I’ve had a hard time saying “yes” to things lately. I still carry the sting from seasons past when the word “yes” led me to an out of balance, people pleasing life that ran me ragged and wrung me dry. I was exhausted 100% of the time and had a plethora of migraines. Any off-time I had I spent numb from running my life away. I would often be a zombie on the couch binge watching Netflix often interrupted by my own tears due to my overly emotional exhausted state. (Has anyone else felt super numb and then super emotional 10 seconds later?)
But now I am finding in an effort to avoid to that dry place in life at all costs, a switch has developed where “no” is far more easily accessible than “yes”. However, I have found that this sort of self-protective teeter tottering from “yes” to “no” has left me a little too distant from life, and I’m looking for a way back in.
A few weeks ago, I felt the Lord whisper to my worrisome heart these four simple words “you will not wither”. That whisper arrested my spirit and challenged the fear I had been carrying from that burnt out season years ago. It freed me from having to protect myself from burn out and helped me recognize that the Lord can be intimately involved in my schedule. And that whisper gave me the permission to enter back into the struggle of finding balance in life. No, I will not get it right all of the time. Yes, I can struggle in the day to day. And you can too.
What I have experienced thus far is that the key to not withering is consistent rest, and the key to balance is knowing that it will never be perfect.
Sometimes I think we treat those two things differently. We think balance should be a set it and forget it part of life while rest should only happen on whim when we really need it.
However, rest and sabbath aren’t simply a suggestion in the Bible; they are a command. And it’s a consistent discipline meant to be a weekly part of our schedule rather than an every now and then experience.
Also, balance isn’t something we arrive at. There is always tension, a consistent need to adjust and readjust and readjust again. There is no formula to life that will allow everything to perfectly and neatly fall into place. Balance is messy and we need to give ourselves the freedom to not be perfect in this area of our lives.
Rest enables me to not wither. And understanding that balance will never be perfect is helping me get back into the “yes” game. My encouragement for you and I is to give ourselves the permission to rest, the grace we so desperately need for the complexity of balance in our lives, and the space to let God speak into our schedules. With His intimate involvement into our lives, we will not wither.
Jen is a pastor, worship leader, writer, and songwriter living in Napa, California.