a soul’s refreshment

I’ve set my face to sit and write about how in the last two days, my soul has been refreshed beyond reason, but I don’t know how.

And I think I wish I could tell you the secret, that if you sit and study the Word and drink coffee around 8am, you’ll be set. Or if you discover what your talent is and do it, you’ll feel that awesome flood of relief and rest. Or if you spend long hours with your pet and pretend it loves you as much as you love it, then you’ll feel refreshed.

But it’s not that.

A couple of days ago, instead of starting my day with sitting at my desk to read God’s Word and sip coffee and write about what I read like I do every morning, I didn’t. I woke up slowly, and a bit late. I knew I had a timeline to work within, as I had to leave for a lunch appointment that morning. So I listened to NEEDTOBREATHE and organized the very last of the items I brought home from college. I pored over old cards and letters, deciding what to keep or toss. I finally got to back up my laptop to a hard drive, and that was my saving grace so I could put iPhone pictures on the laptop.

So I did that. and my morning was quiet and slow and I loved every second of it.

At this point, I think this all sounds quite boring and unimpressive for how a girl somehow came out on the other side with a refreshed soul. But, these were little things the Lord used to refresh me. For me, it was finishing some organizational tasks and taking the time to wake up well.

So I left for lunch in Woodbridge, which is 25 miles or so away from where I live. I was meeting an old friend that I hadn’t seen in two years at a small barbecue place to catch up. And we met. For three hours. When we saw each other we hugged so tightly and wouldn’t let go because it felt like it had been far too long since we had done that. For three hours, we sat and talked and caught up and hurt for one another and rejoiced and laughed so hard we almost peed. For three hours we clicked as if two years apart hasn’t gone by. And our hugs at the end were just as tight when we resolved, “let’s not wait two years ever again.”

So we had lunch. And it was incredible for my old soul to be refreshed by friendship that hasn’t changed a hair, by a girl who is growing and maturing, and by conversation that was rich and full.

When I left, the traffic on the highway was the worst I’d seen it in a very long time. It took me an hour and a half on the highway to reach my exit that was only 16 miles away. And even though the traffic caused me stress (as I had work to go to that evening), I eventually made it. On my way, because I would not have time to come home and change clothes, I made several attempts to contact my mother and beg her to meet me at work with my work attire. And eventually, I got a hold of her with some help. So she came. She brought my clothes and didn’t mind at all. And I was on time to work. Even when I saw my manager, still wearing my high-waisted shorts, and told her I was waiting for my mom to bring my clothes, she said, “Oh you’re fine! I’m not even worried about it, you could wear that if you needed to, I wouldn’t say anything.” And for some reason, that spoke such love to my heart that was so scared of being late to work because of traffic.

And in a moment I saw God’s supreme kindness toward me. In a moment the whole day piled up into something so refreshing that I couldn’t even quite figure it out. But it was real. God demonstrated His kindness to me over and over, and didn’t relent. He hasn’t ever stopped at anything to tell me, “I love you and I understand you.”

That night I picked up some Chick-fil-A fries and sauce for myself and they were the best CFA fries I had had in a long time. And I ate a soft peach when I got home, because why not live a little when its almost 10pm and peaches are your favorite fruit?

So, the following day was quite normal, but I still felt that feeling of refreshment from the Lord.

All that to say: God understands me. I think that because of the rigidity with which my time with Him has had, I slowly wasn’t refreshed. It began to feel the way you never want it to, where you’re not gleaning as much or enjoying that precious time. I needed a break.

Not a break from the Lord, but in our friendship, I needed a time of quietness. I needed our fellowship to look less like tired study and stressful pleas, but more like I know He’s here and thank you, Father.

Because really these last couple of days have looked just like that: Seeing Him in every little way, and the quiet acknowledgement, “Hey, Father. Thank you.”

And I’ve struggled to believe that the Lord is okay with a season like this, where I was apart from diligent study of His Word for these two days, and I think He is. I think He is because He knows that now I can come back to His Word and enjoy Him. He knows that this time of soul refreshment apart from scheduled time with Him is not only sweet to my soul, but refreshing for how I view Him.

Because I think sometimes it’s in quietness and slow activity and little joys that we see our Lord caring so tenderly for our hearts. Sometimes it’s in perfect weather days and good food and time to listen to whole albums uninterrupted. And there too, He is faithful.

So, thank you, kind Lord, for your grace and mercy and beauty that extend far beyond the room I live in and the desk at which I study. Thank you, sweet Father, for understanding this heart and soul you made, and knowing just what I need and when, and being so okay with that. Thank you God for filling the earth with your love, for giving me reason to sing for joy, and for blessing my heart with the wealth of your great love.

This really is only the beginning of a lifetime of loving You, and I can’t wait for more.

Because You are kind, and Your grace blows me away. Never stop captivating me with your love and grace, O Lord. I can’t ever get enough of you.

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