Getting away just isn't enough. Resting from life to take a break won't do it. A mini vacation won't satisfy it. Turning off from ministry one day a week won't sustain it. What is rest?
Many of you have asked me lately how the year of rest was since we are nearing the end of it come April. I will tell you now, I am just now fully grasping it. I wrote a blog in the beginning, "Rest isn't Vacation." That just because we aren't pastoring over the year doesn't mean we rest from being the church. To writing how I feel lost in this season, because I found my identity in all that we did as church planters, "3 Days." There are countless more about what I learned through a season of rest, and how the binoculars have been stripped off and we have learned so much about areas we succeeded in and areas we need improvement.
However, rest wasn't just about growth and stepping back to see the bigger picture. Those things most certainly helped us for what is future in ministry. But, what took me nearly a year to figure out what this. God didn't call me to get away just to grow me, I am sure it was in the plan. But when He called us to get away for a year, I think He called me to this...
Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Psalm 23:1-3 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
You see, what I thought for five years of church planting in Nashville, and what I so dreaded when we felt called into this year of rest was that we were pushing pause on life. Wasting time, and just getting by. Not actually living. I am not going to lie, I struggled the first six months of this thing feeling empty and useless. Rest?? What is this? I was resting and layers were being pulled back from both of us, and broken pieces were being put back together and it was uncomfortable. So uncomfortable, I thought life would cut us a little break that way the renewal process would be easier manageable. But life doesn't slow down for us, and what I soon found out was that just because I was resting from full-time ministry didn't mean I was actually resting.
God wanted me to stop. Stop dreading the season, stop waiting for what was next, and rest. Rest in Him. Resting from life isn't rest. Resting in Jesus is rest. What I couldn't figure out was how all this peeling of layers wasn't satisfying me. We got away for a year, yet we were still feeling overwhelmed. But Jesus in all His grace was whispering, come to me.
Getting away is great. While a trip to the beach may fuel you for a little while, what will truly satisfy your heart, mind, and soul is Jesus. It isn't easy. Getting away for vacation is hard enough for a pastor and his family. Finding quiet peace, and settling your mind to meditate on Christ and be with Him can be even harder.
Rest isn't you trying to find it. Jesus just says you have to come to Him and HE WILL GIVE you rest.
xo a girl who sleeps with the pastor