4.23.2015

A Season of Rest

Isaiah 30:15

Sometimes God gives us seasons of challenge, or adventure, or uncertainty... and sometimes, he gives us seasons of rest.

I have found myself in a season of rest.

And it has been a long time since I have rested.

I kept myself extremely busy in college with a full load of classes, writing a thesis, teaching fitness classes, ministry, work, and social life. After I graduated, I spent the first half of 2014 working full time as a social work administrative assistant with a hour commute a day, still teaching fitness, and planning a wedding. During this time I was also majorly stressed about where my fiance and I would live once we were married, as he was still on the job hunt. My busy and stressful 2014 reached a peak in June, when the only thing I was certain about was that everything was uncertain.

Twelve days before our wedding my fiance was offered a job in Hermiston. This meant we would be moving to an area completely new to us, at least 3 hours from our friends and family. It also meant that I would need to quit my job and we would need to move right after our honeymoon. We went on the wait list for an apartment in Hermiston and in the in between were able to live with some very generous family of a friend.

After  over 4 years of go-go-go and 6 months of working full time and wedding planning, I found myself newly married living in the guest room of a couple I had just met, in a town I didn't know, by myself all day, with nothing to do.

I certainly did not take to this well at first. My poor husband probably wondered who he married. It took a while for me to recognize and accept that God had given me a season of rest. It continued longer than I thought it would, too.  But by the grace of God (seriously), over time, I learned how to do something I never should have forgotten how to do: rest.

Here's some things I've learned throughout my season of rest.
  • Rest is Individualized. Rest is not the same for everyone. When I was struggling to relax when first given this season, friends suggested Netflix binging and getting really good at MarioKart. While I like to do a bit of this, I feel more rested when I have time to get in touch with my creative side. When I am able to engage my imagination and express myself, I feel truly at peace and rejuvenated. What is truly restful is different for everyone and sometimes we need to do some exploring to find it.
  • Rest has to be practiced. Especially for those of us who have gotten out of the habit, rest is not easy. When we're addicted to being busy, we turn quiet moments into busy ones. Sometimes I might go on a walk to enjoy nature, and I find that in my mind I've focused more on making it a workout than an enjoyable walk. I then practice rest by sitting down on a bench to close my eyes, listen to the sounds of the birds and the wind blowing, and feel the sunshine. Sometimes when I'm waiting in the car, I resist the urge to pull out my phone to pass the time, so I can rest instead. It's almost as if I have to practice to keep "in shape" for resting. 
  • Lies we Believe about Rest. Our culture values a packed schedule. We ask "what do you do?" Our world teaches us that if you are busy, you are important. During my season of rest I've had all sorts of voices bounce around in my head telling me I'm wasting my time, that I'm not contributing anything, that my life has no purpose. These statements are false, these are lies. My purpose and my identity are not defined by what I do or how I spend my time. I am a beloved child of God and He gives me purpose and importance. If he has given me a season of rest, I believe there is meaning to it. 
  • To Rest is to Trust. To be able to rest, I have to trust that I am enough. That in Christ, I do not have to work my way to being good enough. I have to trust that in being His child alone, I am important and my life is full and useful. Also, I have to trust that He is doing the work. Even when I am not directly furthering my career or checking off my to-do list, I can sit back and relax knowing my Savior reigns.

 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. -Matthew 11:28-30 

God gives us not only permission to rest, but invitation to rest. Let us give ourselves permission and feel his quiet invitation; to know that we are enough, because He is enough.





      

8 comments:

Selena Campbell said...

Kelsey,

What a sweet girl you are, and what an amazing post this is! How I understand the hard part of resting. I usually feel guilty, because I always have so much to do. And for me, rest has to be purposeful, or I find that I just waste some time vegging because my brain can't take the "going" anymore.

Thanks for the reminder! (And thanks for visiting my blog.)

Blessings!
Selena

Rachel said...

This---> "To be able to rest, I have to trust that I am enough. That in Christ, I do not have to work my way to being good enough."
Yes, and amen sister! So glad we've connected, I love your heart in your writing <3

Deb Wolf said...

Kelsey, I graduated from college, married two weeks later, and moved away from home too. I did not handle it well at all. Rev was at work and I was in our tiny apartment by myself in a strange city. I gained 30 pounds and was miserable. Thankfully, I started teaching in the fall, the weight came off, and I adjusted. You are handling this well blessed by the Lord's wisdom. I'm looking forward to following your journey. I'd love to have you consider joining the Blessing Counter Link Party on Fridays. Many blessings to you!

Kelsey said...

Deb, I'm glad to hear I am not alone in the crazy transition experience! It is tough, but a huge opportunity for God to show us who He is.
I would love to join the link party, thank you so much for the invite, and for your encouragement. Take care!

Nicole said...

My grandma was always a very busy and faith-filled woman, and she talked about how you need to rest so you can be of use to serve God. Rest definitely has its place in a balanced life.

Kelsey said...

That is absolutely true, Nicole. Rest helps us be available to serve Him wholly. Thanks for stopping by!

Brenley Davis said...

Kelsey - LOVE this post!!! Your point about our World valuing a busy lifestyle is so true! "How are you?" "Busy busy busy!" We have to choose to slow down, enjoy the journey, and not be busy just to say we are. Prioritize... learn to say no to things...let some things go...so we have time to rest! Rest can even be a way of fasting, I believe. To put aside everything and have time to recharge with the Lord! Thank you for sharing!

Kelsey said...

Thank you so much Brenley! I'm thankful God is teaching me so much about rest- it is really a place we can get to know Him (and who we are in Him) so well. And that is so true about it being a way of fasting, I agree with that. Thank you for stopping by and your kind comment!