Widsom and Musings

REST for the weary

There’s a Scripture verse I have been journaling on for a few weeks in answer to anxiety/panic attacks. I have been free of them for nearly a year, but since January they have really come at me again to the point that I was having trouble even breathing through them sometimes. It got bad enough one week to take steps toward seeking medical help – and if you know me in real life, you know this is a BIG deal for me. For one reason and another, appointments were delayed or cancelled, and I felt the Lord saying not yet, and challenging me to find Him in the battle.

I am realizing that for me anxiety/panic attacks, especially restricted breathing, is rooted in a need to control and fix all the things. It is insecurity in many areas (particularly in friendships), childhood fears, feeling stifled, and even internalizing some very negative criticisms lately, especially concerning parenting. Feeling personal failure for my son’s condition, even for my daughter’s on going struggles with elimination and infections. That is not the truth, but still I have not loved myself or thought of myself the way Jesus thinks about me. Those toxic thoughts and emotions can and do affect us on a physical level.

Yesterday, I was frustrated. Hormones and emotions ran high, and I was in a lonely, blah, bland mood.  I was asking the Lord why He was pressing on me to need to go off by myself and rest, when what I really wanted was a friend to check on me! I’d had a situation this week that really could use some love and support and I felt disappointed that comfort did not just magically land in my text message inbox. After all, that is my ministry to others, right?!  I am not one to want to be alone (ever) and I fight it majorly. But my mood was just such that I needed to get away.

It didn’t help at first. I was irritable. Unhappy with the interruption to my day, even though it meant I got to sit in a coffee shop booth for three hours. Feeling the mom guilt in a big way for being away from my family all day on my husband’s one and only day off this week. (But believe me, I wasn’t much fun to be around yesterday anyway!)

There are several ways that I support myself when I am feeling that sneaky, knotted up snake of anxiety creeping up from my stomach. I use my favorite oils and deep breathing. I make sure that I have plenty of B-vitamins on board (especially B6). I snack on pink salt {minerals, anyone?} and make sure I have eaten enough for the level of activity and mental exertion in my day. All of it helps, but sometimes, there’s just something missing.

So yesterday I asked the Lord, how do I find rest from this? What is rest, anyway? Why can I sit here and do nothing all by myself, but still feel so strung out and not at all refreshed?

I did not find my answer yesterday. I came home feeling just as grumpy, and even more put out that no one had thought to check on me.  It wasn’t until this morning in church, I had my journal with me and went back through these pages where I have been doodling this verse for the last two or three weeks, and then it hit me…

He’s been telling me all along…it’s been posted on my fridge, for WEEKS, fHeb619or Pete’s sake!

THIS is what REST is… .

“And now we have run into his heart to hide ourselves in his faithfulness. This is where we find his strength and comfort, for he empowers us to seize what has already been established ahead of time – unshakeable hope! We have this certain hope like a strong, unbreakable anchor holding our souls to God himself. Our anchor of hope is fastened to the mercy seat which sits in the heavenly realm, beyond the sacred threshold where Jesus has gone in before us.”
Hebrews 6:19, The Passion Translation.

THIS is its PURPOSE.

REST is setting our mind on HIM.
Not on the guilt of being hidden away, or the struggles of the day.

REST is coming to Him, running to my Daddy and hiding myself in his strong arms, burying my face in his chest knowing that He is FAITHFUL. That I am seen. Loved. Known. That He fights my battles. That He has gone ahead to be my defender before I even know there is a battle on the horizon.

REST is when I actually rest in the Lord and soak my mind in Scripture and prayer. When I stop avoiding contact with the Most High, because I am more confident in what He is doing in the lives of the people I am praying for, than in what He is doing in mine.

REST is when I need to process, and I have to sit pen to paper and doodle and write truth. I write Scriptures and fill my mind with Christ and let my thoughts and His flow through my pen and then my laptop. Then I feel REST happen in the form of my chest releasing its tightness because I am turning over trust and control back to the Lord.

Just like that, my breathing stopped feeling labored and evened out. My stomach unbuttoned itself and turned right side out.

Friend, for me, these definitions of REST are the answer to the attack. This is where I find God in the battle, when I am beyond my own resources and ability to fight.

HE is rest.

Psalm 91:1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will REST in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, he is my refuge and my fortress, My God in whom I trust.”

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