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Put Down Your Sword

I have fought hard for two years.

I have been a wife, a mother, a friend, a daughter…but also a warrior in a battle.

And though it was one of the most painful things I have ever done, God has given me victory. Strangely, I think it was because I finally surrendered.

God has done a lot of “heart surgery” with me, as Christine Caine would say. He has healed, restored, and redeemed so many broken things in my life. I am so grateful for God’s grace and patience with me. I have fully embraced His love for me and I understand my identity as His daughter and beloved child. Freedom has come to my heart.

But… I am exhausted from it all.

So thankful. But so weary.

My husband I went to Florida for a week by ourselves a few weeks ago. We had eight days without any children or schedule. It was an awesome and restful week, with lots of sitting on the beach doing nothing.

Coming back into reality was really hard. I realized how tired I still was even after a week of rest and refreshment. It surprised me a lot and, honestly, it was really discouraging.

And I realized something else: I don’t know how to rest at my own house. Can anyone else relate to that? I can rest in another state, away from my children, but not in my own house. I was really disturbed by that realization.

I felt God nudging me to continue resting at home, prompting me to ask Him how to do so since I had no idea.

I was taking a walk a few days ago at the park, asking God how in the world I rest at home among five small kids, special needs, and general chaos.

As I was walking, an excerpt from a book I had read that morning came to mind. The book is called “You’re Already Amazing” by Holley Gerth. It was talking about a time when God told Holley, “Put down your sword.”(1)

Then His quiet, gentle voice came swiftly: “Tammy, I also want you to put down your sword. Let me do the fighting for awhile. You need to rest from all the heart work we have done over the last two years. You need to heal. I will be your shield. If you do not rest, you will be too weary for what is ahead, for the plans I have for you.”

I stopped walking. “What?”

And again, the gentle voice. “Put down your sword. Trust Me. Let go. Rest.”

It makes me think of the Disney Pixar movie “The Incredibles.” I think of Violet, the daughter who can put a shield around herself and her family when trouble comes. That’s what I believe God said He was going to do for me in this time of resting ahead.

The tears came quickly.

I had been fighting for so long, I couldn’t remember how to stop, how to rest. I was always poised for battle, ready for the next thing, whatever that thing was. I was so tired.

A verse came to mind as I walked: The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. – Exodus 14:14

My only requirement was to be still, to put my sword down. God was going to step in and do the rest. I couldn’t imagine my only responsibility was to be still.

I started walking again. God brought many things to mind that I needed to “put down,” (not just my sword).

Broken or lost relationships, physical pain, worries and stress and heartache regarding my children, worries about the future….on and on went the list. As I walked, I let them go, leaving them on the path for God to take (I actually grabbed a fistful of grass and dropped each blade as a symbolic way to “let go” of each thing, which was really helpful for me).

My body, soul, and mind relaxed and I felt peace. I felt God’s shield of protection around me, and I felt His love and concern for me. As I drove home from the park, I wondered how I was going to be still at my crazy house.

As you may have guessed, resting at my house is not an easy thing. A lot of my days are so hard. Having an unpredictable child is hard. I found this quote on Facebook and it has encouraged me so much in this area:

“Sometimes when you’re in a dark place you think you’ve been buried, but actually you’ve been planted.” – Christine Caine

I love that. God has a plan. He has planted me exactly where He wants me, and I have a purpose.

And God is showing me small ways that I can rest, even in the craziness of this season…

Take a walk or a jog with worship music (in my driveway if I can’t get away – my driveway is really long).

When worries come to mind and the anxiety starts, immediately give it over to God. If the thought comes again, give it to Him again, until I can let it go and let Him have it.

Sit and watch my children play. Or go play with them. Enjoy the sound of laughter and silliness, and be part of it. When they sit and rest, go sit and rest with them (instead of working frantically to get more done while I can).

Enjoy the moments I’m in and be fully present.

Play worship music really loud at home (that the kids like) when I need Jesus but I can’t go in my room and shut the door. It works almost every time to bring everyone together and bring smiles.

Memorize Scripture that encourages me.

When I’m making my mental “to do” list for the day, cut out at least half of it when I’m done.

Ask God what’s on His agenda for the day.

Sit and hold hands with my husband after the kids are in bed, even if it’s only for five minutes.

Ask God to show me ways I can rest specific for each day.

Last tip: It’s mandatory to stop and enjoy rainbows after a storm! Rest in the beauty of God.

It is still hard, but I’m seeing glimpses of rest at our house.

I don’t know for how long…but I want to be refreshed and ready when God tells me it’s time to pick up the sword again. I don’t want to miss the plan because I didn’t refuel!

Father, thank you for your gift of rest. Please show our weary hearts how to fully receive and embrace this gift. Prepare us for what you have for us in the future. Amen.

 

Source:
(1) - Gerth, Holley. “You’re Already Amazing.” Revell Publishing, 2012. Grand Rapids, MI. Pg. 84-85.

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If you are an imperfect wife, mom, daughter, or friend, struggling to stay focused on God in the craziness and find joy in the heartache, then we have something in common. I am a recovering perfectionist and daughter of the King, slowly learning to fully trust the One who sees me just as I am, and is already pleased. I’m so glad you are here.

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