If you know me, I am the kind of person who knows what she thinks and knows what she needs to do, but I rarely can pinpoint how I feel.

I leave that for later and I hit the ground running.

For those of us who went through 2020 (so everyone who is alive on this planet) it was a stressful year to say the least. I think I’m still uncovering all of the layers of what I learned from this past year.

One of the things I learned the hard way was how to rest.

Let me paint you a picture of where I was last year around this time of the year.

From March to October, I went from graduating with my master’s degree in my living room to starting my first teaching job on Zoom. In the midst of all of this, my sister had open heart surgery after being very sick with no answers from the doctors for almost two years. I started dating someone during this time, only to have a break-up the day my first day of my new job. I wasn’t going to any particular church at the time, so even though I loved Jesus, I felt spiritually homeless.

I felt wildly unprepared for the challenges I was about to face, and I felt like no one really understood what was going on in my life.

Instead of turning to the Lord and asking him for help, I kept piling things onto my plate.

I felt like I had to keep it all together so I would smile and pretend I was fine even though I was so exhausted mentally and emotionally. I threw myself into work to numb the pain, lesson planning late into the night and crying on the way to work. I started to not recognize myself and I got mad at my family even though they didn’t do anything wrong in particular. It got so bad that I was admitted to the ER with severe chest pain because I thought I was having a heart attack. Thankfully, after all of the tests, they found nothing wrong and sent me home to rest.

Looking back at last October, I realize now that I could have saved myself so much grief if I would have taken rest seriously.

Not sleep, but rest--actually taking a break from my busy life for at least a day or a few hours during the day. God takes rest so seriously it is a part of the ten commandments.

In Exodus 20:8 it says to honor the sabbath by keeping it holy. Holy means set apart. God wants us to set one day of our week aside to rest.

It seemed pointless to me at first, but once I learned to rest, it changed my mental health and my relationship with God.

When we rest, just like when we sleep at night, we are saying, “I am human. God, I trust You.” Rest, for me, is the most vulnerable way to trust because most times when you are resting you are laying down. You have surrendered.