This is too good to not share! If you haven't had my previous post yet....than you should read it before you start this one. So...later on after I finished my post on Rest in Solitude, I went to church with my good friend, Amanda. Stephen was in Texas visiting family that weekend so I had lots of girl time to catch up on. The visiting preacher was talking about how trials will most definitely come our way but there is a purpose for them. As he was finishing up his sermon he said, "God invites us to lay our burdens down as it says in Matthew 11:28 Come to me all of you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest." I was SO shocked! I felt like God was speaking directly to me through this visiting pastor. Even though I was sitting in a church full of people, my heart jumped because I knew that was for me. God was reminding me to rest and giving me confirmation of his talk with me earlier that day. To humble myself and sit at His feet.
It doesn't end there! Monday morning at work, a co-worker of mine sends out a "Verse of the Day" to all in our department. You will not believe what verse she sent. Yes! Matthew 11:28 "Come to me all of you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest". She had no idea what my personal connection to this verse was, but I believe that God was reminding once again to...Rest, Julie, humble yourself and cast your burdens on me. My eyes got watery and my heart melted as I thought about the God of the entire universe taking interest in me! Seeing my needs and offering his strong and loving arms to carry my load.
Folks, I'm not kidding, there is one more story. :) Yesterday, while reading a book I started recently called, Deeper-Living in the Reality of God's Love, I came across a story that the author was sharing. She said that she had been wrapped up in the daily grind of Christian life...like a hampster running on his wheel and his eyes pointed straight ahead. She was saying that God gripped her heart one morning (much like my experience) and she was convicted that she was "Talking like everything depended on God but living like everything depended on her!" Ouch. That was convicting. I could totally relate. I think it's probably one of the hardest things in the world for women to just "be still". The author said that as she was laying in bed the verse came to her mind, "Come to me all of you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest." God knew exactly what she needed to hear to stop performing and start living in and rely on God's love for her. She said, "Perfection is the lie, performance is the lifestyle, and fear, depression, anxiety are the out come." Once again, I was met with the whisper in my ear to REST.
I talked to my counselor about this and she said that one of the ways women represent God's image is through rest and beauty. We bring a calm and peace to tense situations and we always look to beautify what we come in contact with.
I'm leaving for vacation today but thought I would share this before I go. We'll be visiting Stephen's family in D.C. and South Carolina. This is a much needed time of REST for us and I pray that we would also be a source of encouragement to our family we go to visit.