Resting is hard.
Last night when my feet swelled up to a somewhat alarming size, Rich asked me to call off work and put my feet up for a day. (Literally. I’m typing this with my laptop awkwardly balanced on my stomach while my feet are on pillows lifting them up over my head. I’m sure it’s all very amusing.)
I protested for the briefest of time, but right then my feet were in pain and the thought of standing on them for another five hours had zero appeal, so I agreed fairly quickly. I came home, soaked my feet, got a foot rub, and went to bed, prepared to laze about in bed for a day.
But now it’s the morning. My feet look like feet instead of some abstract artistic rendering of feet. I slept better last night than I have in a while, so I’m not exhausted. From the bed I can see a hamper full of laundry that needs to be washed. There are dishes in the sink and a floor that desperately needs to be vacuumed. I’ve needed to go to the grocery store for 3 days now. I feel incredibly lazy.
Yet here I am, confined to my bed because it really is the best thing for me and the baby right now. An opportunity to get well rather than to get well enough is smart. Bodies need time and rest to heal.
The same applies to the battle-weary soul.
When all of the shit went down, steering clear of the church was easy. There was a lot of mutual “we don’t really want you around” going on, so it was pretty simple to just stay home.
But the more time passes, the more I long to get involved again. As I can move past some of my own pain, I can see the messes that have been left, and I want to get in there and start to make things better. I want to address some of the broken relationships left behind. I want to be a contributing member of a congregation again, not simply someone watching from the sidelines. I want to share some of the uglier parts of my story so I can maybe offer some kind of hope to people going through similar difficulties.
But the truth is, that even though I’m better than I was, I’m not healed. There are still many areas where I need to rest and recuperate in order to be a servant. I’m not in the near-invalid state that I was in October, but that doesn’t mean that I am whole. I’m well enough, but to be the woman that I want to be, I need to be well. And as I’m coming to realize, that is going to take more time.
What I’m also coming to realize is that resting isn’t automatically lazy, and it can be used well. I could sit here and brood about the things that I’m not doing around the house, but instead I’m going to listen to an audio book. I’m going to sip on the cold water that my husband brought me. I’m going to relish the twirls and kicks of this little one inside of me. I may nap a little bit. I’m going to allow my body the time it needs to recover from the process of making a whole other person.
And I want to use my other rest wisely as well. I will thank the people who have reached out to me with kindness. I will read books that feed me and remind me why I still believe, even now. I will listen to music that uplifts and sing along when I can. I will cry as I need to and let those tears leech away some of the pain that still resides. I will continue to ponder some of the harder parts of my story and continue to seek the truths that may have been hidden in the lies told to me by others and that I told to myself.
There will be a time to do the work that needs to be done, but that day is not today. Today is a day for rest.