As I contemplated what to write about in this post, I became overwhelmed with the possible ideas. My heart is so full and I have so much good stuff to share, but somehow I don’t think writing a novel of a blog post is ideal. So I’m starting here. I’m starting with rest. The concept of rest has been strong on my heart recently. Why? Because I don’t do it. I was asked about two weeks ago what I do to rest. My answer: I go be by myself. As soon as the words left my mouth, it hit me. I don’t rest. In fact, since the beginning of the semester, I hadn’t spent any time alone besides when I slept at night or the occasional time I studied alone (study parties have become a habit this semester). Even my quiet times have been a quick morning routine in my bedroom while my roommate is still asleep. I felt convicted by this realization. but also very conflicted. I’m a major extrovert! I hate being alone. I feed off of people’s energy. I feel a strong pull to community. And honestly, I suffer from major FOMO (fear of missing out). But as I pondered the thought, I realized how truly exhausted I was. I felt mentally and physically drained, and frankly…spiritually discouraged. Talking it out with my friend, I realized my feelings of inadequacy in leadership or inability to fruitfully pour into my friends intentionally all comes back to how empty I’ve made myself. I hadn’t allowed myself to be filled. That night, after that conversation, I rested. I apologized to a friend who I promised to hang out with, telling her I needed to just have some time for myself. I went to my room, laid down, prayed, and cleared my head. The result was overwhelming, I felt refreshed.
This past weekend, I went to InterVarsity’s Expedition Conference (more on that later!). I was so excited for the intentional time I would have to with people in my fellowship. We stayed up late each night playing games…resulting in about 9 hours of sleep for me total for the weekend. Don’t get me wrong I LOVED the time I spent with my friends, but I totally threw this rest thing out the window. The irony is that I even told friends who felt bad about going to bed early that it was ok if they were tired, that they needed rest. Silly Sarah, why didn’t you take your own advice?! God challenged me immensely this past weekend, He really identified areas of my life that I needed to give up to Him. But the real kicker came in our last session before we left. The speaker prepared a lesson to help send us back to our campus, full of God’s power and strength. The topic: rest. Woah. It was like the message was written right to me. Jon spoke about the importance of rest in our lives. How God gives sleep to those He loves (Psalm 127:2). He talked about how we need to be restored. That we need to intentionally make time to fill ourselves up in a stress free way. Why? Because God can’t use us if we are to weak to see where He is calling us. There is no shame in needed to be alone and rest, it’s required. We can’t pour into others until we, ourselves, are filled.
This morning, I woke up knowing I needed to rest today. I needed to overcome the stress of homework & midterms…through God’s peace. As I returned from my morning class, preparing for a quick nap, I received this text from my friend Amy: I couldn’t have gotten this text at a better time. I love how God used her to remind me of this truth. (Also, check out her post on rest)
Dear friends, where are you right now with God? With life in general? Are you overwhelmed with stress from school, work, or relationships? Are you feeling stretched too thin by a need to always be active? God does not call us to more than we can handle. He calls us to rest, in Him and His power. My hope is that you can be encouraged today to say no to the clutter in your life and truly humble yourself to His grace. It is okay to be tired, just embrace it :)
Rest well today!