I did not realize how much I needed rest. I did not understand that the life I was living was not any kind of life at all.
I was so caught up in the mindset of busyness. Our daughters were involved in several activities, I was always running - involved in a dozen different activities, my husband was out most nights either working or at a music practice. While I was living in it, it seemed normal - natural. It's just the way life is. Right?
Then my accident happened - that was a wake up call to my mindset. I do not think that the drunk driver will ever fully understand the impact that he had on our family. I filled in my Victim Impact Statement and handed it in to the police. That was an interesting time of reflection - after months of physio and Doctor's appointments, it is incredible how much this accident continues to affect my everyday life. It is strange to be called a victim, and essentially I am - but it is up to me whether I allow this experience to make me a victim of my situation.
The drivers choice to drive drunk that Friday afternoon last fall was a choice that he made. Now I have to choose how I am going to allow it to affect me. The Victim Impact Statement breaks down the impact into sections: emotionally, physically and financially. I have been affected in all these areas, and with lasting impact in all.
This is my new reality. Each day that passes I get a little bit better. the important part is that I continue to move forward. Some days that choice is harder than others but it is a path that I have been placed on and I am going to choose to walk it with integrity.
The greatest lesson that I have learned on this new journey is that rest is important. We were not created for a life of busyness. Due to my injuries I was unable to do most things. It meant stepping away from boards and committees, closing my handmade online business, working less, my daughters had to say no to activities, my family had to step up to help around the home more and I had to slow down. I had to learn how to rest. I didn't know how to sit and just "be".
I didn't realize that busyness is a sin. As I have been learning to find rest in my life Hebrews 12 continues to come to mind.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin."
Previous to this chapter we find the examples of the Hall of Fame of Faith - it is interesting to study their lives which leads us to the verses entitled God's Discipline proves His Love. Hebrews 12 is so full of goodness.
We are to set aside and strip off the weight of sin that weighs us down, and run the race before us. I ran a 5K race once. It was hard. I could barely finish it. I could not imagine what it would have felt like if I was told that I had to run it with a 20lb weight laying on my shoulders. How can we run the race of life without the weight of sin? Keep our eyes on Jesus. Easier said than done - even Peter had difficulty with this one. We can't give up, this race is too important.
"And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said,
Many skip over these verses because let's face it - they talk about discipline and discipline is not a happy, feel-good topic. It is time to get over the thoughts that choosing to follow Christ is a joy-filled walk in the park. Yes you may experience days like that, but if I use my life as an example of this - those days a few and far between. Most days I experience pain, not always necessarily in my life but I see it in the eyes of so many around me.
The Greek work for discipline in this chapter refers to child-rearing through instruction, training and correction. As we travel through the painful discipline or lessons to be learned in our lives we do not always understand why. But that is not where our focus should be. The reason may not be a blinking sign in front of us, but in time we will have greater understanding. My husband and I went through a difficult time early in our marriage, I remember as he held me as I was uncontrollably sobbing - I said, "I can't wait for 10 years from now when I can look back and say what a great learning experience this was for us."
Our response during this time needs to come from a place of respect and submission. "Submission" another word that is just as popular as "discipline". But do you see what the rewards are? A peaceful harvest of right living - doesn't that sound wonderful! Then comes the encouragement - that where you are weak you will be strengthened. My body has been left weak from my accident, but I will be strengthened in more ways than I can fully know now.
I see things differently now, I recognize thankfulness in a new light, I am not the same person I was a year ago. I have found a place of rest that my soul was craving more than I recognized. I will not be weary, I will not give up, I am all-in for this race that is set before me. May I run with integrity, respect and submission.
More than 10 years have passed since that time my husband held me as I wept and I can look on that situation and see the healing, the lessons learned and how we have grown. It is experiences like that, that help me to not lose my focus and to endure.
Carolyn's experience as a missionary, pastor's wife, national award winning author & speaker all unite to encourage, empower and equip women of all ages to delve into scripture to discover it's truth in our lives today.
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