Can I just get real for a second? It's been a busy couple of days for me. I was already pushed into a drunken fight or flight mode yesterday and by the time we made it to the grocery store this afternoon, I was in major survival mode. Using the cart as a walker was the only thing preventing a collapse in the middle of the store. When we got home, I could barely get myself out of the car to wobble to the couch, as my husband helped me to safety and put away all the groceries, pausing only to bring me a glass of water. Bless his amazing heart, he’s been through this drill too many times before.
So why is it that not even 30 minutes after laying down, I already feel guilty for resting?
Is it my “type A” mind annoyed with my injured brain that just can't keep up?
Is it society's message that you "aren't worthy of anything unless your busy" ringing in my ear?
Is it the pressure of trying to live up to people's expectation of me? After all, I look like a normal person on the outside, so I should be able to function like one. Right?
Or is it the expectation I have for myself, to be incredibly strong, rising above everything to be everyone’s hero regardless of my current physical condition?
Whatever the carnal reason, it all spiritually stems from a big ugly enemy called fear.
Fear of what people think of me.
Fear of what I think of myself.
Fear that I am wasting precious time that I could be working toward my goals.
And yes, even fear that my momentary pause in action is really stemming from a lack of faith. As much as that doesn't even make sense, it doesn't stop the thought from creeping in.
Most of the time we associate faith with action and fear with inaction. After all, like many other people with a driver, hard-working temperament, one of my favorite Bible quotes is "faith without works is dead." We tend to forget about the dozens of other verses that talk about resting and having peace as a reflection of faith and trusting in God.
I understand that for many physically able people, the couch is a deadly comfort zone, and faith for them means getting up and making things happen. But for many, especially those of us walking out our healing, it can be just the opposite. In fact, it takes more faith to give your body a rest when it needs it, than it does to keep striving through the exhaustion for fear that you will lose something.
Fear that you will lose ground in whatever you are trying to accomplish.
Fear that you will lose God's blessing.
Fear that you will lose the respect of those around you,
or even worse, fear of losing your own self respect.
This type of action in fear vs. intentional resting in faith, could be the very thing setting us back in our healing instead of moving us forward.
So I encourage you healing warriors to work hard, do your exercises, go for your treatment, strengthen your spirit, renew your mind, and stretch yourself when necessary, but balance it with intentional rest. Do your self image a favor and make resting a wise decision backed by faith, and not a forced period of recovery from your physical body failing you. You may have an iron will, but if you push it hard enough, your brain is going to make you rest on it’s own terms whether you like it or not. And believe me... I speak from an embarrassing amount of experience when I say that voluntarily kicking your feet up with a glass of iced tea for a while is much better than enduring an entire day on the couch, icing your head. Convince yourself that rest is sometimes the most productive thing that you can do in working toward your end goal, especially if that goal is a healed brain.