It is 5:30 in the morning, and I’m wide-awake.
That statement in and of itself should tell you that God is trying to do something in me. Because in no normal situation would I willingly choose to be awake, alert, and coffee-less at such an hour.
There’s something about watching the sun come up in the sweltering summer months that allows peace to rest upon my heart. In many ways, I think it takes me back to a simpler and more restful season of life—those summers I spent living in the woods. One suitcase of belongings and no telephone and the silence of the trees and the water and the trails.
The silence allowed for the growth of the new. The whisper of the Father. The call to ministry. The shaping of an empathetic heart.
But I have forgotten how to appreciate the silence. How to breathe in deeply and exhale and truly let my mind and body and heart rest.
I am dissatisfied with much. Quickly irritated. Discontent.
I think many of us are. I look around in waiting rooms and grocery stores and at stop lights and our faces are mesmerized by a screen. We scroll through our Newsfeeds on Instagram and Facebook and twitter, looking to be a part of someone else’s current adventure. Over stimulated by ideas and words and photographs. I stare down at my phone when there are people I could be talking to and a vast sky to be staring at and ideas to be creating.
In the moments when my real-life, every day story isn’t going the way I want it to, I can control what I display. What others see. What filter to use. And scrolling through a hundred different narratives a day, I begin to forget what grand narrative I actually belong to. I begin to forget how to write a really good story. And that a good story isn’t the one where every day is a mountain top experience or even a really good day. It’s one where ordinary days and moments are appreciating and aren’t skipped over as insignificant. And I think that truly soaking in a moment can only come without distraction.
It’s almost scary really—how quickly our fingers find the app buttons on our phone. And how I will subconsciously find myself scrolling through my email when I had checked it only moments before.
We are uncomfortable with the silence needed for true rest. And yet, our bodies and minds and souls know that we need it more than ever.
It’s been a long and tiring year. And there’s a heaviness that weighs on my body and mind and spirit that I can’t seem to shake. But for months now, I’ve felt the Lord telling me that a new thing is coming. That I will see and feel the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
I’ve felt Him telling me that this summer, I’m to learn what it means to rest. To say no to extra things and make time. Not so that I can fill it with more obligations or responsibilities. And not so that I can lie down like a sloth and give up on life. But so that there’s just that—time. Silence.
And last night, I felt the final nudge that part of that would come with the surrendering of the things in my life that distract. And for me, that means giving up social media for the summer months and really digging into writing my own narrative again.
I want to read for hours in bed at the end of the day—really good books that make me think and cry and take me to other lands. I want to let my hands prepare good, clean food but with no hurry. I want to sit on the floor and play with my baby-friends and their mommies and not once look at my watch or my phone and worry about getting somewhere else. I want to swim and lay in the sun and chase fireflies. I want to write for the sole purpose of writing because it makes me happy. Not because anyone will read it. And not to achieve or prove anything.
I want to teach myself to dream again. I want to remember why I love the things I love. And I want to move really slow. And I think that’s OKAY.
So, I may miss out on some announcements or some funny photos or someone’s wedding photos. And that’s OKAY too.
I am ready to soak in the season I am in. If I have learned anything the past 18 months, I have learned that we cannot predict or choose our circumstances but we can learn to appreciate the little things that bring light to the darkness. Because no story is without the little lights.
Happy Summer, friends. May it be filled with rest in unexpected ways.