2019 is the year of Rest

Rest Hebrew 3 and 4Reading Time: 5 minutes

2018 was a tough year for me physically, mentally and emotionally. It seemed as if all the running and chasing after ‘things’ caught up with me. I end the year burned out and exhausted. The pain and fatigue from the Rheumatoid Arthritis was so strong I did not know how I would get through each day. I just put my head down and kept going along, it seems as if I don’t know another way.

We had a tornado hit our property in 2017, and I was surprised that living through a natural disaster can be quite traumatic. In 2018, I completed my Ph.D. in Christian Counseling and in addition to helping out my husband with our primary business, Jeweled Steel, I began a counseling practice. Jeweled Steel became a secondary focus as I put most of my energy into my new practice. A word of caution, being in a state of exhaustion is not any way to start a new venture.

I was counseling and trying to keep my head above water. Eventually, I came to really not like counseling. It seemed as if most of the people coming for counseling had no real interest in changing, they just wanted to talk to someone. I think a good Christian friend would have solved most of their problems. I reached a point in the Fall of 2018 that I could no longer fake having it all together.

We had a small home group over at our house on a Friday evening and the following day I just could barely function. A dear friend of mine was out for the weekend and unfortunately, I was not very nice to her. By the end of that weekend, I had shut out most everyone in my life in a desperate attempt to just get some rest. I was so exhausted I could not even handle the slightest request. I had no desire to talk to anyone. Fortunately, my husband was very supportive and handled the bulk of our communication for both our work and social lives.

During the last part of 2018, I had been crying out to God for relief. Worship had been my pain management technique for months. I did not know how I would carry on. I know that sounds a bit dramatic and it probably was, but I had little physical, emotional or mental energy to handle much of anything. Earlier in 2018, David’s sister called me. She told me that she had been praying for me and believed the Lord told her I was to take a year off from any counseling or ministry of any sort. Now, Ethel did not know what I was going through nor had she seen me in several years.

I dismissed her word since I could not really see how I could stop for a year. Fast forward to the Fall when I crashed and burned. It was at the moment that I remembered her word to me and decided to receive it. I stopped counseling, I dropped out of any groups and I restructured several relationships. This all happened very quickly but most people were very understanding because they had seen me slowly decline. It seems that just putting your head down and trucking through life is not always the right solution.

Recently, I read a book entitled, “Invitation to Retreat” by Ruth Barton and in her book she talked about a book she read entitled “When Your Body Says No” by Gabor Mate. As I read both books, I realized my body had been saying no for a very long time and I did not listen. Now I am listening.

Now, keep in mind that I have sought healing in many modalities (You can read about it here). I have been to many healing and deliverance ministries, Numerous people have prayed for me and laid hands on me.  I believe in healing and restoration because God’s Word says it and Christ died for it. I struggle to reconcile the many healing messages (including my own message) with my personal experience.

Some healing teachings leave you feeling like you are the problem and you are doing something wrong to cause the disease. Others say you are healed and healing will manifest if you just believe enough. Some do not even believe in healing or miracles, they believe that the best we can do is suffer well here on earth and that healing happens when we get to Heaven.  My Bible says, “Your Kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” (Matthew 6:10) I could go on but my choice is to sit in His presence and let Him guide me. The Lord knows I have tried many, many things and listened to many, many people, now it is time for me to listen to Him!

Going into 2019, the Lord told me that my word for the year was REST. I loved that idea and was ready to do just that except I do not really know how to rest. Does it means sleeping more? Reading more?  Doing nothing more? I just could not get my head around the concept of rest so I spent much time in Hebrews 3 – 4 where the writer of Hebrews spends time writing about the Promise of Rest.

As I meditated on these chapters, the Lord showed me His definition of Rest.

R – relying
E – earnestly
S – Supernatural
T – Timing
R – Restore
E – Everything
S – Satan
T – Took.

What revelation! Rest does not necessarily mean to cease from labor. It means to stop the unbelief operating in your life and replace it with a belief in the word of God. It means taking His word and applying it daily. It means having the child-like faith that He loves. It means believing that He will do what He says He will do and that I am who He says that I am. It means that His word is alive, active and actually applies to me. Hebrews 4:3 says that we who have believed do enter the rest.

Rest is my goal for 2019. I have learned much in striving to enter the REST. I have learned that I have much unbelief and doubt. I have learned that I must continually renew my mind to align with Him. It means that I put my focus on His Word not the news. I must stop getting worked up over the state of the world but rather focus on what He says about it so that I can declare it over our nation and our lives.

Hebrews 4:10 says that “For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.” I am excited about this season of rest. I am setting aside a lot of time to just be with the Lord in His quiet place. I am choosing to enter His Rest because that is where He is.

My prayer is that I whole-heartedly believe the entire Word of God and that by His might He strengthen my inner man. Jesus conquered death and the grave for us to be victorious in this life! Lord help my unbelief!

Thank you for reading and I strongly encourage you to spend some time reading Hebrews 3 & 4.

My husband is an amazing artist, you can see what he does with steel and a blow torch here.

You can find more information about David and me here.

The Lord told me that my word for 2019 was REST. I loved that idea and was ready to do just that except I do not really know how to rest. Does it mean sleeping more? Reading more? Doing nothing more?


Sharing the Gospel of Christ through Art

32 thoughts on “2019 is the year of Rest

  1. Dear Michelle, my heart goes out to you as I listened to this terribly difficult year you just survived. I am thanking God for the ways He is leading you to the healing you need and the ways you can minister to others as a result. I love your acronyms for REST! I am taking these to heart. God bless you and your husband as the Lord uses your many gifts! But most of all, may you enjoy the Lord Himself as you REST in Him!

    1. Thank you, Melissa! Rest is a wonderful thing and I am truly enjoying the time to just breathe a bit. Thank you for reading.

  2. This hits home right now, as I just found out yesterday I have the flu! Here’s to embracing what my body needs today: REST. 🙂 Thank you.

    1. Oh no! Rest does a body good. Thank you for reading.

  3. Thank you for this transparent, difficult story. It helps others to know that they aren’t the only ones enduring trials. God bless!

    1. Thank you, Nancy!

  4. Michelle, I too have a chronic illness, an autoimmune disease like Rheumatoid Arthritis. Mine is called Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease. It knocked me flat in 2013 after creeping up on me for decades. Everything you wrote here resonates with me. These are the things we process and the feelings we experience. Like you, I know God can heal and will, whether it’s now, today, or when we see him face to face. His concern is always our spiritual welfare and our growth into the image of Christ, the Suffering Servant. Now, years into this illness, I have seen that this collapse has been the best thing the Lord has ever allowed to touch my life. Learning to rest in him is essential and learning to rely on him for every strength and service is a must. For hardworking strivers, our Savior must often allow us to be laid low. Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” was an essential component of the rich understanding he had about the reasons and necessities of our weaknesses and of our need to rely on Christ. God is so good, sister! And whatever comes, he will use it in glorious and eternal ways for great blessing in your life. Be at peace. You are cherished. He will uphold you through it all. In 2019 enjoy this time of rest. Who knows what the Lord has next for you? It will be good and glorious, whatever it is!

    1. Thank you so much, Melinda!

  5. Nice post I love God’s definition of rest that you wrote.

    1. Thank you!

  6. I love this:
    R – relying
    E – earnestly
    S – Supernatural
    T – Timing
    R – Restore
    E – Everything
    S – Satan
    T – Took.
    I see a lot of truth here and will be taking a walk through Hebrews 3-4 as you suggest.
    I pray your year of rest provides blessings beyond all you could ask or imagine!

    1. Thank you, Beth! Enjoy Hebrews 3-4. 🙂

  7. I love the acronym! What an encouraging post!

  8. Really helped me to read this post and your beautiful prayer at the end! I struggle with resting and with trusting. Here’s to a year of restoration! Thank you for the post.

  9. Wow! Thank you so much for sharing this! It speaks to my own life so much. I’m a class A go getter and the only speed I know is MAX. But God has shown me so much this year what it means to put away all of the things I was doing for myself and rest in Him.

  10. We need to remember to include rest in our schedule. Jesus set the example for us to follow. We don’t see him working himself to death. Good reminder that we are not required to do it all.

  11. I love this – I have had burn out and been completely lost at the word ‘rest’ and how to apply it – especially as a carer and mum with children at home but I am learning to listen to my body and know my limits. Thank you for sharing this – it’s most helpful

    1. Thank you, Danielle! Blessings to you and your family. 🙂

  12. I have a hard time sitting still for too long, so the idea of REST is wonderful! I’m off to check out Hebrews 3&4! Thanks for sharing!

  13. Yes, I too love the acronym. AweSOme post.

  14. I completely understand how REST plays a huge role. If we don’t stop on our own, our bodies will force us to stop. I have been doing a lot of decluttering and part of that decluttering includes letting go of parts of my schedule that used to mean so much to me. Thank you for this confirmation.

  15. I’m so sorry that you got to such a point. I’m so thankful you have a relationship with the Lord because I believe that he will absolutely guide you into and through that rest. Focus on him and carrying out his will and I’m confident that he will see you through.

  16. Thanks for sharing your story! I hope things look up for you this year. Thanks for the reminder that just as God rested during creation week, we also need to devote some time to rest as well to be rejuvenated.

  17. I love the acronym and that you’ve decided to use it as your theme for 2019. Like you, I hit my wall in early 2014 and had to take nearly a year off from just about everything to get my emotions and my physical body back to where it needed to be. It was exhausting, but now I’m much quicker to say no to things that aren’t necessary in order to preserve my energy for the things that really matter! Praying 2019 is a much better year for you!

    1. Thank you, Sarah!

  18. Thank you for sharing your struggles, Michelle! My husband has RA as well. We all need rest no matter the difficulties we are going through. I’m sure you have encouraged many with this post. Praying for great rest for you this year!

  19. OH I soo need this too..

    Man – it sounds like you really went through it! I can’t believe you got hit by a tornado!!

    I love how you said
    “Rest does not necessarily mean to cease from labor. It means to stop the unbelief operating in your life and replace it with a belief in the word of God.”

    For some reason I resist resting – but I’ve already scheduled it… i just want to make it to Tuesday afternoon. I’ve been pushing too hard lately and honestly a big part of the problem is not trusting that God can take care of the things I can’t…

    If you think of it – pray for me & my need of rest – it’s been a struggle for a few weeks now that I am really trying to win – faith and rest.

    1. I will definitely be praying for you. Blessings this week and may faith arise!

  20. So sorry you had such a rough year. Love the acronym!

  21. I see that all you have gone through in 2018 has made you an even better and thoughtful writer. As you rest in Him may he continue to use you in the lives of others. May you be blessed and be a blessing!

    1. Thank you, Summer! What an encouragement today.

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