I began to toss and turn at 3:30am, trying to make myself calm down enough so there was a chance I may get some rest before I left for Houston in the morning for a marriage retreat. I knew I needed rest. Not only was my body completely and utterly drained, but my mind was racing. Racing in a way it hadn’t raced in 2 years since I have been healed of mental illness. I knew this worry wasn’t from God.
Yes, I had 4 chapters to read, 3 assignments to complete, a 3 hour drive to Houston, and a marriage retreat to complete. Right then at that very moment, I had a restless mind thinking about the things I had to do later on in the week. *Breathe Tanja, breathe*
I casted all my worries of not being able to finish my homework by the deadlines and was STILL tossing and turning. I looked at my phone, now 4:30am.
I need to de-stress myself. My best way of doing this is a candle-lit hot bath accompanied by a lavender bath bomb. I laid in the tub…at 4:30 in the morning and just closed my eyes, completely vulnerable in the midst of Abba’s presence and spoke, “Okay God, I know that I either need to pray for someone or I need to listen.”
*I intently listened to what God had to say*
God: You need to do this more often…take care of yourself. You know that this anxiety and stress you have been feeling isn’t from me. You keep trying to rest in your own way. But the rest that your body and soul needs is found in me. Only me.
Me: But how am I supposed to get through right now? Am I supposed to stop doing all these things? I thought you called me to do them?
God: You know the saying you always say, “You can’t pour from an empty cup?”
Me: *sighs* Yes…
God: I would rather you take one class and give more to the women and youth you are leading. I will give you the strength till next semester. But rest in me, find your strength in me, and know that I am so proud of you.
All my anxiety seemed to dissipate into the heavenly realm as I soaked in God’s presence. I sat in the candle-lit bath surrounded with peace and plans to prosper.
God spoke a couple things to me:
- Stop trying to do thing in my own strength
- He can make even anxiety at 3:30am turn into something beautiful. (Literally Soaking in his presence)
- I need to have more of an ear to listen
- Take one class next semester
- I can only find true rest, in him
- He will give me strength to get through these next couple weeks
- He is proud of the seeds I’ve been planting
- Trust in him and his plan
I have not dealt with anxiety like that in 2 years. It was not from God, but he did turn it out for the good and used it for intimate time in his presence. We need to lay everything at his feet and trust in him and his plan. Even if it doesn’t line up with our “graduation date”, his plan is perfect. We can sleep 12 hours and still not be restored because the rest we need is found in him. During quiet time, sometimes we actually need to be quiet. God wants to speak into us. Even if we are struggling to get by, if we ask God for strength, he will give it to us. Last but not least, let us not grow weary in doing good. We will reap what we sow.
Even though I did not get much sleep before the marriage retreat, I wouldn’t of traded that time with God for sleep. I literally soaked in his presence & a supernatural peace came over me as I listened to what he had to say. I casted my cares upon him through prayer and he heard me and spoke.
Is there something you need to lay at his feet today? Or maybe you just need to listen and find rest in him. Either way, he is waiting to hear from you.
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”-Galatians 6:9 NLT
“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”-1 Peter 5:7 NLT
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.”-Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT