What has caused you to pause lately?
Has anything stopped you in your tracks and caused you to reevaluate or regroup as you attempt to recover from a potential ‘hit’?
Let me give a personal example – my own health crisis.
For me, this was a life stopper. I had to quit my job – I had to move – I lost much of my normal function and ability to carry out the normal activities of daily living.
I’m assuming you’re like me, and your pauses are handed to you unbidden, unwanted – they are circumstances beyond your control and the only response is to stop.
Perhaps you’ve been stopped by a loved one’s crisis – a must go to hospital, or needs emotional support – is moving-back-in type scenario. Or maybe you’ve experienced a relational stopper or change you had no idea was coming. Many pauses in life are unplanned, unwanted. Not. My. Choice.
I am challenged today to consider a non-emergent pause.
A purposeful slow down to redirect my life and align it more closely with the life I want in my heart of hearts to be living. Reflection to move directions before the emergency call, before our body weakens from lack of rest, before our children grow up and move out.
Reflection for direction. A pause of purpose.
I think pauses can often be places we can learn about our true selves. Find out what matters most to us.
Don’t we all want to move towards the life we want to be living, in the place – Here & Now – that we were meant to live in? Today’s life, but somehow better.
Four Things I Learned During My Life Pause About Nurturing My Soul:
- Listen. My pause, my health crisis, gave me cause and time to really listen to my life. I still found myself wanting to question ‘Why?” more than listen. Listening isn’t about getting answers – it’s about seeing yourself as you are; just sitting quiet and feeling where you are. God speaks to us in the quiet and it’s worth pausing and listening for.
- To Find Your True Self You Need To Be Adding in Truth. This pausing place is often a soul hungry time of life when your soul is desperate for nourishment. So, feed your soul with the richest of foods. The good stuff. The food that satisfies your soul’s cravings, fully. Jesus said it best ‘whoever drinks of the water I give them, you will never thirst’ (Jn 4:14). God’s Word, His Truth, nourishes the deep down places in you. Fill your plate. Fill your mind. Fill your heart. Be well.
- Giving Thanks. The truth of thanks giving took root for me during the trying years of my health crisis. I didn’t do it willingly; it was more of a half hearted response to what I read in I Thess 5:18 “In everything give thanks. For this is the will of God..”. Oddly, the practice of it – the discipline is a more accurate description – altered my heart’s terrain. It changed me. I believe there is built in God factor with thanks that brings blessing. Heart transformation.
- Lastly, and most importantly, offer yourself to God – pure and simple. I think this is where many people lose their way in self examination. What now? Now we do what my favorite Bible guy, David, did over and over through out the Psalms – pour out our hearts to the Lord. Take what we’ve seen in our lives – the yuks, the pain, the empty places – and lay them down – as an offering, no less, to God. This is what God desires – a broken and contrite heart – this is our holy and acceptable sacrifice (Rom 12:1). God takes it from here – this is God’s ground – holy ground.
This is where our true nurtured life begins – when we allow God in to our innermost heart and allow God to be God right there.
Lord, Hear the cry of my heart today. I give you my pain – my needs – my wants – my very heart desires. Lead me, Lord. Show me Your truth and Your life. To You be the glory.