Restless Heart

My church recently did a sermon series about Simon Peter. I’ve always felt like I would’ve gotten along with Peter. He was someone who spoke out boldly, usually putting his foot in his mouth, and often moved into action without thinking.

One of the stories about Peter that I find most interesting is during the Transfiguration on the mountain. Peter sees Jesus reveal some of his divine nature, glowing along with the spirits of Moses and Elijah, and the first thing he says is, “I’m going to build some tents for you guys so you can stay here.” Yet no one asked him to do this.

I, like Peter, often see some amazing miracle of Jesus and my immediate reaction is to do something, to spring into action. So when my pastor asked, “What is it that you are not stopping to simply take in?,” I felt like the question was directed right at me.

I’ve always been a restless person.

As an Enneagram 1, I’m constantly thinking of what I could be doing. Words like “should” and “must” run through my mind on a daily basis, and I literally cannot remember a time in my life when I didn’t have some sort of to-do list(s). It’s difficult for me to sit still and not be working toward something. It’s a challenge to simply be because I’m always thinking about what needs to be done.

Recently, this restlessness has grown to overwhelming proportions. I’ve wanted to move out of my home state of Mississippi for a while now, not really sure where I’d go or what I’d do, but knowing that I don’t want to be where I am. And this has led to some division—half of my mind is where I am physically and the other half of me is planning for an imaginary future in another city. This ultimately keeps me from being fully anywhere. It’s like I’m a plant that wants to grow its roots but is fearful of being uprooted at a moment’s notice.

I can’t help but look around and compare my journey to the journey of others, my mind focused on what I’m lacking and where I should be. But I also don’t want to miss all the good things that God is doing where I am right now.

This past week, I’ve been bombarded with messages of trusting God’s plan. From podcast interviews to Instagram posts, God seems to be saying, “Are you asking me to bless your plans or are you going to stop for a moment and let me show you what I’m thinking?”

My mind keeps going back to Hannah Brencher’s reminder to “be where your feet are.” Why is that so hard for me?

It got me thinking, “What if I do move to another town? Will the restlessness go away?” Probably not. I know myself well enough to know that I’ll simply find something else to feel restless about. There will be something else that I need to fix before I can be “content.”

So what does that mean for me now? I think it means handing over my restless to God. I think it means stopping and looking around and asking, “Where is God moving in my life? What is He trying to show me but I am too busy running around to see?” I think it means being where my feet are. I think it means planting roots, however deep, and being present for the people right in front of me.

I’m realizing that I can’t keep waiting for things to be permanent because they never will be. I don’t think God calls us to something and then that’s how it is forever. Things change. People move. There’s love and loss. And in the midst of it all, the only constant thing is Jesus.

I’m staying open to new things and new places. I’m actively pursuing my dreams. But I have to remind myself that I can’t keep looking to the future and my plans as the magical key to my happiness. If I can’t be content with where I am right now, I don’t think that I’ll learn to be content anywhere. In whatever season, there’s always something to learn.

Like Peter, I so want to show up and do something with a purpose. But so often, when I’m hustling and stressing myself over a goal I think I should be meeting, God’s like, “Hey, don’t make up imaginary standards for yourself. How about you sit back and watch what I can do?”

So my challenge for myself during this season is to trust God’s timing. To be where my feet are. To invest in the projects and people around me without fear of the future. To be open to what the Lord is doing right where I am. To take a moment to simply be in awe. And when the time comes that He calls me to something else, I have faith that He will provide

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A freelance writer from the Deep South with a love of reading, writing, dramatic storytelling, indie music, and her corgi pup.

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