My journey with “rest” has been a turbulent, mysterious and tiring one. I used to say that I could barely spell the word R.E.S.T. This was from years and years of a sleep disorder that created restless, frustrating nights and zombie-like energy drained days. A see-saw that felt like a dance between the land of the barely living and the dead. Interestingly enough, God always spoke to me and ordered everything about me to ensure I was still growing and succeeding. My success at school, work and even sports was definitely not with my own strength. Rest has been a taxing topic that has left many a tears on many soaked pillows of my life. The last six months though, the Lord has been presenting opportunities to speak about this journey. This tango with an unknown and what felt like an unseen partner - REST.
He has been revealing to me how much I have overcome and like David, that I will chop off Goliaths head with His own sword. The Father has been returning back to His daughter, Rest and Peace. With this, He has been birthing within me the ability to cultivate and share it with others, even when sometimes I don’t feel I am carrying it myself.
Earlier this week, as I logged onto a Bethel California, zoom prayer room to receive some love and ministry, He went on to show me that I had stepped away from the posture of rest through the week and had gone into worry and stress.
Over the last few months I have been birthing a business and ministry that touches on bringing His presence to others by using creativity in inner healing. In the midst of it, I had slowly begun to lose the enjoyment of birthing and begun getting overwhelmed by “what needed to get done”. I was getting anxious, tired and grumpy.
The administration side of the tasks seemed like a chore and rather than continuing to enjoy the pleasure of bringing clarity and His peace to others, I was feeling in over my head. He whispered to me, “my daughter, enjoy the pregnancy and the birth”. This word was repeated within the prayer rooms, twice, with two different ministers mentioning that they felt I need to “enjoy the journey”. They didn’t need to say anything else. I knew it. I had moved out of His rest and into striving.
As I pondered on where I deviated, I noted the same little rascals tagging at my ankles like those annoying little crazy dogs that latch at you and don’t let go. It was rascal number 1: perfectionism, and rascal number 2: performance.
My performance and perfectionism past was trying to creep in. I took a deep breath and noted that all the crazy timelines I had created for the week were knocking me out of rest.
No one was going to notice if I sent the session summary notes a day later than planned, no one was shaking their finger at me and saying, “oh my look at you, that’s not good enough”. No one, but me. So I slowed down, took a day off from the crazy schedule and pace I had set for myself and segmented my tasks into bitable chunks. I didn’t quite have a template. We rarely do as pioneers. So I needed to be gentle with myself and allow time to create and time to execute. And in between, rest.
As I rested and received feedback in rest, I had another dilemma on my hands; with the newly launched workshops, it became apparent that I had to reduce the number of people per session. I pondered, thought and began to go into procrastination mode as I felt stuck. A dangerous zone I can get lost in for hours and then stress out for the time I have lost and then beat myself up.
So I picked up the phone, prayed and said “God, order my class, just as you always have, let me know who needs to be moved to the next one”. As I made the first call, the girl on the other end was super excited about the upcoming class, clearly it wasn’t her who would be bumped forward. I made the next two calls and there they were. I gave them freedom as they opted for the next class due to unexpected busy schedules.
I took a deep breath as now the upcoming class was down to optimal size.
I thanked Jesus for ordering my blind spots in advance, as always!
As I think of the things that have seen me through the years of chasing rest and growth the below come up, I hope they will bless you:
1) Fellowship is key
Christian is different from Kingdom minded. Religion is different from relationship. Aim to surround yourself with Kingdom minded relationships that honour you, the magnanimous of the glory you carry and your process of becoming. I remember when in a painful moment at 30 years old, I asked God to show me my friends. He painfully pulled back the veil in all my relationships. Few were left standing.
After a season of what felt like immense loneliness, He started bringing them in one by one, sisters. Sisters who would honour the weightiness of the glory I carry and surround me with love and compassion. It was worth it. Proverbs 13:20 (KJV) says He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed. Hebrews 10:24 says: “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another”. You are who you fellowship with”.
2) Healing is your responsibility
As I coach leaders to be healed leaders, I do this from a perspective of having been battered and bruised by leadership that carries no fragrance of Christ, especially, in ministry or church settings. Ironic huh! I probably at one point was also a wounded leader leading with a limp. When we don’t deal with the wounds within, we wear masks and can never be safe places for those who are in the process of healing.
We struggle to breathe life into their process of becoming and end up leading from our wounding (insecurities, fear, trauma) and from the place of our dysfunction. Take the intentional step to go on a journey of inner healing.
The Holy Spirit will invite you into the deep, dark rooms of your heart that need decluttering, airing and refurbishment. We then become healed leaders in every sphere; work, business and our homes.
3) Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries
Our inability to create and stick to healthy boundaries knocks us out of rest. This one goes hand in hand with being a people pleaser and “Yes girl”. The world will always demand more of you and in fact will claw for all of you. Satan loves to keep us busy. This stops your soul from prospering as you battle with false guilt and false burdens. He especially uses those we love to push down and press in, bringing false guilt and false responsibility.
Take a deep breath right now and ask the Holy Spirit: “Holy Spirit, do I have any unhealthy boundaries?”. As He speaks, write the names down. Now go on a journey with Him on a strategy to create healthy boundaries. Ensure to receive His love as you will be resisted as you set these boundaries up.
(Beautiful Art Work by Eva Leparakuo)
4) Build on solid ground
I love how one of my friends calls God her business partner. She always checks her decisions with her Partner. We need to release ourselves from the worlds way of doing business and go back to centre and receive business strategy from Him. Sure there are excellent strategies and tools we can use, but as Kingdom, we go a step further and we are more concerned with doing what the Father is doing and saying what He is saying. This will ensure we are not building our own company but co-labouring with Christ to build Kingdom businesses that last generations.
Our marketing and sales strategies should be run by Him. He is, after all, the best counsel! Mathew 7:24-27: Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
As we put His word into action and build together with Him, we are assured that we are building on solid ground.
5) Be kind to yourself
Comparison is a killer! Spend time with Him to learn your rhythm. As we heal and grow our rhythm and flow will match that of the heart of the Father. Just like how we expertly synch our devices to get the most recent bits of information from any device we are on, we must synch our hearts to heaven and move at the pace and time prescribed. After all, He knows which doors are opening when, which are about to close and which doors to completely avoid. As we do this we find that He is actually rarely in a hurry.
I got so much freedom this week as I was indulging in my Leadership Coaching book by Tony Stoltzfus where he mentions “God is more interested in who you are becoming rather than what you are doing”. Lay down comparison and lofty imaginations. Trust the Lord who is beyond time to keep everything running in time!
6) Create a healing space
As the lord helped me birth “Healing Spaces” it was from Him wishing to create a place where people can “come away with Him and rest for a while”. As we rest, create and play, we heal. At home, we can create personal healing spaces by allocating a time and space to rest in the arms of Jesus. Whatever time of day, when we come away with Him we are able to access peace, revelation and wisdom. As we function from rest, we function more efficiently and effectively.
To wrap up the above, I find Graham Cook has amazing teaching on rest. Some other resources would be inner healing and creativity courses by Theresa Dedmon, Ellel Ministries on healing the human spirit and emotions as well as Gary Barkalow’s book: “It’s your call” that points one in the direction of calling and destiny.
As we grow into the full stature, may we truly be called “oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor” (Isaiah 61:3) and may we “still bear fruit in old age, stay fresh and green, proclaiming, “The Lord is upright; he is my Rock” (Psalm 92:14). And for those struggling with rest, I pray over you right now that the grace and healing He has provided over my life in this area that has been heavily contended for, may work in your life. I pray a blessing over your sleep, rest an energy so you may soar like the eagles you are! Eva
Inner Healing & Wellness Coach, Designer & Artist. Founder of Healing Spaces
With over 15 years experience in the customer service industry across three different continents and several years in inner healing and wellness training, I have merged my passions to help you lead and function from a healed heart and develop whole and productive teams.
Business productivity begins in the soul. Healed and whole leaders and staff produce. Broken, abused staff don't. Period. Healed Leaders produce success, wounded leaders leave carnage. With my experience in creating 'safe places' to allow the inner voice to speak and be heard, emotions to be healed and creativity to flow, I have seen self-esteem, purpose and identity return and productivity soar. People are people, not things or tasks. Emotions must be acknowledged and handled, trauma can be healed and you can feel whole as you catapult forward into your unique purpose and destiny.
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