My 2-year healing anniversary is coming up (4th Sept) and to be honest I thought things would be different by now. At the start of the year I felt prompted to get my story ready to share and I dreamt of holding a celebration party in September to launch my healing testimony. Which, unfortunately, hasn’t unfolded but I’m more than ok with that, I’ve realized that my story hasn’t finished being written because I’m still learning lessons that need to be included.
Last week I felt overwhelmed with busyness, I had done a few extra things that I hadn’t done for a long time and it was also my daughter’s birthday week. In the preparations for her party I had pushed myself harder than usual and I could feel it catching me. Friday I chatted to a friend over lunch who suggested maybe I should reassess my commitments and later that day, as I attempted to construct my daughter’s birthday cake, I realised I had set myself a task that was a bit too adventurous. Saturday was the actual event and it meant a later night than I would have liked which I could feel taking its toll on my body. Sunday was busy also with church and I felt absolutely wiped out by Sunday night. Monday I awoke with a terribly sore throat, no voice and no energy to get out of bed. My body reminded me that I desperately needed rest. Tuesday as I awoke still feeling flat I decided I needed to withdraw from almost every commitment for the rest of the week, I decided I’d still try to attend class but pull back and rest from other things. As I made that decision I also decided that I would study some more on how to rest well, I want to grow and learn from this so that I don’t keep pushing myself to the point of collapse. You’ve got to understand that it’s been so frustrating because as I start to feel better and stronger the need to limit myself is a HUGE struggle. I constantly find myself comparing my ability now to how much I used to be able to do and feel as if I’m ‘falling short’. I want to race ahead and get back into life as normal and enjoy all the things I used to do such as full days of activities or going out at night without feeling like I need to be back in bed. I’d love to be able to make plans and not worry about having to cancel them because I’m too tired or unwell. But the fact is that a great work has been done but I still have a long way to go.
My study, on how I can rest well, led me to a devotion titled “Sacred Rest” by Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith on the YouVersion Bible app and the first words that ‘jumped out’ to me were: “Hunger to draw nearer to the sacred sanctuary of rest.”. I’m intrigued what is the “sacred sanctuary of rest”? Whatever it is I need to go there! I’m going to be brutally honest with you and say that this restoration phase sucks! I feel like it’s an uphill climb which entails a lot of really hard work and yet I still can’t see the top. Also, just when I think I’m making progress I slip back down the hill and find myself lying in the dust battered and bruised. I lie there wondering if I’ll ever make it to the top, hoping that at the next attempt I won’t forget the lessons learnt and I’ll take it slow.
It’s demoralising right now to have to step back from life yet again, to be stuck in bed for days feeling useless. I’m not well enough to attend class which is really sad. But I’m reminded that yet again I got busy with distractions, I started doing stuff that I wasn’t meant to do just yet. My friend, who asked me to look at the priorities, said the definite column was the things only I can do and I know the 3 things only I can do: be a wife; a mother; and write the things God has placed in my heart and upon my mind to write. So those things have to be my priority and everything else has to work around that. Easier said than done though when I’m the kind of person who sees a need and wants to fill it! But day 2 of my study reminded me to “Return to rest, quietness, and trust as a deer returns to a stream. Return to the source of your strength, and in doing so, you will be saved.”.
Once again I’m like that deer panting for water: “As the deer pants [longingly] for the water brooks, So my soul pants [longingly] for You, O God.” PSALM 42:1 (AMP)
Once again I find myself in silence (I literally can’t talk) before the Lord where I submit to Him and His ways; I remind myself that I will wait for as long as it takes for Him to do the work within me because my hope is in Him alone! (Psalm 62:5)
How wonderful it is to know that He promises to fully satisfy my weak and weary soul for He declares that He will give rest to the weary and joy for those who find themselves buried in sorrow (Jeremiah 31:25-26).
Dear reader I want to encourage you today that if you find yourself in a season of busyness, one that is leaving you exhausted, then maybe you could spend some time reassessing your priorities and look at the things that only you can do. Lay down all that you’re doing at God’s feet and ask Him to help you find wisdom around what you’re meant to be doing and the strength to do the things He has called you to do.
Many blessings, Keona