Linking up with Lisa-Jo and the great group that participates in Five Minute Friday. The main rule is to write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking – on the topic that Lisa-Jo posts about each week.
This week’s topic is: Rest
I don’t do rest well.
Not that it’s the same thing, but I also don’t sleep well. And both of the above have always been true of me. Even when I was a baby I didn’t need a lot of sleep and I’d stay awake, almost as if I thought I’d miss something if I fell asleep. Rest time at school? No way! I’d look around the room, finding things to read, or colours and patterns to contemplate, or something. But actually rest? Nope, not this girl!
In many ways, an inability to rest (or sleep!) comes in very handy. I can work ridiculous numbers of hours and not give it another thought, or I can go a crazy number of days without sleeping and not even really realize it. That’s super handy when things are crazy busy or when traveling around the world!
It also allows me to multi-task. In fact, I struggle not to multi-task. Unless it’s time with God, or a heart to heart conversation with a friend, or working on learning another language, you can pretty much guarantee that I’m doing several things at once. I think it has a lot to do with my desire to be productive and a good steward of the time God’s given me.
I’m finding out the hard way, though, when you don’t rest enough, God sometimes has to find more drastic ways to slow you down and for you to rest.
Eighteen months ago when my health first really went downhill it forced me to slow down some. I had to rest more because my body just wasn’t handling NOT doing so very well. Inevitably I fell back into my normal way of life, even when physically I knew I really shouldn’t – or couldn’t.
In November, God allowed me to have to slow down and rest even more. I ended up in the hospital, flat on my back, physically unable to even sit up for more than a few minutes at a time. Resting was about the only option. Yet I struggled with not going stir crazy, not feeling utterly unproductive, as if I were wasting the gifts God had given me, and I pushed to return back to work a lot sooner than my doctors really wanted.
As of this week, I’m forced to rest even more – not really as a result of the few days I had gone back to work two months ago – but because it was clear there was more going on and my body simply couldn’t handle it, and there was more that needed to be resolved. I’ve had to leave the job – the ministry – that I’ve loved so dearly. Although none of this is what I would have chosen, I’m determined to learn what God has for me in this really difficult season – one characterized by loss on so many levels.
I do a lot of resting. I still can’t be up very long. It’s almost impossible for me to multi-task anymore. I’m lucky if I mark one thing off my mental ‘to do’ list a day. Many days I can’t even venture out of the house. So I’ll rest and trust that God is going to meet me in this place I’d never have chosen, now that He’s forced me to not just slow down, but to stop.