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Finding Rest Through the Busyness of Everyday Life

Eighth grade was one of the most difficult years of my life. Numerous extracurriculars, a busy schedule, and a heavy workload created an enormous weight to carry. The intense pressure, coupled with the lack of rest, negatively influenced every aspect of my life- especially my mental health. I felt stressed, emotionally drained, and completely burnt out. Even though I was constantly moody and tired, I still stubbornly pushed through, hoping my circumstances would change if I just waited long enough. 

Amid the busyness, I pushed God to the end of my agenda; He quickly became just another item on my to-do list. I assumed I “didn’t have enough time” to spend time with Him or read the Bible. I convinced myself that by just trying harder or working longer, my exhaustion would miraculously disappear. No matter how hard I fought, it always felt like I was moving backward. In all the confusion and chaos, I neglected to wholly surrender my burdens to the One whose yoke is easy and burden is light.

Then, the pandemic transformed everything. While I know everyone had different experiences during quarantine, it was one of the greatest blessings in my life. I was rejuvenated, refreshed, and energized in a way I’ve never felt before. Each day was a new opportunity to learn more about who I am and who my Father is. As I quieted my soul before God, He pruned away distractions and molded my heart to align with His perfect will. Instead of powering through my to-do list, I began prioritizing what’s truly important to me and shifting my perspective. I learned so much about God- not by pridefully striving but intentionally pursuing Yahweh in each moment.

Just as my excitement bubbled up, it also quickly died down. My introverted personality loved the freedom I possessed in quarantine, but all too soon, it quickly became time for me to return to school in person. I felt nervous and was dreading the start of the school year. I knew that my dynamics would still change, no matter how hard I tried to deny it. Returning to the stress of school- from the noisy environment to the almost impossible speed of life- felt so overwhelming. It was so easy for me to return to my old, destructive habits and begin neglecting my relationship with Jesus all over again.

 However, this time was different. It’s not that this transition was easier than I expected- by any means, it was even more difficult than I prepared myself for. Still, because I allowed myself to purposefully sit at Jesus’s feet, I felt sustained in a way I like never before. I learned to place my hope in Yahweh instead of depending on my own limited strength.

God’s showing me that there will never be a perfect time to rest in His presence- we must intentionally pause and create space to spend time with Him. No matter how necessary school, sports, and even ministry is, they will never satisfy us the way Jesus does.

Still, it’s really hard for me to slow down sometimes, especially when it feels like I’m falling behind. I’m reluctant to accept help because I don’t want to be too needy or end up even worse than before. However, as I am drawing close to God, I’m learning that it’s okay to be needy with Jesus. The Lord didn’t create us to bear the whole weight of the world on our own- and that’s a good thing. Our dependence only propels us toward our ultimate Sustainer.

One thing that I’ve always loved about Jesus is that He never forces us into His presence- He gently invites us in. While He could easily choose to shout above the drowning noises of everyday life, He instead speaks in His still, small voice. In fact, when I get so wrapped up in my schedule, I often don’t hear it as clearly.

But maybe that’s the point.

Maybe God doesn’t want to yell because He knows just how normalized the roar of busyness is.

Maybe the act of slowing down and intentionally coming to the Lord with an open heart is more revolutionary than any amount of noise could ever generate.

Each and every one of us will encounter seasons where we feel stretched beyond limits. Especially as we grow older, there will be times when we fight to simply make it through the day. Even in my current season, there are moments that I still struggle with rest. But that’s okay.

Just because the pursuit of biblical rest might start out messy doesn’t mean it isn’t mighty.

Through the craziness of ordinary life, the Lord will always be our Refuge and Strength. The periods of busyness are essential to understanding how great our God is and how desperately lost we are without Him. It strips away our pride and points us toward our Father’s immense love. While we will all face busy circumstances, let’s intentionally seek our Savior with our hearts full of worship and our hands lifted high.

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