Remembering in the Light.

“Your soul finds rest in Me alone.” After pouring out my soul to the Lord this morning on everything I was thinking and feeling, from friendships to constipation, these words refilled me.

“Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
– Matthew 11:28 –

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He doesn’t say rest for your back in this verse. The work on this earth will never fully stop. He’s referring, I firmly believe, to rest for the soul. When I first realized this, spoken by my surrogate uncle and high school math teacher, I almost wept. At this point in my life, my back was sore, my spirit near breaking. Perhaps it was already cracking. Death was at every corner, to the point that each time my mother got a phone call the first response in my mind was “Who now have we lost?” Coupled with this was the natural senior year stresses and the weight of being a ministry kid, which began to feel a heavier and heavier burden as I grew more and more aware of it and the difference between my life and those of my classmates’. When I heard these words, then, I was done, and I knew the load on my back was nowhere near letting up. But now, spoken from the voice of one outside the situation, someone I loved dearly, looked up to, and knew I could trust wholeheartedly, I had the assurance that in the midst of this chaos there would be rest.

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Fast forward a few years, and that storm is a mere memory and testimony. Whenever I read that verse now, I hear it in Uncle Don’s voice in an 8:00 AM math class, but now pertaining to less back-breaking worries. With it I sense His whisper:

“I will take care of the one you are praying for.”
“I created time- don’t you think I can stop it long enough for you to be with Me this morning?”
“Have I ever not taken care of one of your needs?”

Our peace ought never be in the circumstance around us, but only in who He is.

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“The God of old is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms. He drives out the enemy before you and commands, ‘Destroy!'”
– Deuteronomy 33:27 –

In this season of simplicity, painful memories remember to arise. Our minds are often so brutal to wander exactly where we wish they wouldn’t when we forget to purposefully occupy them elsewhere. But that is when He commands, “Destroy!”

“He lets me lie down beside green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.”
– Psalm 23:2 –

“I am at rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him.”
– Psalm 62:1 –

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Before, and in the beginning of, that awful storm I often refer to on here, I would tend to invalidate my own feelings because my situation was still so much better than those of the ones my parents would counsel. In the middle of the season, I realized that no, mine are just as valid. A broken heart is a broken heart, whether it was a twig or a sledgehammer that broke it. However, now that I’m past that season, I’ll catch myself being so relaxed in this time of rest that I will forget to bring my little cares to the Lord and watch as He deals with them. Instead they pile inside, only to spew out all over Jonny at one wrong word, and I miss the blessing of watching my God work. This morning, I finally let the ink flow with every care, no matter how petty they feel. Within fifteen minutes, He met one of the requests. My challenge to you then, dear reader, is to remember in the light what you learned in the dark. The lesson which was total openness and dependance on the Lord for me is likely something different for you. Hold onto it, remember it. And should you still be in the midst of your storm, take heart. Rest is waiting for your soul to take hold of.

“But let all who take refuge in You rejoice; let them shout for joy forever. May You shelter them, and may those who love Your name boast about You. For You, Lord, bless the righteous one; You surround him with favor like a shield.”
– Psalm 5:11-12 –

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Adjusting to a Life of Simplicity.

I’ve begun to realize I have been so focused on running the race that I have lost sight of the destination. Now He has me in a season of simply being; no more running, no more time-crunching, simply being. Days spent altering clothes, doing dishes, running simple errands. In this I’m sort of rediscovering Serenity, this time as a wife.
 

“He brought me out to a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me.” – Psalm 18:19 –


For years I have subconsciously believed that if I wasn’t so busy it was almost overwhelming (or completely overwhelming), I was unproductive. I had to be performing as a good Christian- namely, a good pastor’s daughter- 24/7 or I felt I was becoming a sluggard. While asserting that it’s not about how much we serve, but rather our hearts, I lived as though that wasn’t the case. 


I wonder for how many ministry kids this is the case, ever trying to live lives bigger and brighter than the pedastal we tend to be put on, or choosing instead to run in the exact opposite direction. 

Either way, lately in my life He has been slowly drawing me back to the beginning. Verses about “forgetting your first love” showing up repeatedly in my quiet time had me praying “Thank You so much, Jesus, that that isn’t me.” After the seventh time it showed up in two months, He hit me over the head with it, and it smelled like the crushed roses it was. “Stop. This is you. You watch the women down in Oasis from your sound booth thinking of who you’re going to pray with, who you’re going to talk to, how to better be that good little Christian girl; you sign up for altar team because you’re so loving and sweet and evangelistic, but you’ve lost sight on the Garden because you’re too busy working to get back there.” 

I resigned from the altar team. 


“Be still and know that I am God.” – Psalm 46:10 –

It’s not that these pursuits aren’t worthwhile. It’s that the motives weren’t always in check. Altar team was to fill my time, get back to this place of running I’m so comfortable in so I can be just frazzled enough to feel like Wonder Woman in a winning battle. 


But that’s not where He wants me right now. He wants me focusing on school, even when it’s easy. He wants me taking care of the house, even when it leaves me with more extra time on my hands than I’m used to. The habits I set now, when it’s easy, are what will carry me through when busyness returns. 


Even as I write this I’m aware of how often I’ve mentioned this before, that of “returning to the Garden.” It’s a perpetual lesson for me. But I’m so grateful He’s a patient teacher, who will bring me back to the place of crystal rivers and dancing trees where I first met Him.