by Rebecca Burtram
A few weeks ago, I felt like I didn’t have anything left to give. I was so tired. In fact, tired might be an understatement.
I had come through a month long season that was draining emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I was giving of myself in my work, my home, and my ministry. I was seeing great results, but I couldn’t keep it up.
After our Mother’s Day service, I lay down on the gym floor to rest after taking down equipment. As I waited for the trailer to finish being loaded, I let the tears stream from my eyes. The only explanation I could give when our youth pastor happened to walk by was, “I’m just REALLY tired.”
I won’t list all the reasons I was tired; I’m sure you can fill in the blanks from your own similar experiences. Some seasons just require more from us than others. You know it, and God knows it.
God opened doors for rest. First, the series we had been doing that required a good deal of vulnerability, energy, and time from me ended. Next, I asked for prayer from other planting wives. Finally, I was prompted to make small sustainable choices to help me find refreshment.
I started walking/jogging one mile a day with my middle child.
I stopped bringing my laptop home from work.
I started drinking more water.
I said yes to time with friends and family and no to anything that was not essential.
I had done the labor that was required for a season, but I also followed it with the rest that is prescribed for us.
God doesn’t suggest we rest, he commands it ( “Remember the sabbath and keep it holy…”). He modeled it when he rested after creation, and Jesus was known to step away from the crowds to rest. If you study scripture, you will see that rest is actually a pretty big deal.
I was challenged at a conference a few months back to really embrace the sabbath. The speaker pointed out that we demonstrate a lack of faith when we neglect the sabbath. We don’t sabbath because we think everything will fall apart if we aren’t working to hold it all together.
The speaker compared sabbath to tithing. We know God can cause our 90% to stretch as far or farther than 100% of our finances. We need to trust God to do the same with our time and energy.
God has been faithful as I have taken small moments to recharge. He has provided so that nothing has slipped through the cracks.
I’m not so tired now. I am rested and ready to face the next season as it comes.
If you are in a tiring season, I pray God will give you the energy you need and help you to see the little ways you can embrace rest.
Jonathan and Rebecca Burtram planted Redemption Church Charlottesville on Easter of 2016. Rebecca is the author of Our Broken Hallelujahs and blogs about grace and imperfection at rebeccaburtram.com. She is passionate about helping others know that they are not alone in their struggles or their triumphs. If you have a church planting story to share with other CMN women, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.