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The Final Update

Okay, so I've been totally slacking. My bad.


I know I anticipated updating you guys about my daily revelations, and I figured, with so much time on my hands, that it wouldn't be too tough of a task to complete.


However, between finishing chapters for my novel, getting lost in the books that were collecting dust on my shelf, heading to my parents' house for a very...unique...Christmas, taking long walks with Molly Rue, and attempting to actually listen to my body's yearn for physical rest - I found the days passing by rather quickly.


Instead of rushing through updates for you, I felt God asking me to slow down.

Now, if you have been reading my other updates, you'll know that this was an iso-lesson that was revealed rather early on during my quarantine adventure. Now, looking back, I can see that it was the overarching theme of the two weeks.


Ever since I can remember, I have been a busy bee. Between playing 3 sports, always working between 1-3 jobs, and keeping up with my academics, extracurriculars, and social life, my body became used to being in "go" mode at all times.


Rarely do I have a day that is filled with absolutely zero obligations.

Even more rarely do I have 14 of them in a row...


So, it didn't feel natural.

It didn't feel right.


I began to feel guilty.


I didn't let myself sit on the couch for more than an hour. I had to take frequent breaks, even tried to workout a few times, and attempted to keep my mind busy at all times.


I had to make every moment of these 14 days count.

I couldn't waste them.


The guilt produced an overwhelming weight that nearly stopped me from reading for leisure or enjoying a movie.


Surely, I couldn't keep my body or mind still... that would be a disgrace. God gave me all of this free time so I could accomplish things for Him.


In the seasonably appropriate words of the Grinch, "Wrong-O!"


Of course, God gave us gifts, and we should use them for His glory. But, while I was able to offer some time towards my novel and was able to spend more hours than usual studying His word, God's smile was just as big during the moments when I stuffed my face with popcorn and watched The Princess Bride. He loved me just the same when I delighted in an afternoon snooze, cuddled with Miss Molly Rue.


The truth was, the lack of distractions from the outside world helped me recognize the presence of God more than ever.


And that was the exact revelation He was trying to show me.


Quite frankly, I'm fully convinced that He's trying to grab all of our attention by minimizing the seemingly endless worldly distractions that we have filled our lives with.


I think 2020 was intended to be a year of slowing down and prioritizing our relationship with Jesus over anything.


I think, more than anything, God wants us to get to know Him on an intimate level.


My original thoughts about God loving me less if I wasn't doing something productive with my time was obviously a misconception of His character.


God isn't up in Heaven, looking down in disgust when we choose to rest our minds or body. Even God Himself rested. Remember the seventh day y'all?


Jesus rested. Remember the storm He was caught in with the disciples? Well, while the waves threatened to swallow them whole, and the disciples were freaking out... where did they find Jesus? Napping.


Rest is not only a gift from God, but also an action fueled from faith and wisdom.


When we can truly believe that God loves us no matter what, and that we are on His path, we can rest in this, while also physically resting from striving to gain God's approval.


When we choose to give our bodies and minds physical rest, we are allowing it to physically recover, producing more energy and clarity that they need to offer the most effective work on other days.


God gives us rest because He knows that it's not only essential to our mental and physical health, but also because He wants us to relax. He wants us to enjoy our lives and soak in His presence as often as possible.


So, God and I watched some Disney movies together. We also ate a lot of cookies, and read a lot of fiction. We made pancakes at 3 pm and stretched out on my couch in sweatpants as often as we could.


And it was riveting.


I wish I had some face masks for us to do.

Next time...


It was in those moments of rest that I felt His presence most. It was in those periods of solitude that I felt His love more abundantly than ever, and I could practically see the smile of a Father who cares so, so much about me, and everything I do.


It was during these 2 weeks that I learned to breathe - to really stop and soak in the silence. To empty my schedule and fill it with time spent with the One who should be first. To recognize how empty the distractions of the world leave me. To reprioritize my days, and remember to slow down.


Because there is so much peace to be found in the quiet. There's so much weight to be lifted in the stillness. And there's so much love to be felt in the comfort of a whisper.


While my sense of smell has only progressed to smelling the faintest hints of odors and my headache doesn't seem to want to part ways, I am thankful for the energy my body has regained. I am thankful my case seemed to be mild compared to many others, and I am grateful for God's healing on my life and my parents'.


But mostly, I am thankful for this reset.


I am thankful for God's loving presence, and His gentle reminders of His tender, nurturing character. I'm so beyond grateful that He took the time to slow me down and to remind me of His unconditional love.


He refreshed me. He renewed me. He revived me.


While my heart aches at the thought of having to leave Molly Rue in the morning to attend this thing called reality, I am thankful for the countless hours we were able to spend together on this couch.

I'm thankful for the revelation I got as I read through the Old Testament, tucking away wisdom in my heart.


I'm thankful for time to work on my novel, typing away words intended to help those struggling with rejection and insecurity.


I'm thankful for the time I had to rest, because now I can slip back into the chaos with a peace in my heart, resting in the fact that God loves me, God is with me, and God knows what's best for me.


While you may not have 2 weeks off, I encourage you to intentionally set aside a time of rest each day. I challenge you to sit still and to rest in His presence. Turn off the phone (gasp...I know...you can do it!), close your eyes, sit down. Breathe. Just breathe. And think of Him.


Talk to Him. Praise Him. Sit and weep at His feet.


Whatever you need to do...just rest. Take a break. You deserve it, and you need it. I promise.


P.S. on my first day being #freedfromquarantined I went out and bought two packs of rice cakes. I'm so happy.

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