Once upon a time there was a girl named Kellyn Roth. Well, really, her name was Kelly Lyn Garrett, but sometimes it was hard for her to separate the two, especially since she always put so much pressure to perform on dear old Kellyn.
But that’s a story for another time.
The story I have to tell today is about how Kellyn Roth almost exploded because Kelly Lyn Garrett was spending way too much time as Kelly Lyn Garrett and any time she did spend at Kellyn Roth was squandered with meaningless worries and distraction.
If you’re not confused yet, you have a mind like a steel trap. You must eat a lot of fish.
But really, folks …
I have been feeling very stressed lately because … I just don’t have time to write or blog or do all the other things I really enjoy doing — and yet also take significant brain power.
I’d rather be writing and teaching writing full time right now, honestly. An author has so many little jobs that take so much energy that beyond that and doing a little coaching on the side, I’d have just enough time for the other things in life I want to do — mainly spend time with friends, relax a little, develop some important relationships, and volunteer here and there.
But sadly, life isn’t perfect. I can’t probably get enough writing students to support myself until this whole authoring thing really starts to pay, and I do enjoy working my day jobs, at least for now.
So I can’t rapid-release a series or finish a novel in a week or get everything perfectly set up on my website in a couple days. My email list is a mess — I’m responding to emails late — it’s hard to think of taking on any more commitments as I fail the ones I have (or at least I fail them in my eyes).
Nor can I control my personal life. I can’t fit my friends into nice, neat boxes where their schedules align with mine. Nor can I make them supportive in the exact way I need them to be supportive without telling them.
I can’t marry Ian yesterday, sadly. 😉 The impracticalities and foolishnesses of that would be obvious in so many ways. Also, I can’t really do anything yesterday — it’s already happened. #justFYI
At my day jobs, I can only do my best, but I can’t be perfect. Perfection is unachievable. Anyone who tells your otherwise is probably Jesus. (Why is Heaven so far away? Or perhaps it’s not, which is rather chilling when you want to live despite it all.)
I’d really just rather be in control of everything?
Nothing stresses me out more than not being able to push myself hard on what I want to push myself on.
I don’t like resting. I mean, I don’t know that I don’t like it, but I have never done it (really), so I’m not exactly sure what it entails …?
Supposedly, people just don’t work, and then they gain energy from not working. I think that’s the idea.
Okay, I’m joking. Actually, for all I get done, I’d consider myself a rather lazy individual. Rarely do I get as much done as I could—I tend to work pretty slowly most of the time, at my own pace, and I need to push myself harder.
That said, I’m not really talking about times when one is not working. I like to multi-task (e.g. I never watch a movie or TV show while not writing … I just don’t), even if I’m not good at it, so I’m seldom not “working,” per se, but I still do rest (as in just sitting on a chair staring at a wall) occasionally.
What I mean by resting in God is times when one is continually on the move but still finds inner peace in Christ.
I do not have inner peace. I just never have, and I sometimes feel like I never will, and frankly I don’t 100% love the idea of having it. I like to beat myself up for all the things I’m not doing.
You see, I’d much rather it be on me. I’d much rather take the blame. I’d much rather feel miserable all the time.
I don’t like resting in God. I don’t like taking the blame off my shoulders. I’d rather keep trying and failing and trying and failing and allowing myself to suffer for things I cannot or will not control.
Control isn’t on me, though.
Here’s the thing, though — that’s not what life’s about! Life is not about human beings controlling everything. Life is about God controlling everything.
The truth is that we cannot make things happen any more than we can breathe fire. We can’t. The events of our lives do not depend on us.
And though that could in some inspire a “ho-hum, then I’ll not do anything” attitude, well, that’d mean you’re missing the point.
Does God want us to sit around all day doing nothing? Absolutely no. But does He have a plan for our life, higher than we can even know, that will happen no matter what? Yes.
I can see y’all getting confused. I can understand why — it’s beyond human understanding exactly how it works.
The simplest way I can think of it is that God wants us to do good things, to help people, to try to follow His path as best we can. After all, God’s plans work because of the people in them (whether or not they’re aware of it).
However, what we do or not do does not …
- Make Him love us (He loves us no matter what)
- Change what will and will not happen (God’s plan as much involves our mistakes and our missed opportunities as our successes and taken opportunities)
Yeah, it still doesn’t make sense, does it? It just doesn’t make sense. We can only trust that to God, it all does make sense.
This probably makes you feel pretty tiny — just a speck in the universe. Me, too! But because we’re beloved by God, because His love is infinite, because His plans are unstoppable but also heavily involve us … Basically, we’re good to go.
So far so good?
Now I can see your confused expressions. You seem to have a grasp on this, Kell, so what’s up?
Ummmmm … I understand a lot of things I don’t do, y’all. That’s how Christian life goes! 😉
I know I struggle with resting in God. I know that my life is not going to spiral out of control because of anything I do or do not do. I know that God loves me. I know that my actions do not predict my worthiness or unworthiness.
Yet I want to control everything about my life. I want to be in a different season than I am. I want to push myself as hard as I can and never take a break. I want to accomplish all my life goals yesterday.
So I struggle. So I fight with myself. So I push my body and mind to their limits and still keep asking more. So I rant to my friends about how stressed I am — and so I refuse to take any excellent advice offered to me.
That sounds bad …
Now, you could take this wrong. She’s gone from not trusting God about her life to not trusting herself to trust God about her life. It’s trust inception.
Eh, I’m doing okay, actually. I understand that I’m not meant to be continually whining about what I must do and cannot do, and I do my best to remain positive. Some days are better than others. Most days I have to rely on knowledge not feeling (which is ideal anyway but it’s easier to be happy when you are).
That said, I think I need to understand that rest is still a legitimate thing — and then react on that understanding.
People need to take a break. And I need to stop judging people for taking a break — and I need to stop judging myself for taking a break.
So basically, this was my mini update on my life!
Resting is a hard lesson for me to learn, but I’m trying to get there. I’m trying not to let my desire to achieve more get in the way of actually living my life!
Most of my life, people have told me I have unusually high standards for myself that cause me a lot of stress.
I never really saw it, honestly. Probably because in certain areas of my life I am quite lazy — I’ve never tried hard to be a good daughter, for instance, or to clean my room, or to learn biology.
But I do see it as far as my writing and other very specific things go. I see that I push myself super hard, neglect reality, and make myself conform to unrealistic expectations of myself … and then stress when I can’t go as hard as I’d like to go.
Is this what God would want for me? No. It is not.
I’m not sure I have a 100% perfect conclusion to this, primarily because I haven’t quite reached the conclusion to it. I’m still working on it. I have a life to live and lessons to learn in it — like anyone.
But at least I understand it even if I haven’t gotten it as well-applied to my life as I could. There’s always a lesson God’s having us learn, and it’s never easy, but He’s a good teacher.
Do you ever struggle to rest in God? What’s up with your life right now? Do you ever know but not apply lessons?
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