Finding R.E.S.T While Learning to Embrace Your Imperfect Story

Day 1 of 6 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Embracing His story for your life.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, 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.” Matthew 11:28-30

Did you grow up believing in fairy tales? Did you dream of having a story with a “happily ever after” ending, or a “prince swept me off my feet” rescue story? Some would blame it on the movies or a misguided young heart, but either way, this thinking is a setup for disappointment in adulthood.

Life is hard. Sometimes life pushes us well beyond our limits. There are deadlines, rude people, road rage, and broken hearts. Nothing like the picture-perfect idea of a fairy tale story from our favorite childhood movies.

The daily struggles of life can leave you weary and burdened. Then, consider adding a debilitating life crisis such as grief, financial loss, divorce, or illness, and you have a recipe for a mental health breakdown. These, often insurmountable jolts of pain and trauma, can bring you to your knees, keep you up at night, and have you questioning God’s plan for your life. Is this supposed to be MY story?

Just when you look around and it seems as if you are alone, Jesus steps in to encourage us to “come to me”. Jesus invites us into fellowship with Him. Those of us who have imagined our stories as something else altogether, and instead got a slice of life that we would rather throw back, are weary and burdened on every side. But our sweet Savior invites us into rest. Rest from all the doing. Rest from all the list-making. Rest from the unattainable standards of perfection. He invites us to find our rest in Him, as His, imperfections and all.

See, the fairy tale story might sound good in your head, but His story for you is so much better. The fairy tale story involves feeding our egos, never having a challenge, and minimal spiritual growth. Where is our dependence on God? Where is our trust? God’s story for your life, although full of ups and downs, allows you to experience God in a way you never could have before. The Bible teaches us that in trials our faith is tested (1 Peter 1:7), perseverance is produced (James 1:2-3), and we will ultimately be comforted by God (2 Corinthians 1:4).

For the next 6 days, this devotional will guide you as you begin to process the pains and imperfections of your story. You’ll begin to see your story as an asset instead of a barrier. You’ll move from regretting that life hasn’t been perfect for you, to embracing life’s ebbs and flows and allowing them to move you closer to your passions...but with Grace.

I’ll introduce you to the R.E.S.T. acronym, which will serve as our guide on this journey. By the end of this devotional, you’ll have a clearer picture of why all of the things you’ve been through have worked together for your good. With confidence in who you are in Christ, you’ll also feel empowered to release your need to strive. You will instead find R.E.S.T. for your souls to embrace your imperfect story.