When you think about the word “rest,” what do you imagine? You probably imagine yourself being wrapped in a blanket drinking a hot drink or maybe even taking a long, luxurious nap. I used to think some of the same things when I thought about the word “rest.” It’s not wrong to think about rest in that way, the dictionary even proves it as being, “an instance or period of relaxing or ceasing to engage in strenuous or stressful activity.” However, lately I’ve been more in favor of defining rest as, “a peace of mind or spirit.”
Lately, I’ve been resting by taking a pause – not a physical pause but a mental pause. Before this year, I would say that unless you are physically being still that you’re not resting; however, now I would say that focusing your mind on one thing at time is actually resting (I have had more rest this way than physically resting). But you see, I didn’t purposely come to this conclusion… I was initially trying to seek clarity about some life situations that I was facing. If you’ve read the prequel to this post, you will remember that I even went to counseling to try to gain some clarity, but I learned that it wasn’t clarity I was looking for… it was resting (having a peace of mind) in the situation.
When I started my counseling sessions I was thinking about how the sessions could bring clarity to my life; however, by the end of my counseling sessions I was thinking about rest, the power it holds, and how important it is take a pause in the moment.Braylon Williams, “Crap Fest 2020”
The main issue that I went to counseling to gain clarity about was my relationship with Riley. This relationship wasn’t were I wanted or wish it would be at this point in time, in fact, everything that I had hoped to happen wasn’t happening. (Read the prequel to find out what I mean.)
One Sunday we had DawnCheré Wilkerson as a guest speaker at church, the title of her sermon was “This Must Be The Place” talking about the discipline of celebration. (Side note… I was raised being taught that I should praise God before I see the results of my prayer and when things are bad. However, when I heard DawnCheré’s message, it gave me a new perspective.) One thing she said that just took me aback and made me go WOW! was, “Celebration is desperately needed when you are confused!” She said that and I immediately thought about the most confusing situation ever, my relationship with Riley. You see, I have never been more confused in my life than I was by the events and situations surrounding my efforts to date Riley. So, when she said that, I automatically thought that maybe her message was going to help me out, and it did in a tremendous way. I walked out of that service with the mindset of that even though my relationship with Riley wasn’t where I expected to be at this point in time and that although every time things between us seem to be going smooth life happens and everything goes down the drain, I would celebrate the current state (in its imperfectness) of my relationship with Riley. It was easy to do until I started to see a couple of my friends get into relationships and one friend about to propose. How am I supposed to celebrate not being in a relationship with Riley – who have been crushing on for months now – while all my friends are getting dates and some even getting in engaged soon? I would constantly ask myself this question.
The Sunday after hearing DawnCheré, we had Havilah Cunnington as a guest speaker. Havilah’s message that Sunday was another profound message for me. The title of her message that Sunday was “Shake The Dust” talking about how dust in our lives affects our ability to see what God is doing in our life. Towards the end of Havilah’s message, I suddenly began to ask myself – once again – the question of “how am I supposed to celebrate my relationship with Riley when it’s not where I hoped it would be?” Then Havilah told this story…
When Havilah told that story, I felt the Holy Spirit say to me, “That’s how you celebrate your relationship with Riley. Although your friends are experiencing 20 dollar moments in their relationships, you’ve gotta shake off the dust and celebrate the 14 dollar experience you are having with Riley.” Again, I am taken aback and all I can say is, “WOW!” I thought that I had a good grasp on things… I was shaking off the dust of jealousy, and I was celebrating my 14 dollar experience. That is until I began prepping to write this post.
So, I was prepping for this post by re-watching the entirety of Havilah’s message to take notes for this blog post, and I felt the Holy Spirit say to me, “You’ve let dust from your relationship with Emma (not her actual name) affect the lens of your relationship with Riley.” I was mind-blown. So, who is Emma? Emma is girl I met right before I met Riley. I asked Emma out three times. Two of the three times she said yes, then later came up with an excuse of why she couldn’t to go. The third time that I asked Emma out (I’m not desperate. I am just persistent until I get a concrete “no.”), she said yes but when I tried to set a time for the date, she never responded. I later found out that she started to date someone else. What does this have to do with my relationship with Riley? Well, back in November I had birthday dinner party and I invited Riley. Long story short, she said she would come but ended up not being able to make it because some mandatory college thing. I started to become skeptical and wonder if she was ever actually going to come in the first place. However, it wasn’t until I was prepping for this blog post that I realized I was skeptical of Riley’s intentions because of what happened with Emma (I just thought it was because of my trust issues). You see, the thing about dust is that when we have dust in our life, we can’t see what God is doing. I hope that now I have all the dust removed from my lens. While I’m not sure of the end goal God has for my relationship with Riley, I’m hoping that everything that is happening right now is only strengthening the future of our relationship.
Before I end this post, I wanna share one more video with you…
Probably about two weeks after I first heard DawnCheré’s message, I began thinking and saying, “God, it would cool if I could get a date and get a girlfriend. I would love for it to be with Riley, but God I’ll take what you give me.” Why am I telling God this when He has already assured me, multiple times, that I will soon (I don’t know how soon) no longer be single? I don’t know why, but there are two times of harvest you should know about. Sometimes we already have the harvest, but we have to recognize it. Other times we have the harvest, but we aren’t ready for the harvest yet.
When it comes to my search and desire for clarity, I’ve realized that clarity was in backyard the entire time. I had all the clarity that I needed. On the other hand, when it comes to other situations, I’ve become more inclined to think that I’m in the other times… having the harvest, but not ready for it yet.
You see, I’ve come to realize that in order to have a moment like DawnCheré had in her story, there are two things that I have to do. First, I have to shake off the dust. Second, I have to form a new definition of “rest” – have a peace of mind and spirit while remaining confident (trusting) in God. In regard to my hopes of dating Riley, I have to shake off everything that could harm our dating relationship and have a peace of mind remaining confident (trusting) in God knowing that He has it worked out already.
I want to end by saying this… this entire year I’ve been trying to learn how to trust God more. No matter how much of a Crap Fest 2020 has been and although I may not have more clarity on situations, because I have discovered a new meaning of rest, I am happy to know that THIS MUST BE THE PLACE! This must be the place where I find rest and see things change. This must be the place where relationships are made. This must be the place of blessing. This must be the place where I learn to trust God more. THIS MUST BE THE PLACE!
READ THE PREQUEL: “Crap Fest 2020“
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Events and situations in my blog posts are based off of true events; however, Emma and Riley are aliases. These names are not the real names of the women who they represented. In all of my writings, unless someone gives me permission to use their real name, I am quoting someone, or they are of close relation, people who I refer too are given a pseudonym. I do this to protect people’s privacy while being able to talk about events that happened in my life.