28 “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30 (CSB)
Since the summer, I chose to take a hiatus from blogging and facebook. There are numerous reasons why… most of which will unfold over the next few posts, in whatever timeframe that may be. The short of it is: I was exhausted. Like done. I had nothing left over to share with the world and running on empty. There were numerous factors that led me to this point. Obviously the physical fatigue of balancing all of life’s roles, jobs, hobbies, chores, and obligations, in addition to trying to find deep friendships in which I could misplace my worth and identity. All of this, I chose to do in my own control, my way, and on my timeline. And then you add in social media. When I wrote my book, my publisher made it clear that in order to be successful at selling books, I needed a strong presence on social media. I should have paused before blindly taking someone else’s advice on being successful instead of relying on what God had to say. I was led to believe I needed to follow this path and didn’t have any other choice.
All of this emphasis on a social media presence plainly led to an addiction to my cell phone and facebook.
The Three Three C’s of Addiction:
– Loss of Control over the amount and frequency of use
– Craving and compulsive using
– Continued use in the face of adverse consequences
I can check each of these off. The biggest consequence, as you may have seen in my earlier post about my cell phone box, was missing out on meaningful moments with my family – with an even harsher reality of my children thinking that cell phones, if even for a short time, are more important to me than they are. I could not go on living like this and new a change had to be made. And this change needed to involve many areas of my life.
In this time, God saw me struggling and I became more aware of His pursuit for my attention. He placed me in a deep Bible study about the life of Christ and led me to apply for a women’s retreat in the Fall. He also had me enroll in a weekly class at church taught by licensed family counselors that taught me how to address my “strongholds.” Strongholds are anything we turn to or find comfort in instead of God. Satan Loves for us to have strongholds that drag us farther from the presence of the Lord, our source of strength and hope. I had no choice but to completely dive in to all that God had placed before me and re-learn what it means to choose Him first. I will be sharing more of what I learned from this class in later posts as well.
Back to REST. So, exhausted me finds out mid-way through Breakthroughs that I was chosen to go on this weekend retreat all about soaking in the presence of the Lord. Over and over, God brought Matthew 11: 28-30 to me while making the decision whether or not to attend the retreat, and even to my husband! A weekend away! No children to look after or household to maintain. I knew by going on this retreat, I was definitely going to get the Rest that my body and soul so longed for.
So, what happens on my first night of the retreat? I cannot fall asleep. Like at all. So around 2AM I start dialoging with God something like this, “I do not understand why I can’t fall asleep, God. You assured me I would find rest here. There is no reason I should be awake. What the heck?” He sweetly responds, “My child, sleep is NOT the type of Rest that you need. I will sustain you.”
I continue to ponder this and the next day, sleepless, I ended up having more energy than I had in months. He continued to meet with me in extraordinary ways and fill my cup with His goodness. He showed me that there is more to that verse. What I see Jesus pleading with us here goes more like this:
Come to Me. Meet with Me. Spend time with Me. Get to know Me.
Let Me take on your burden and instead, here, you can carry My yoke, for it is easy and light.
Learn from Me. I am humble/meek/gentle and lowly in heart. I do not even consider myself equal to God (Philippians 2). Let go of your control, your pride, your selfish ambitions. Let go of all the things that are keeping you from My presence. Allow God to sit on His throne and trust Him as I do.
THIS is the type of Rest you need. Do these things and you will find it!
My life has changed. I have joy! I have peace! And although there are days I am still tired, I am Rested. I am rested because I am not being burdened by the weight of the world. I know that He will hold me fast.
Shining for His glory,