraction. Without the TV. Without your phone. It’s sharing all the stuff you think about, but never say to anyone. It’s letting out the ridiculous feelings or the frustrations of life and the ways people around you annoy you. Yes, saying them out loud in an empty room.
Sometimes, resting in God is being around other people who are followers of Christ who can remind you of simple truths. People who gently point you in the direction of Christ when you forget to look that way. Friends who can tell you that the little people in your house are blessed to be in a Christian home. Friends who struggle in their lives and are authentic enough to share those struggles.
It’s YOU being authentic to others and letting them do what they please with it. Maybe you find that someone who you thought was a good friend really isn’t when the going gets tough for you and you have questions and doubts. Maybe it’s stepping back and realizing they are dealing with their own complicated problems and so they can’t be there emotionally for you right now, in this moment. Maybe they never can. Maybe they are too sensitive, their skin is too thin, they are too easily offended and you don’t have the energy to deal with that kind of relationship.
Friends, whatever you are going through that makes you feel like you’re underwater will not last forever. Your head will break the surface. You will breathe again. God will provide for you. He will refresh you. He will restore you. Don’t let yourself forget that. The effort and the journey of growth are more important than rigid adherence to a prescribed discipline. Everyone’s journey toward Christ is different and as long as we are moving, that is the important part, so do what you need to do. Find Christ followers around you. Find people in your same stage of life. Make your village. Rest in Christ. Keep your eyes looking up because one day, you find that you need to look down to see the top of the water.