When we rest, we are able to see clearly who God has created us to be.
I will never forget the day, tears filling my eyes, that I turned off the lights to my shop one last time and locked the door. In a blink of an eye, I went from creating a place that was a cornerstone in my community to being unemployed.
With two young kids at home, I was assured by many that this was a good thing as I would have more time to focus on them. In my heart I knew that it was a path I should walk so I would have time to take better care of myself.
Friends and mentors assured me this was a good decision. But on the inside, I was filled with dread, as all I could see was a shell of a human I barely recognized. I had allowed my pursuit of success to consume me.
Looking back, I can see how God needed to pull me away from the thing I valued most to help me see that it was all temporary.
I had turned a blind eye to the promptings deep in my spirit to slow down. I had ignored the urges from loved ones to stop and rest. In the midst of all of the yearning to achieve and create, I had lost myself and ultimately lost sight of my Creator.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28, NIV).
One of the lies I’ve had to confront in this season is that rest isn’t failure. For so long, I had been bound by the idea that if I stopped, even for a moment, I would be failing. I had told myself that I only had value if I was producing and achieving. Rest, to me, was lazy.
As I try to intentionally find rest and connect with God, I am learning that rest – true spiritual rest – is worship. Taking time to breathe, sleep, commune with God and others – it is a form of praise to him.
God’s heart is not for us to keep Sabbath and find rest simply because it is a rule to follow. When we rest, we are able to see clearly who God has created us to be. We are accepted and radically loved.
I want to live in truth. I want to know that I am loved so completely even in my mess. I want to experience transformative love.
The pain of my loss still stings. Enough time has not passed for me to call out the lessons learned without feeling pain but I know my story is not complete yet. I know that as I intentionally make space for rest, the healing will come. As my story continues to unfold, I know God has his guiding hand on my life leading me to places and experiences I couldn’t even dream of.
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Elizabeth Villwock lives in Castle Rock with her husband and two miracle children. She is passionate about mentorship and using stories to inspire and encourage others. Elizabeth and her husband love creating and can often be found renovating or building something around their home.