Rest as Transformation

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By Rebecca Laramée | Twitter: @larameereb

S_Rebecca

“Put down the gloves,” he told me, “and stop fighting.”

Biting back the tears, a silent pause held in their place, my body slumped to my bedroom floor. That day in October, I reached the end of my rope. Exhausted. Depleted. Sucked dry of inspiration and overwhelmed.

“Please, give yourself permission to rest,” he continued.

Jonny is one of those friends who will pick up your phone call in the middle of a movie. He will drive to meet you at the other end of the city in the middle of a snowstorm. He knows exactly what to say and how to say it. But that conversation we had in October wasn’t just Jonny’s voice that I was hearing–it was as if I was hearing God say the words he wanted to tell me all along, “Give yourself permission to rest in Me.”

Here’s the truth about me: I am addicted to over-giving and over-doing. I fear slowing down and being still, perhaps because it brings feelings of inadequacy.

I have never written this down before and it’s hard for me to even publish. It’s hard to admit my weaknesses. But if I have learned anything lately, it is to stop being afraid of looking like a failure. Vulnerability is beautiful and silence doesn’t benefit anyone, so I am learning to be brave and go first.

That day in October, I ached the sadness of a spent soul. I’d been putting in long hours and too much work, balancing school, community leadership, church ministry, family and friends. What suffered were my relationships, attitude, health, and stress level. I spread myself so thin that I gave very little to the people around me, and I put God in my back pocket.

And that’s the challenge: the world tells us that long hours and work matter more than people and God. The world tells us we’re not good enough, that we’re not worthy of rest. There is nothing more painful than walking around with heavy shoulders, burdened from an overwhelmed schedule, believing there is more that God made us to do. I’ve been there. We fear rest, because if we slow down or let ourselves be still, we will see the mess and the root of it.

I can’t recall much else from the conversation with Jonny that day, but I will always remember the words he uttered: “Resting honors God. This is where blessings flow and transformation happens.”

When I slow down, when I focus on saying yes to the right assignments, when I take the time to enjoy the beauty of Creation, or sit down with a good book and a cup of tea, or when I belly-laugh with girlfriends until our sides hurts: this is where self-love takes place and stress levels decline.

Rest is where we are made whole again.

Rest is where we discover the beauty in our flaws and where hopefulness is found. It’s where all the little things inside of us become rewired and beautiful again. It’s where relationships are restored and healthy ones are formed. Rest is where tiny victories are won and blessings are found.

Bill Johnson said, “We’ve been designed as a resting place for the spirit of God, changing every environment that we walk into.”

When my soul is refreshed, I become aligned with God again. We can express those spent parts of our souls, so that we can go out and serve others with the right attitude. This is where we become more like God. Our attitudes, relationships, how we love others and ourselves, is a reflection of the One living within each of us. This transformation in ourselves–from busy and overwhelmed to refreshed and Christ-like–can transform the environment we walk into.

I am learning that people need me and God wants me. They need the best parts of me. Not the exhausted, burnt out, overwhelmed and depleted me. The hopeful, joyful, loving, healthy me. The one who reflects the light of Jesus in the places I enter and in the things I do.

I now give myself permission to rest, slow down, grow, feel, and to be afraid. I am learning to choose my assignments more wisely.

Let’s rest, knowing we are enough, just as God made us.

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*EDITOR’S NOTE: Rebecca recently joined our editorial team to manage our SheLoves Instagram account. We’re thrilled! If you don’t yet, come join us on Instagram at @shelovesmag.

About Rebecca: 

Rebecca Laramee profileRebecca Laramée hails from Toronto, Canada, where she works in healthcare by day and leads a non-profit organization called Cotton Words. She spends her nights running miles, speaking to the skies, and reading good books. She’s the auntie to two sweet angels, who have taught her how to love well. Most of all, Rebecca is passionate about helping others be found, and encouraging each other through the messiness of every day life.

 

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Image credit: Jimmy Brown

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Comments

  1. I need this. I find busyness to distract myself from loneliness but then I am worn out.

  2. Also, thank you for joining the SheLoves family. Can’t wait to meet you in person someday!

  3. I loved the Facebook album you posted of your family vacation. What a beautiful glimpse into how you rest.

    I say MORE, sister. More. <3

  4. Kristen - Richards says:

    Rebecca: Nice post.. I just finished a piece on something similar for a group of single mothers in the U.S. You are spot – on.. Resting does honor God.. Because it implies trust, security, confidence – faith.. all of these things are essential to our relationship with Him…
    Good piece.. Wonderful honesty and depth with moving prose…

  5. Heather Kuhns says:

    Needed this…thank you for your honesty

  6. Rebecca, Such truth and transparency. “I fear slowing down and being still, perhaps because it brings feelings of inadequacy.” Exactly!!! I am battling this. Trying to find the healthy place between doing what I can and still taking time to rest. I feel that I’m making progress and posts like this are helping me along the way! Thank you!!!
    Blessings and smiles,
    Lori

  7. Claire De Boer cjdeboer says:

    Such vulnerability and truth Rebecca – love it!!!

  8. And just who do I think I can help when I feel worn out, fearful, unsure and insecure. Such a good reminder. To be His reflection I have to sit under His reflection. Sit. Still. Your words inspire! Thank you.

  9. Love the imagery of being “rewired” during rest. I share your addiction, Rebecca! I’ve thought a lot about how God ordained our bodies to need sleep every night for life, and how my emotional and spiritual lives require the same rhythms to thrive. Can’t say I’m good at it (yet!), but am working on it.

  10. Sarah Joslyn Sarah Joslyn says:

    I so get this.

  11. I love hearing your voice and your heart over here.

  12. You are doing some amazing meddling with my sin and control-freak issues today. Praying for grace to honor God by resting.

  13. Aubrey Marshall says:

    Thank you Rebecca for sharing this post with us. as I was reading it, it was like you were speaking exactly what’s been on my heart and in my soul for a while. it is always good to be reminded to sit and be with God and take time to align yourself with Him, Also to know it’s about being with people and with HIM and being able to put your best self out there for everyone to see as the light that is each of us

    • Rebecca Laramee says:

      Hi Aubrey – I have learned that we are never alone in the season we are walking through. Thankful for your encouragement. -R

  14. Nicole A. Joshua says:

    As an over-doer and over-giver, I deeply appreciate the wisdom you’ve shared. Welcome to the SheLoves family, and thank you for this life-giving post.

  15. Helen Burns HBurns says:

    Rebecca… this is absolutely stunning truth. Those words from Jonny are speaking to my heart this morning; ‘ “Resting honors God. This is where blessings flow and transformation happens.” Thanks for bravely sharing your truth and for passing on this golden wisdom to all of us today. And thank you for your help in making SheLovesMagazine ‘sing’!

    • Rebecca Laramee says:

      Thank you Helen for your kind words and encouragement. Glad this spoke to your heart. xo

  16. Leanna Ellena says:

    I love this, and how easily we forget… Thank you

    I heard someone preach the other day. Adam was created on the sixth day and told how he would need to multiply, and fill the earth, how he was to be master over the plants, animals, fish and birds (if that was me I would have quite a to do list)

    But Adam’s first FULL day on Earth was the seventh day… The day of rest!!!! God says we shouldn’t attempt any good works unless we have risen from a place of rest! Amen!!!

  17. Bev Murrill says:

    Gosh that’s deep. Jonny must be such an amazing friend.

    I love that ‘resting honours God and transformation happens there’. That’s truly beautiful, profound… life changing, if we can grasp it.

    Thanks Rebecca…

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