Rest. Take a Break.

I wrote this early last year, but it’s really been on my heart again. I think someone could use these words…

I’m starting a new workout program. Have mercy. It involves a lot of fancy steps and it moves faaaaast. I spend most of the time trying to stay on my feet, watch the online trainer, listen to the instructions, and breathe. There is nothing pretty about my performance.

The program only lasts 20 minutes, but I’m exhausted when it’s done. All I want to do is cry.

It’s hard to find the rhythm when the exercises change so fast, and the online coach Just. Keeps. Talking. (I know he’s trying to motivate us, but oh my word. His incessant talking is annoying when I’m trying desperately to focus on if my left leg goes up or out or down.)

I’ve learned I can’t fight the workout. It doesn’t work for me to tell the coach (through the computer screen) that he’s wrong and he has to stop everything and change it all up so it’s easier. I mean. How silly would that be.

I need to just fight through it. And I’m usually pretty good at that.

I’m a Midwestern, small town, Scandinavian girl who believes that you can do or fix anything if you only work hard enough. And if something is hard? Fight for it. Push through it. Struggle ‘til you have it worked out. And when it gets really hard, take a breath and take a break. Ask the neighbor for help. And then start again.

But I don’t always do that. Not in the Big-Deal Life Struggles.

When I’m in a Struggle that is a little more life-influencing than a 20-minute workout program, I will fight against the Struggle. With every fiber of my being. I refuse to move through it. I want to make it stop.

It looks like this for me when the Struggle hits hard …

I’m thrashing around in an ocean storm, beating the waves with my fist. Choking on salt water that’s gotten into my mouth and nose. Kicking my legs like they’re the only things that are keeping me from going under. Because they are. Yelling at the wind and the icy rain about how mad I am that they are causing this much messy in my life as I try and catch my breath. I don’t take a break and I don’t breathe. I don’t ask for help. I just fight what I can’t control.

I don’t even see God’s hand – waiting patiently for me to grab it and just float a bit. Rest. Breathe.

I fight the Struggle. I never win.

Oh, friend. I know you’ve got your moments like this. When fighting the Struggle just seems like the right response. Because we should be able to fix this. We’re smart. Resourceful. Influencers. But we’re also human. Tired. And we cannot control that messy.

How about if instead of fighting the messy moments – instead of trying to control and fix – instead of wishing and wailing and wanting something different …

We take a breath. We stop. We float for a bit. We take a break.

Let’s stop yelling at the waves and trying to figure out how to make them stop crashing. Let’s instead grab God’s arm and let Him lift us up and out of the fight.

Take a break. Take a breath. Find your rhythm and move through the messy.

It won’t always be this hard.

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