As I look back on 2018, I can see the hand of God pushing me through some of the most profound lessons ever. I wrote and published my new book called The Glitter Effect, which discusses in depth the power of influence and why we must be intentional about our words and actions. My two years of studying and writing have finally come to an end with this project. And to be honest, I’m exhausted.
And not in a negative way, really. It’s the kind of spiritual exhaustion one feels after a breakthrough altar session on a Sunday night. The kind of mental exhaustion from being fed life-changing knowledge and having your mind completely blown. The kind of physical exhaustion because waking up before the sun and the sons to write the words will affect the body after a while. It’s a fulfilling kind of exhaustion.
Yet I know myself. I know that I’m not wired to be a robot. I know that after a big project like writing a book, rest is needed. Not only to be refreshed but also to be renewed. For the words and the lessons to start being part of my daily life and dialogue. That the Lord wasn’t giving me a book just to share with others, but to live it myself. And that I have to take the time to let Him transform me into the person He’s called me to be. How can I do that if I won’t take time to rest?
“There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:9-12
Lately I’ve been feeling impressed by God to rest. Not because I’m overwhelmed or can’t handle life. It’s not like that at all. During prayer the other day, the Lord placed the perfect analogy into my mind and I felt led to share it with you. It’s the kind of rest before a major surgery. A surgeon can’t perform the surgery if the patient is awake and moving. There are dangers to performing surgery on an alert patient. It’s important for them to be still and so the patient must go under anesthesia. This will put the patient to sleep, in a state where they aren’t aware of what’s going on when on the operating table. Where the patient won’t interfere with the work of the surgeon.
If the patient purposely rejects anesthesia, will not listen to orders and continues to move around, the surgery won’t happen. The surgeon can’t do their job. The issue within the patient won’t be fixed. The steady hand of the surgeon needs the stillness of the patient.
There’s a song I love with the lyrics “I lay down all lesser things, for greater gain” and it begs the question…what if the laying down of lesser things, includes myself? What if I choose not to be still and it hinders the work the Lord wants to perform within me? What will happen to my heart if I choose to stay busy over rest? The Great Physician wants to use The Word as a tool to cut out anything that shouldn’t be in my heart. I have to trust that His plans are bigger and greater than my own!
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” Psalms 23:1-3
When God restores, it’s not to our default settings. He restores us to the way we were meant to be, by His standards!
Better than before.
Better than we were.
Restoring us to a place that is aligned with Him and His will.
Renewed. Refreshed. Revived.
Like a patient who awakes, there may be some pain but it’s only temporary.
You will be better than ever! You may feel brand new!
Some of us are rejecting spiritual anesthesia because our to-do lists are too packed, people depend on us too much or we’re just too stubborn. And rest doesn’t mean to throw out your responsibilities but it is making sure you are saying “no” to the wrong things, to make room for a better “yes”. It might mean fasting from social media for a month or shutting off your phone by 6 pm every night. It might mean blocking out all the extra voices so you can focus on His voice.
Friday is the last day to order in the shop and then it will be closed for vacation for the next two months. And I can’t wait because I know that this season of rest will lead to better things. Not only for Hello Awesome, but for Jacy. For me. For my two sweet boys. For my hardworking husband. When I give into rest, I’m confident the Great Physician will do a good work within me, that won’t just benefit my life but also the influence I have to the ones I love. And what better way to start a new year, than with a new heart?
*Beautiful photography by Cherith Brook