A few nights ago, as the boo and I were cooking dinner, our girl Susie was – unsurprisingly – glued to our feet. At no other time does she wish failure upon us more then when we are handling food. For at least ten minutes, she was pacing back and forth, nosing her way between our legs, just waiting for a crumb to fall out of our hands and do a somersault into her mouth.
Hope springs eternal, baby girl.
Unfortunately for her, we were grown-ups that day and managed to drop not a morsel to the floor. Once she realized her opportunity had passed, she trotted back to the living room, plopped herself down on the floor and began critically analyzing where she went wrong.
Or she forgot about it immediately and fell asleep… we may never know.
After she finally gave up, feelings of hunger and defeat washing over her with every labored breath (she’s old and can’t do much of anything without getting winded), that was when she finally received the very thing she wanted most.
I snuck up behind her, bent down beside her, and placed in front of her nose, three small bites of what had been taunting her all night – steak.
Now usually, the best homegirl is known for getting is a piece of shredded chicken or a slice of an apple. But steak?! We hardly eat steak. She was living her best life.
Surprised by this sudden turn of events, she popped her head up, savored her food (jk, she inhaled it) and curled herself back into her ball, quite pleased, I’m sure, with how everything just seemed to work out.
Last we talked, I shared with you how ya girl was doing the a b s o l u t e m o s t when it came to figuring out my purpose. I was coming off of one of the busiest seasons thus far, jam packed with long hours at work, plus after-work commitments four nights out of the week – all while still trying to be a good wife, keep my hair moisturized and my waist snatched.
So when I found myself going from Busy-Bee-Betty to Nothing-To-Do-Nan, I quickly found ways to fill up my newly acquired time. But then I turned into Panic-Driven-Patty and that chick was crazy.
I realized that, not only was I overwhelming myself, but I was no closer to clarity than when I had first started searching. That’s when I believe God lovingly used those around me to encourage me in a) finding several seats and b) suggesting I take them.
Which is how we ended up here. With a prompting to do what seemed to be the complete opposite of what I thought I needed.
How do I do that?
When it comes to physically resting, you don’t need to worry about me. I’ve been napping for 29 years and – not to toot my own horn or anything – I’ve kinda perfected that craft.
But when it came to resting in something (or someone), I was without a clue.
So I did what any Believer would do – I prayed about it.
And then I did what any Millennial would do – I Google’d it. (Because far be it for me to shun one of the ways the good Lord can speak to us – amen?!)
So, how does one experience this Godly rest?
My counselor said something recently that really stuck with me.
She said that when we think of “casting”, we may picture in our minds a fishing rod. When we cast the line into the water, we still have control over it, so we haven’t truly let it go.
When it comes to giving it to God, I’m all for laying it at the feet of Jesus.
I just find myself checking back every 3-5 business days, just to see if it’s been processed and ready to ship.
She said, instead of our version of “casting”, we should think of it as “hurling” our cares to Him. Throwing that care right over the fence, out of the park, won’t-be-coming-back-until-it’s-handled kind of throw.
So, how do I truly rest?
By hurling my discouragement, confusion, fears, worries, struggles – all of the things to Him. And tell Him that I trust Him to move on my behalf.
Have you seen that illustration of Jesus kneeling in front of a little girl?
She has a small teddy bear in her arms and she’s pleading with Him not to take it away. But what she doesn’t see is the larger teddy bear behind His back – the one that He’s ready to give her, just as soon as she lets go of hers.
What does it look like to rest?
It’s letting go of my raggedy teddy bears and giving Him space to come in and provide for me. Cause let’s be honest – He always comes through with more than I would have known to ask and better than I could have done.
Know I’m loved.
Whenever I tell my mom that I love her, she always responds the same way:
“I love you most-est.”
To which I say:
“I love you best-est.”
Even though these are not real words (but it’s adorable when we say it, so fall back) the point is this. She wins.
She loves me most-est and best-est. No competition. She knew me in her womb, provides for me abundantly and loves me with no condition.
How do I experience rest?
By simply acknowledging the fact that God loves me more than I could ever know, understand or deserve. And if He loves me that much, then surely He’s got me… right?
Recently, I downloaded the Merriam-Webster Dictionary app to my phone. During my reading time, I often come across words that I don’t know the meaning for, so I look them up.
I’ll take ‘Anthropopathic’ for 400, Alex!
But sometimes, I like to look up words that I know I know, and I’ve known for years. But I do it anyway to make sure that I’m using it in the right context and to also find synonyms to better help me understand the word.
So when I was researching this Godly rest, and I was prompted to ‘find hope’, I wanted to be sure I really knew what this hope was.
“Hope” (noun): A feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. Synonyms include – desire, wish, goal or plan.
So what is Godly rest?
Hoping (wishing and planning) beyond all hope that something good will happen, but not without my God.
For this one, I once again found myself defining one of those I-know-this-but-just-in-case words: faith.
Only this time, instead of looking to the Merriam’s and Mr. Webster for my definition, I turned to the Good Book.
“Faith”: The confidence of things hoped for, the assurance of what is not yet seen. (Hebrews 11:1)
How do I experience this rest?
With the belief that good will happen, in accordance to and outside of my hard work and toiling. That even in a state of rest, God can work it out for my benefit.
During this prolonged period of rest, I’m still doing work, I’m just doing it with a new perspective.
I’ve kept up on my writing, I renewed my library card, and I hit the gym pretty regularly so that I can eat fried oreos and feel no shame.
But with that, I’m also reminded that maybe this season of waiting is exactly where God is doing His best work in me.
All I know for certain right now, is that I’ve only cried twice this week! So, again – not to toot my own horn – but I think I’m doing pretty okay-ish at this whole rest thing.