It’s okay to rest.
It’s okay to bask in God’s presence and not produce a single thing for a time. I’m not talking about just being lazy, though some ice-cream-binging, Frozen-marathons might be in order. This is a body, and soul peace found only in putting the hope of my life and future into God’s hand. Handing it over and saying, “Here’s all I am, and all I have, I trust you to make it beautiful.”
It’s okay to mourn.
It is okay to mourn missed opportunities, failures, and losses. Open up the floodgates and let every hurt, disappointment, question, and loss pour out. God is not put off by this display of emotion. It is a necessary part of healing. Don’t bottle up hurt, pain, doubt, and disappointments. They will poison you, consume your peace, drown your joy, and cloud your vision.
It’s okay to tell your soul to sing.
Do you ever talk to your soul? “Hey, soul, what’s up? What’s going on?” We have got to deal with the thoughts and emotions inside. And sometimes the best way to do that is to tell your soul to SING!
 Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and  my God. My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you… Psalm 42:5-6
We will all go through hard times, sad times, disappointments, and frustrations. How you respond to them will determine how long you stay there. It doesn’t do any good to ignore circumstances, but neither should we dwell on them! Listen to the encouragement of Paul:
 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.  For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-3 (emphasis mine)
Let me tell you a story that might help bring these verses to life for you. I did not learn to swim until I was 21. I was a senior in college and finishing a degree in Recreation. [Yes, that is a real thing… in Colorado, anyway.] I needed to pass a swim test in order to graduate. The problem was that I didn’t know how to swim. I had grown up going to the pool all summer long, but fear kept me near the shallow end, and the discomfort of water in my brain kept one hand tightly over my nose. Not the best posture for moving through water.
So now, 21 years old, I had the option to just take the test, or take a class and finally learn to swim, completing the test at the end of the class. I took the class. I even got talked into taking the intermediate class rather than the beginners class because I was “so athletic.” It turns out that being fit didn’t help much. I just didn’t know how to swim. A friend described my ‘technique’ as “trying to beat the water out of your way, so you could occupy the cleared space.” For the entire semester, I went to my next class feeling like a drowned rat. The game-changer for me was goggles. With the ability to see underwater my perspective changed. I knew where I was. My eyes didn’t burn. I could relax and focus on breathing at the right time. I still had some skills to learn to keep water out of my brain and to move more effectively through the water, but I wasn’t freaking out.
When Paul encourages us to set our hearts on things above, where Christ is seated sometimes we just need that change of perspective. We need to put on our ‘faith’ goggles so we can see what He sees, the things above our circumstances. We don’t ignore our circumstances or the effect they are having on our souls or bodies, but we look out and up and above to Jesus, seated at the right hand of God victorious and reigning above all.
What do you do when you’re going through a hard season? Ask yourself some questions:
- Have I been busy, and not taking good care of myself to get the rest I need to stay strong physically, mentally, and spiritually?
- Have I gone through a loss or major disappointment that left me vulnerable?
- Is there an offense, or another sin in my heart that has opened me up to spiritual attack?
Once you know what you’re dealing with you can confront it accordingly. If you need rest, you can rest. If you need healing, you can do what needs to be done to find healing. Whatever you need – it can be found in Christ who is seated, victorious, in Heaven.
When my daughter begins to throw a tantrum or whine I tell her, “Honey, this is no fun. Do you want to be fun, or go to your room to whine.” A ‘time-out’ of sorts. I have discovered that I, too, need ‘time-outs’. My body and soul need time with God every morning to set my heart and mind on the things above. I even need this occasionally during the day. I put myself in ‘time-out’ with God until I can find His perspective, hope, joy, and peace and once again “be fun”.
I hope this encourages you! I am working hard to start blogging more, and your comments and engagement are SO encouraging to me! Much love,