I can’t tell you how many times I am in conversation with my best friends and from one of us comes this confession: “I am a professional over-thinker. There’s this side of me that so much wants to know what’s going to happen and how it’s going to happen so I can prepare.” Or, one of us feels the need to be going all the time because that somehow validates that we’re making a difference and living life to the fullest. And then, of course, there’s the infamous “FOMO” (fear of missing out).
As women, we are always walking through this struggle together.
“What if they think I’m a jerk because I don’t go?”
“What if I meet my future husband?”
“What if God is calling me to speak into the lives of those there?”
We’re hard-wired that way. We’re planners. We’re nurturers. We’re problem solvers. We’re comforters. And if we can know what’s going to happen before it happens, we feel that it will make us better at what we do.
So, the free spirit in me fights the rising anxiety over the outcome of my actions and how they will affect other people.
What I’ve realized recently is that I feel this impulsive need to justify my choices. Big and small.
But what I know to be true is this: I don’t owe anyone a reason. I don’t have to explain myself.
Do you know how freeing that is?
We should all have go-to people in our life that we run things by before we react to certain situations or opportunities that arise and we should all be held accountable for our actions. We should make choices only after evaluating all potential consequences of that choice.
But when it comes to why I do what I do – if I go to a certain social event or I don’t, if I don’t make it to every single volunteer opportunity, if I don’t say yes every time I’m asked to serve, if I don’t go out to coffee with a friend three times a week, it’s okay.
It doesn’t make me a bad person.
“…He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul…” Psalms 23:2-3
In Hebrew, “still waters” translates “waters of rest”.
We have to be still to get rest.
I can say no and not be missing out because rest leads to restoration. And whatever I “miss” is not as important as what I gain. Through rest, I’m gaining the restoration I need to live this life the best way I can. Instead of getting frustrated with myself, I need to own the fact that this was the best choice for me and ultimately, those God’s called me to serve.
dictionary.com defines restoration as this:
There is a reason God spent 6 days creating the universe and on the 7th day, He rested. And it isn’t because He was tired. It’s because He was setting an example for us.
He was letting us know it’s okay to be human. We are not only dependent on rest, we’re desperate for it. We can’t function without it. We can’t function without Him.
So, friend, say no. Stay home. Do nothing. Wear your yoga pants. Watch Netflix. Meditate on scripture. Listen to worship music. Paint. Read. Write. Create.