Frantic. That’s the only way to describe my brain these days. Utterly, exhaustingly frantic.
It’s strange, actually. Here I am in this supposed “restful” season of life, this newfound territory of school-aged kids, and yet my life feels noisier than ever.
Just last week, Matt found me sitting outside. In the dark. Rain drizzling down. Quiet and still. Visibly confused, he asked if I was okay. Because, you see, some people are still, quiet, sitting-under-the-drizzly-moonlight kind of people. I am not those people.
For better or for worse (typically for worse), I’m an up and down, always doing, rarely still kind of person. I’m a content-devouring kind of person, flying through books, journals, podcasts, and blogs like it’s my job. I’m a time-filling, multi-tasking kind of person. Still and quiet makes me feel nervous. Antsy. Still and quiet makes me feel like I’m somehow failing. Like I’m missing something. Like I’m less-than.
Because, the unfortunate truth is that my identity has always been directly tied to my productivity. To my accomplishments. To my tidy house and well-mannered kids and crossed-off to-do lists. To the feeling that what I do matters. That I matter.
For years, I’ve spun my wheels and busted my tail to carefully craft this identity.
This identity of the Strong One who needs no one and no thing. The one who’s GOT THIS, thankyouverymuch.
The identity of the Omniscient One who can dish up the right answers. The one who is more apt to turn to Google than Jesus in times of angst and uncertainty. Because, let’s face it. Sometimes it’s just easier to get insta-answers via Siri than waiting on the wisdom of the Lord.
I breathlessly flit and fly around in an attempt to be viewed as the Omnipresent One who can meet all needs and be in all places at once. To simultaneously be present for my church and friends and school and kids and husband even if it kills me.
And, God knows how I want to be the Righteous One. The good girl who dutifully, restlessly, does all the right things in the right order at the right time.
Anyone would feel frantic when attempting to assume the identity of the Almighty God. Anyone would crumble under the weight of this delusion, this sin.
And that’s where I found myself last week. After another day of attempting God-likeness, I was done. Exhausted. On the verge of crumbling. Frantic and overwhelmed and tired of playing God. Desperate to hand the reins back over.
You see, sometimes the most loving thing our Good Father can do for us is to cause our carefully constructed identities and plans to crumble into pieces. Sometimes, it’s that very wreckage that reminds us that we’re not divine beings after all. That we’re desperately in need of a Savior.
And you know what I love so much about my God? He doesn’t just leave me wallowing in my mess. He steps into the wreckage with me and pulls me out. He looks to me with kind eyes and a merciful heart and shifts my focus back to His character. His goodness and grace and all-encompassing-sufficiency.
Because God knows. He knows that’s where it should have been all along. That’s where true rest can be found.
But here’s the deal: all of this Jesus-following business actually takes legit discipline. Rest takes work. Training. I have to DISCIPLINE my heart to rest, my thoughts to linger on God’s faithfulness. And that night, as I sat under the dark, drizzly night sky, this is precisely what I was doing. Training my racing brain and frantic heart to take pause and rest in God’s unchanging nature. To sit in the quiet. To be okay with the still. To reassume the posture of a mere mortal, confessing that my attempts to be anything greater were nothing short of blasphemy.
So, here’s the plan. If I’m gonna hustle, I’m gonna hustle my way right off of that throne I’ve been desperately attempting to occupy. And if I’m gonna work, I’m going to work to point back its rightful occupant. If I’m gonna spin my wheels, those wheels better be spinning right back to Jesus. And if I’m gonna strive, I’m gonna strive to remember that He has already done the work that really matters. And in Him alone can I find true rest.
So can rest really take work? Yeah, maybe. If you’re anything like me, that is. But if the reward of my work are eyes laser focused on the crucified and risen Christ- the only omniscient, omnipresent, truly strong, and wholly righteous one- than you better believe every ounce of effort is worth it.