What does that look like to you, my dear friend reading this on the other side of a back-lit screen? We both ought to be sleeping by now. We’re most likely guilty of scrolling our feeds in bed instead of doing what we should be doing…(what’s that word again? O ya, Rest!)  We’re both over extended, whether by choice or by circumstance. We find ourselves lost in the struggles of life, physical, spiritual or maybe mental…wherever you are …admit it. You’re tired.

I’ve spent the last week in and out of correspondence with Dr’s. My children were sick, and all though I honestly try as much as humanely possible to never play the “single mom card”, my pride was thrown to the proverbial wind here long before I ever started this post. Guys, this single mom biz is no joke. I. Am. Tired.

Rest is what I’ve craved since last Friday when my four-year old started throwing up punctually at bedtime. Rest is what my body dreamed of as I was treating fevers all day Saturday. Rest was what I knew I wasn’t going to be getting come Sunday when both kids were coughing all day (and inherently all night.) (Side note: to all the moms: do coughs ever end?)

I’ve spent a week at the Dr’s office, Urgent Care and even the pediatric Emergency Hospital for basic childhood illnesses. I’ve made the tough calls  alone, post-bedtime to throw the  kids in the car, fully clad in snow boots with blankies and lovies and weak bodies and dragged them into a germ infested, petri-dish of a hospital mid-flu season (not just once – but twice)…all-the-while not knowing if I was making the right choice. Guys, it’s been a week. Can I get an “Amen”?

I could sit here and tell you how I’m grouchy. I’ve yelled more than I should have the last few days at my also rightfully unhappy, over-the-sickness, completely exhausted children. I could tell you how some people in my life would disagree with my decisions to take my daughters to 3 different doctors this week. I could also end this post here by telling you that when life throws us lemons, to splash some water on your face, and get over it. That we’re all in this together. We’re tough as nails, and don’t let life get you down. (I hear that’s pretty popular theology these days.) But none of that solves anything, really. Not that those things aren’t good and true, but none of that is what really helps us make it through our trials. Instead…how ‘bout a different take on adversity? 

Let’s call it foundation. If I could go through my phone right now and count the texts and messages of people asking if they could drop hot food, groceries, or medicine at my door…If I could count the number of prayers that went up (and still are) for my family this week…I would be counting for days. Weeks probably. Here’s what I do know. I know that the church isn’t walls that confine a group of people. Church is the souls that exhibit the love of Christ in these ways: they show up, they serve others first, they love well, and let me tell you… we have felt more love this Valentine’s week than I can even attempt to put words to. Trust me, I’ve tried. My God has established a firm foundation for us. He has rooted us in the midst of a forest that is blooming disciples right here in my very own neighborhood. I’ve often been the one to aid in other’s struggles…how humbling it is for me to be on the receiving end of generosity and see the fruits of the spirit in action around me. If you don’t have a foundation of faith around you, get started on getting yourself one.

Do you know where I found rest this week? Not in my bed obviously, you smart aleck, you. Certainly not in Dr’s visits and hospitals and most definitely not on social media. But I did find it in Jesus. In Matthew He tells us: Come to me all who are weary and heavy burdened, and I will give you rest.”(11:28)  (But first: more real talk:) I found myself on the bathroom floor in the midst of all of this in tears. The burning, rolling down my cheeks, no time for single droplets, fountain of painful tears completely engulfing my emotions. In my sadness, in my exhaustion, in my fears, I told Him the truth. I told him that I can’t do this alone. That I was never meant to. That I’m weary, and I’m heavy burdened. And I just can’t.

After all that, I dried my tears. And then… I waited.

In the places where I least expected it, when I forgot to even look, there He was. Meeting me in my exhaustion. He showed up when someone from church dropped food and sweet gifts at my door unexpectedly. He was there when my brother and sister in law cooked homemade dinner and went shopping for me. He was there when my best friend sent me a delivery of the most beautiful flowers. He was present in every, single message asking how we were, what did we need, how can we help. He was there in the hospital room as the chaplain prayed over my daughter’s future to be rooted in a “firm foundation of faith.” And just like that, in every little moment, there he was, relieving my burdens, taking my weariness, one secret second at a time.

He knows when our hearts have just had it, friend. He knows when our bodies are depleted, and when we can’t go one more step alone. He knows when our eyelids are burning, but the tears run completely dry. He knows when we can’t handle one more thing. Because the truth is, we can’t.

I am empathic to the realities that so many of you have faced. There are things far worse than mild illnesses and simple childhood sickness. There is cancer and premature death. Yet still, the Truth remains the same for each of us. I hope that you will remember to run to Him when this life feels like it’s all too much to bear. Because it is sometimes. I hope that you find strength and Grace in sharing your pain with the One who bore it all. I hope that you take your tears and sorrows and struggles to his very feet. And I promise you, in return for all the physical, spiritual or mental exhaustion you carry… He will give you rest. 

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