I believe so much in the power of courageous transparency. I just didn’t realize that I often lack the courage to be transparent. I never considered that I might be hiding behind my smile. I love smiling! My smile is real! But so is the anxiety. So is the struggle. So are the questions. So is the grief.
A few months ago a man with whom I respect greatly asked me how I was partnering with rest in that season. I had no idea what he meant. I sleep sometimes, therefore I rest. He knew I didn’t understand. He didn’t correct me or try to explain himself. He just simply said “You are more than just a machine spitting out miracles. You are a daughter.” But I was too busy healing the sick, raising the dead, cleansing the leaper, and casting out demons to consider why I was actually doing all of it.
The dangerous thing about signs, wonders, and miracles is that we can fall for the trap of believing that they are required for God’s acceptance. If our understanding of our authority in Christ is greater than than our understanding of our identity in Christ, we can begin believing lies. We can begin believing the lie that our ability to perform miracles is somehow a sign that we are approved by God. We can think we are more special to Him than others who haven’t facilitated miracles. Or, we may believe the lie that signs, wonders, and miracles are a sign that we “have arrived”. Arrived where? Relationship isn’t a destination. Lastly, we can believe the lie that they are are requirement on the road to earning Gods acceptance. I know this because I have believed all of these lies.
My very wise friend checked in with me again recently. He wanted to know how I am partnering with rest in THIS season. Because I now understood his question, I actually had an answer. I am partnering with rest by learning to be kind to myself. I’ve been through a lot. I’m just now realizing the extent to which trauma has robbed me. I am partnering with rest by reminding myself that I matter too.
“I am going to remember to eat today, because I matter too.”
“I am not going to hold my breath when I feel triggered. Breathing is essential, and I matter too.”
“I am not going to do all the things for all the kids. I am going outside to pick flowers, because I matter too.”
“Today I will drink more than coffee. Hydration is essential, and I matter too.”
“Instead of writing thank you notes, I’m going to sleep. I need a nap, and I matter too.”
Learning to be kind to myself IS rest. Working to earn acceptance and approval robs me of my capacity. My capacity is already low because the trauma browser is always open in my head, draining my power. But now I am learning to rest. I rest because for the first time ever I see that I matter too.
How are you with self care? How about rest? Have you realized yet that you are valuable and worthy if love, completely separate from any contribution you may make to this world? So you know that you matter too? You do.