carrying the torch and handing over the yoke {stephanie's guest post}

In 2004, I chose to relocate for work to a whole new place where I didn't know a soul. I never regretted that decision. While it wasn't all I hoped it would be, it was still the best thing I could have done. After two years of earnest prayer for an opportunity to leave my job, that opportunity found me. In late 2006, I had the chance to take a buyout for work. They were trying to thin the workforce without firing any employees – it was perfect. For four years, my employer would pay for my schooling, as long as I went full-time and maintained a C average. On top of that, I would be given a stipend for half my salary and be able to keep all my medical benefits. Uhm, hello! Thank you, JESUS!

I sought much counsel about this and prayed like I never have before! I knew that if I was able to work part-time, I would be able to make this work. All the counsel I received about it was to take the deal! I did! January 1, 2007, I was no longer employed and now a full-time student.

I was unemployed for only a short time when something drastic changed in my life and forced me to enter the workforce again as a full-time employee.  This isn't so bad, right? Oh, I forgot to mention... I was also a single mom homeschooling my son. So now, I was a  single mom homeschooling my teenaged son, a full time employee, a full time student, and a leader within my church.

It was all I could do to keep my head above water sometimes. I didn't always. Sometimes I failed. The result was anger in my home, unacceptable grades in school, not very much grace at work, and a heart in leadership that wasn't as committed as it should have been.

I wasn't resting. Ever. If I was allowed 4 hours of sleep a night, I was doing great. During my breaks at work, I was doing homework. When I wasn't doing chores at home, I was doing homework. When I wasn't sleeping, I was homeschooling. It was a lot. Too much.

December 18th, 2010, I graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Human Resource Management. I completed the task I set out to do. So what? SO WHAT?

Now, I rest. Right? Right.

Wrong.

While rest was certainly on my agenda, it wasn't on God's. He had plans for me. He was waiting for me to finish my commitment, then allow myself to be used fully by Him.

WHY? I want to rest, God. Please?

Mathew 11: 28-30

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. (NASB)

 

Great! See, it's in the Bible. I'm allowed to rest. Yahooooo!!!

No, no, no... that isn't really what that scripture is saying to me. I mean, it is. But, it's allowing Him to carry the burden, not saying that you don't have to do anything. It's doing something, but handing it over to Him. Not doing it alone.

I'm even busier in my life now, but I'm doing HIS work and I'm letting Him be my guide. I'm letting Him carrying the yoke. He clearly called me to head up a ministry in our church. He clearly called me to continue homeschooling my son. He clearly called me to my job, which I've had for the past 4 years, with a Christian non-profit organization. He clearly called me to amp up my prayer life. He clearly called me to do more bible studies. He clearly called me to commit to a blog I started years ago. Whew!

When I'm overwhelmed, I call out to Him and ask that He please take something from me if I'm not meant to carry it. And He does. He is always giving me a lift when I feel like I'm at my wit's end.

We need rest. He knows we do. But we also have a commitment to Him to lead others to His kingdom. We just have to remember to hand over the yoke when it begins to weigh us down.

Elora needs rest. God knows this. He also knows the work she does, almost daily, through her blog, is reaching the hurt and broken. He wants her to rest, but doesn't want her work to stop. Therefore, He's pulling people around her to carry the torch while she rests. He's giving her His people, to carry her burden, while she rests. Through His gentle and humble heart, His work, through her blog, will continue as she finds rest. How perfect is this God we serve??!!

 

My name is Princess Stephanie (not really, it's just Stephanie, I add the Princess for dramatic effect!) and I'm a Christ-loving, daughter of The King, down-to-earth, easy going, single mom of one. My focus and goal is to love Jesus with all my heart. Love others with Jesus' heart. And raise my son to be the best man he can be. I do too much, but I'm not undone by this. God has called me to do many things and all I can do is be obedient to Him. I live in a small town in the eastern panhandle of WV - quite a change from Detroit, where I was born and raised. I've finally found my place in this world and it's directly under my Daddy God's heart.  

Posted on September 8, 2011 and filed under creativity & rest.