Traveling is one of my favorite things, and a week ago, my sister and I headed to the Dominican Republic for a week of sun, sand, and beach-life. Unlike trips I usually take, which involve historical tours, mingling or living with locals, and heading to the must-see spots, this one was specifically meant for relaxing. Mission: Accomplished.

And there is something to be said for taking the time to just be. To make a conscious effort to step back from the rush (although my sister commented – or reminded me!- more than once that my planner tendencies were spilling over into nap times…haha). It was a much-needed trip after everything the past six months have been.

But something I’ve really been reflecting on these past months has been the concept of “resting change”. Too many times, we feel like rest equals laziness or non-action, when really, true rest means getting your heart and your head aligned with God’s will, recharging your emotional, physical, and spiritual batteries, and listening intently to your intuition/the Holy Spirit. Even laying on the soft white sandy beach in Bavaro, I caught myself feeling like I should be doing something – as if I was wasting time somehow! That’s the “doer” in me. But even so, I have been  so blessed by this down time for recovery, reflection, and rest – not only from the surgery and cancer, but also from the pressure and confusion I had been living under for so long.

I haven’t felt this free in a very long time, and I praise God that even though my situation was drastic, it changed me for the better.

If you find yourself losing focus or feeling burned out, either by circumstances or internal things, it’s time to take a step back and reevaluate. This isn’t easy, and it can be downright scary. Who really wants to peel back the layers of themselves to find the roots?? But I promise you, it’s the most rewarding thing you can do for yourself. Every season of life calls for times of rest – and in that intentional resting space, there is change that happens. 

God wants to get you in a place where He can speak to your heart without the distractions of the every day life. He wants so much more for you than the routine. We get so caught up in the “American Dream”, whether it’s family, work, church, status, possessions, or the measure of success against one another. And we miss the point. We are so busy rushing to fix things, get over things, find “success” and “be somebody” that we rarely take the time to stop and breathe. To stop and listen to that still, small voice calling us to see the bigger picture and step into a different way of living that creates intentionality and purpose.

Of course, we all still have responsibilities. Of course, we all need to work toward something, have ambition, and know what drives us. But throughout this process, I have learned that intentional rest (which is sometimes forced upon us, depending on the circumstances) can actually be the best thing you can do for your entire self – mind, body, and spirit. I’m still wondering where this journey is taking me, but it’s exciting. I have suddenly realized that the sky really is the limit…the possibilities are endless…and God’s opening doors I never even knew existed.

Trust Him. Trust the journey. And find your own intentional rest.