Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Unraveling: When God has our backs

I am going to start a little series called "The Unraveling". It is about the process I am currently in. Writing my thoughts out has been part of the unraveling process and pushing publish feels a bit scary and vulnerable but my hope is these words might resonate with someone else too. And also that I may someday look back and recall to mind what the Lord has done.


I laid next to the thrashing toddler gently holding her down. I knew she was exhausted, the tears whining and fussing all morning had proven that. Yet here she was screaming and crying and fighting her nap. "Why are you fighting rest?" I wanted to ask and started to. But the words stopped short and seemed to be staring back at me.

It had been a rough week or so. I had woken up one morning with a stiff neck and pinched nerve in my shoulder. The first couple days I just tried to ignore it. I have noticed this pattern that sometimes when I am not feeling well I add more onto my plate. It is like subconsciously I am feeling out of control so I decide that cleaning out closets and organizing the pantry makes sense when my neck is killing me. It is not logical at all but it is what I do. Finally after a week of a stiff neck and discomfort I broke down and cried. Fell apart really. I recognized how much tension I was feeling inside. I wasn't sure what was cause and effect but it didn't matter. I could say I wasn't tense but if a kid touched me the wrong way or didn't respond how I wanted it was like they were reaching inside of me and pushing a nerve and I reacted. Usually with a harsh tone or impatient gesture. I needed to start to unwind.

So here I was laying with Eden wondering why she was fighting rest. All that was waiting for her on the other side was the comfort of my arms and peace for her body and mind. But she was fighting. After continued efforts and encouragement and me gently holding her down she finally fell asleep.

It was time for me to do the same. I cleared off my schedule. Started to take time to rest on the couch. Use the heating pad. Let the laundry and dishes pile up. My neck started to feel a little better. But I 
still felt knotted up inside.

I have been feeling lately like I just want things to slow down and stop, for the merry go round that is life to pause. But when my body started to scream for rest it was hard for me to pause. I didn't realize how much pressure I had been putting on myself and  a lot of the expectations I felt were internal. I am a stay at home mom and my own boss but sometimes I am just downright bossy and a slave driver not giving myself grace. I also started to see how since Eden has stopped napping I had stopped resting too and picked up the mentality that the more I got done in a day the better. When I was finally forced to stop I felt frustrated by how I couldn't do what I wanted to do. It felt like a punishment rather than a blessing of rest. I also realized how easy it was to get distracted from true rest by picking up my phone. Sometimes we need to stop fighting and rest and sometimes we need to fight for the rest.

Around this same time Mark came home from the gym and had pulled a muscle in his back. We were quite the couple with his sore back and my stiff neck taking our Motrin and snuggling with our heating pads and both struggling a bit for perspective. A friend of ours had been praying for him right after it happened and felt like God was wanting to speak something through it and the word was this:
"He has our backs"

Why do I have so much trouble believing this...like deep down trusting this?

 He has our backs. He's got my neck. He has my life.

My heart can be at rest.

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