A Resting Heart

Last Sunday, I woke up feeling tired, cold, and sad that William would be, yet again, flying back to St. Louis in a few hours (and that Auburn lost the night before). The snooze button and I quickly developed a love-hate relationship (again). After a couple 8 minute delays I knew I had to get up if we were going to make it to church on time. I rushed to the other room to wake up William and to inform him we needed to leave in 20 minutes. The next 25 minutes were spent in a hurry before we raced out the door, with empty stomachs and shoes still in hand. [Lord, please let there be a parking spot up front.]

Seconds after we snuck in late and found two seats in the back, we were challenged by the worship leader to take a few minutes to rest and pray. I say challenged because it was one of the simplest yet hardest things I had been asked to do all week. Rest? What does that even look like when you are an engaged, graduate student, who works 50+ hours a week, and travels almost every weekend?

William softly grabbed my hand and he leaned in close enough to feel my heart still racing from our already hectic morning. My brain was running a marathon as usual.

[Why am I always rushing to get places?

I’m not pressing snooze anymore. It’s time to be a real adult, Brittany.

(Stomach growls) Wow, I’m so hungry. We really should have eaten breakfast.

Will we have enough time to get William to the airport by 11?

I hope he can get back to St. Louis with his stand-by ticket.

Less than 5 months until we are living in the same city. YESSS.

Ugh, did Auburn really lose to Georgia last night? That was horrible.]

 The Lord whispered… Brittany, Rest.

[Oops, that’s right, I’m suppose to be resting and praying… Sorry God.]

Insert deep breaths and prayer.

[Lord, forgive me. Calm my heart so I can hear from you today. I can’t do this on my own.]

Finally my brain was able to slow down enough to focus on the task at hand. Resting. The world felt still and the Lord felt near. [Wow, I don’t do this nearly enough. I need you, Jesus.]

I continued to pray and thank the Lord for His goodness. My heart had so much to say.

It was in that moment that I was convicted of my struggle to be still yet thankful that the Lord’s grace and mercy is new every morning. It seems like my days only consist of back-to-back plans. This season has been the busiest I have ever been and my normal week has begun to look the opposite of resting.

After William left for the airport (insert tears) I decided to spend the rest of the day attempting to rest. It was amazing how hard it was for my brain to not wander and for my heart to not feel anxious about not doing something.

Doing “nothing” felt wrong and I fell asleep that night feeling unproductive and ironically, unrested.

“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.  And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” Genesis 2:2-3

Why is it that I’m so quick to forget that the God of the universe rested too? Who am I to think I can do without, when the One who made me didn’t do without?

The week went on and the Lord was not done teaching me.

I was making my dreaded weekly 1.5 hour commute to Carrolton for class.

[Darn I forgot to grab my iPod. I was going to listen to Taylor’s new album (again).

I hope I don’t hit traffic.

Thank goodness I only have to drive out here ONE more time.

Traffic. Great. Should have filled up before I left.

Wonder if I have time to grab Starbucks before class?]

 The Lord whispered… Brittany, Rest.

[Lord, forgive me. Calm my heart so I can hear from you today. I can’t do this on my own.]

A few days later, I took my car in to have a part replaced and the manager kindly asked if I would be waiting there for to be done? As someone who has not spent much time dealing with their car (thank you Dad), it hadn’t crossed my mind until then that I was going to be stranded to that small waiting room with only car magazines to look at. I responded with a laughing, “Guess I don’t have much of a choice”. Insert restlessness.

 [Hmm wonder how long it would take me to walk to The Avenue? I need to get a gift from Pottery Barn for the wedding this weekend.

I haven’t had lunch and Chick-Fil-A isn’t too far away. Ooo AND I have my calendar card.

I wonder if my professor has responded to my email yet.

Is there even wifi in here?]

The Lord whispered… Brittany, Rest.

[Lord, forgive me. Calm my heart so I can hear from you today. I can’t do this on my own.]

Yesterday, William and I were driving from Birmingham to St. Louis and I was trying to think about what I could do the next three days while he is at work. No car to drive, no papers to write, no wedding plans to work on…

 [Will it be too cold to walk anywhere?

Hmm. I guess could paint the living and dining room…

The house could probably use a good cleaning.

Is it possible to die from boredom?]

Suddenly, our sovereign yet personal Lord painted the most beautiful and brightest double rainbow I have ever seen. It dominated the Arkansas sky and I felt so loved and known.

The Lord whispered… Brittany, Rest.

[Lord, forgive me. Calm my heart so I can hear from you today. I can’t do this on my own.]

Then there’s today, when I woke up in St. Louis to the sound of fall leaves blowing and the sun was peaking through the blinds and I remembered it’s officially Thanksgiving week. [Good morning, Lord. Thank you for another day. Thank you for your love.]

I prayed that the Lord would teach me to be thankful for a week off and to not take for granted a few days of rest. I am proud to say, I spent the morning resting. It was hard but it was good. It felt like a gift that I had finally stopped fighting.

Around lunchtime, just when I started to get fidgety and the idea of doing laundry started to seem appealing, I received a text from William that read, “Babe remember to rest this week”.

[Thank you Lord for the way William knows and cares for my heart.

Thank you for speaking to me through him.

Thank you for not giving up one me.

Your love is unmatched.

Calm my heart so I can hear from you today.

I can’t do this on my own.] 

As I continue to rest this week, through prayer, reading, writing, worshipping, and literal NAPS (insert clapping hands emoji), it is my prayer that you too would be challenged to rest this Thanksgiving week. To step away from the chaos and into His word. It’s amazing how much better we can hear from the Lord when we are willing to rest and how much more thankful our hearts can be when we are resting them. The Lord himself rested and calls us to do the same. Will you join me?

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30

“Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” Psalm 106

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