|A Place of Rest|

Are you tired? I mean…really, just…exhausted? When you stop to sit down and think, are you tired?

Maybe you’ve been feeling like you have been running on empty for so, so long now. Your Soul has been searching for rest, for peace, for a moment to be able to slow down.

I know the feeling.

I remember feeling like I can’t slow down…not with where I’m at right now! I’m in college. Slowing down means I won’t get something done, which means I’ll fail out of college! Spending a ton of time with Jesus, finding rest for my Soul, will mean that I won’t get somewhere in time, or something important won’t get done.

That was me, last semester. I felt like finding rest for my soul just didn’t fit into my schedule. I was afraid of falling behind (more than I already was). So I didn’t have very many truly restful moments for my Soul.

But what if we really could “fit it in” to our schedules? What would that really look like? First, I think it’s important to realize why you are so exhausted in the first place.

Are you trying to be involved in too many things; stretching yourself too thin? Are you not sleeping at night because you can’t shake these feelings of fear, anxiety, depression? Are you your worst enemy? Are you fighting a battle inside your head every day that is leaving you exhausted, worn out, and crying for help?

I would encourage you to really think about what is making you worn out. Write it down. Admit it. Talk to a trusted, beautiful friend about it.

Last semester, I wasn’t sleeping too well. I slept through the night, but I always woke up feeling super tired. I never woke up feeling refreshed. I never woke up excited for a new day, filled with energy to have fun and enjoy this new day. That never happened. As much as I wanted it to. I never really had any energy. I rarely felt excited for anything. I wasn’t really taking care of myself. The battle inside my head was real. It was scary. And it zapped all of my energy. Do you know how draining it is to be fighting battles by yourself in your head…against yourself? You feel like you’re tearing yourself apart, and nobody can help because nobody else can see it, and it’s too hard to explain.

I’ve been feeling a lot about health and beauty recently. What does living a healthy lifestyle mean to you? I used to think that health simply had to do with eating right (which I wasn’t really doing) and exercising (which I also wasn’t really doing, other than volleyball). But this summer, my view has changed. Sure, health still includes nutrition and exercise, but I believe that it is so much more than that now! Healthy living includes the way you view God, yourself, and others. Living a healthy life involves the way that you talk to yourself. It involves caring what you look like and how you present yourself, not so you can overthink about your looks or worry about what other people think about your looks, but so that you feel truly ready for the day. More than that, it’s an inner confidence and beauty. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned this summer, it’s that you really don’t have to wear makeup to feel and look beautiful. But you do have to care. You smile, and be yourself. I believe that you can’t live a healthy lifestyle when you are busy tearing yourself apart. When you are constantly comparing yourself to the beauty of others, instead of focusing on the beauty that God has placed in you, that is refusing to have a healthy mind. Although running and working out is definitely a difficult thing to start, once you get into it, trust me, it’s worth it. I’m still not at that place where I want to be…where I’m looking forward to running and working out so much so that I make it happen every day. I still take too many days off. I still have my lazy days. I still listen to my excuses far too often. But it has opened my eyes on so many levels.

Now, what does having a healthy lifestyle have to do with weariness and rest? Sometimes living a complete healthy lifestyle is a lot of work. It takes work and planning to make sure you’re working out (in a way/time that is best for you), it takes work and planning to make sure that you are eating enough and well (something that I am soooo far away from at this point), and it takes a lot of work, and probably planning as well, to begin thinking the right things about yourself. About your body. About who you are. About what you look like. Learning to love yourself is a journey. But when you don’t, you won’t be healthy. And you will be fighting a downhill battle every single day that you will always lose. That’s exhausting.

Maybe finding rest for your Soul is different than you imagined. Maybe it means finding a church where you really feel the presence of God. Where you feel like you can bring your burdens into church and release them to God, even if that means crying right there in church as you do it. Maybe finding rest for you Soul, strangely enough, means learning how to wake up early to go running to enjoy God’s beautiful nature before most people are even awake. Maybe finding rest for your Soul means, as often as you can, getting away by yourself, to go take a hike, to go somewhere beautiful outside to connect with and worship God. Maybe it means getting what you have to get done done as quickly as you can, so that you can go do something that you love doing so much, in which you feel like you have a connection with God.

Whatever it is, I encourage you to find your happy place. Find a way of life that you feel that you can connect with and worship God. Find some things that you enjoy doing that, even if some people think it is work, you can sense the feelings of rest, peace, and connection that God gives to you. He restores your Soul. Among the pain. Among the busy days. Among the days when you just want to give up and cry all day. Among the lazy days. The confusing days. You can lift up your hands in surrender, and truly find rest for your aching Soul. It’s there. He’s waiting for you.

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” {Matthew 11:28}


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