Working to Rest: When God Stretches You


This morning I sat drinking coffee with my husband’s grandmother, and as I sat across from her on the couch covered in a comfy blanket she thanked me for fixing her a mug of joe.

“They just don’t like me doing these things anymore. I’m sorry.” She said.

“It’s alright,” I answered. “I don’t mind at all.” And I smiled genuinely at her.

I could only imagine how difficult it must be for her now. As she had gotten older she had started to seriously forget things, fall, and accidentally harm herself (such as significant coffee burns). She had started living with family a while now, but this was the second time in two days she had mentioned to me how hard it was for her to not be doing things around the house as much. Last night I had told her that she had spent a lot of time in years past serving others, and now it was simply her time to rest and allow others to do for her.

“You served us for years,” I said. “The best turkey I’ve ever had came from your house!”

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“Really?” She asked incredulously, but with a satisfied smile.

So when she mentioned it again this morning I thought of seasons.

Last week I had been rocked to the core by God’s truth through song. After a particularly long day at work, the lyrics from a praise song reached into my heart and squeezed it tightly.

Though the seasons change… your love remains.

The season for us had certainly changed as of late. I had transitioned from working part-time to working full-time again. My husband had transitioned from working overtime to homeschooling full-time. We had gone from two vehicles to one, from a two-story house full of stuff to a pickup truck barely full of possessions, from 2200 square feet of living space to around 600 square feet, from one small, familiar town to a larger, unfamiliar city, from the same, comfortable job I’d held the last ten years to a new job, in a new hospital, with new bosses and new ways of doing things. For me, I had gone from having a set routine to flying by the seat of my pants, and for a gal who loved planning and having ducks in a row, it was for sure a challenge. God was stretching me!

I can recall before we left crying on my couch one morning after I got off the phone. I had accepted a job outside of Orlando after a bit of research about the area, but as I actually went through the process of securing housing it had not been as easy or as affordable as I thought. We were on fumes financially and temporary housing was costing about $800-$1000 more a month than I had budgeted for. Not $800 total, mind you, but $800 more. And that would be on top of our existing mortgage. And it would be very small. Even smaller than the eventual RV we were purchasing. Small and expensive. Great! It wasn’t going according to plan! So I cried.

After my tears fell I got back on the faith wagon, knowing God had our backs. We knew He was leading us on this journey, and I knew I had to trust He’d get us where we needed to be. But y’all, when we walked into that tiny, extended stay hotel I was taken off guard. Even smaller and seedier than I had imagined. Immediately I started pulling out our few, personal items to make it feel like home. If you’re a regular blog reader then you know God led us to a more affordable, larger, and safer home within the next week. It was laughable, really!! I had spent so much time researching, Googling, and making phone calls to try and secure us somewhere nice to live, but in the end, I had come up empty. I suppose that’s where God finds you; the empty places. When I gave up on what I could do, and when I trusted Him despite the dismal situation we found ourselves in, He stepped in and led us to something that exceeded our best expectations.

I was in a new season of learning to trust God more. I was learning to fear not. I was learning to lean not on my own understanding. The planner was learning to surrender, and the liner of ducks was learning to rest. It was stretching yet satisfying. It was amazing to watch God deliver every single time as promised. Even if it didn’t seem like it at first. Some seasons are like a desert, but God promises streams. So you just have to walk in that.

This morning as I told my grandma that thanks weren’t necessary for the coffee, and that I understood how hard it was for her to not make it for herself, we talked about seasons.

“I guess this is a new season God has you in right now. As you work through not being able to do as much for yourself the Lord is teaching you new things about trusting in Him for change.” I suggested.

With a twinkle in her eye and contemplative look on her face, she replied, “I think you’re absolutely right.”

I felt a kinship to her at that moment, not just as family by marriage, but as children of a Mighty Father God. Although my season of change was nothing like hers, and not as difficult as hers in my humble opinion, I felt like God was stretching us both. He was teaching us both something new, and a deeper way we could rely on Him, trust Him, and most importantly, rest in Him.

Isn’t it funny how we can make the act of rest such hard work?

Brie Gowen
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Brie Gowen is a 30-something (sliding ever closer to 40-something) wife and mother. When she’s not loving on her hubby, chasing after the toddler or playing princess with her four-year-old, she enjoys cooking, reading and writing down her thoughts to share with others. Brie is also a huge lover of Jesus. She finds immense joy in the peace a relationship with her Savior provides, and she might just tell you about it sometime. She’d love for you to check out her blog at BrieGowen.com.