I’ve never really been one for New Year’s resolutions or ‘new year, new you’ mindsets. This could very well be because I’m not one to really set goals (or follow through with them…) in the first place, and a change in year doesn’t hold a ton of symbolic nature to me.
But the last few years there’s been a trend, especially in the Christian world, to choose a word to focus on for the new year. Again, this isn’t a practice I intentionally decided to follow. But without my really asking God for a word, he gave me one last year and gave me one for this year (again, without my asking).
When I keep seeing a pattern (or in this case, a word) in my life, I know it’s God speaking to me and trying to teach me something.
Last year, he gave me the word trust. You can read a little more about that in this post. And I can tell you that I’ve had to trust in God a whole lot this year. There’s been a lot of uncertainty in certain areas, and all I’ve been able to do is trust that God is sovereign and good and worthy of praise.
This last month, I feel like he has been telling me to continue with the same mindset of trusting in him, but he’s also been drawing my attention to rest.
I injured my knee a couple of months ago and have had to literally slow down as my body has recovered. I haven’t been able to work out at all like I usually do, which is one of the main ways I deal with stress and anxiety, and for a few weeks after I hurt myself I had to say no to a lot of things so I could rest. This has been driving me crazy, as I tend to keep myself busy to distract myself from other things that I should be focusing on (read: my feelings).
Then, I had planned to spend my vacation time the last couple of weeks organizing things at home and spending time with friends, and my first night home I came down with the flu (literally the first time I’ve had a fever since I was like 10 years old), missed family Christmas celebrations, have been dealing with constant low blood pressure and vertigo since then, and literally had to allow my body to rest for my entire vacation.
And I’ll be starting the year off with knee surgery in less than two weeks, which means I’ll have to take two weeks off work, be on crutches and unable to drive for six weeks, and it’ll be a good four months until I’m able to start working up to my usual activity level.
Rest. In the literal sense, God is telling me to slow down and rest. But he’s also using these experiences to teach me to slow down – stop distracting myself with other things – and focus on Him. Rest in Him. Abide in Him.
I think God is teaching me to continue trusting in Him, to trust in other people to help me out as I recover from surgery (something else I’m not great at), and to rest my body and spiritually rest in Him. My prayer is that I take this to heart and continue listening to what God is teaching me and prompting me to do, even when I don’t ask.