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  • Writer's pictureMichele McCarthy

Rest First

God’s call to rest isn’t crawling into bed with a good book to while away the days. Though who couldn’t use a day or two now and then? It’s a much greater call—to live from rest every day. Let down the tense, scrunched up shoulders we wear as earrings; breathe easy in the slow lane of the store or freeway; smile big while loving the unlovable; trust He will promote the call on our life, as we give attention to our Father. Be still and listen for daily direction.

Undertaking my new writing path plunged me deep into experiential God lessons. While attending a short ministry school one of the staff members at the school asked me if I wrote. Sure, my head said, grocery lists, to do lists, the occasional prayer journal. I shrugged, “I kind of write.” She followed up with, “You should write your journey to help other people.” And as outlandish as the suggestion was, and as insignificant as my story was, her words resonated with me. So I began to write. I completed my amateurish, boring journey within a few months, book writer skills not included. Pounding computer keys, I put on paper what I thought I was supposed to write. The End. Then I voiced, “God, I’ve written the story, it’s up to You now. I’ve no idea what to do next.”

God’s next beat anything I could do on my own.

· I met Linda Evans Shepherd in California, both of us from different states. I misunderstood her to say she was a publisher, since she’d “published” several books (no snickering, I’m new at this). Because of her comment, I knew she’d know how to publish my book, right? So of course, I had to introduce myself. She graciously invited me to the AWSA conference the next month as a protégé.

· Attending AWSA felt like I found home. These ladies loved books and loved the Lord even more. Linda knew the premise of my book, but after encouraging me said she thought there was more in me than “just this.”

· I began to wake up with children’s book ideas. Ah, more in me than just this. That’s what she meant.

· I felt a nudge to attend the Colorado Christian Writers Conference. There I learned about self-publishing my children’s book and came away with an idea to flip the order of my personal journey book. The first of many, many rewrites.

· My second nudge to attend AWSA, I met a woman who would become my writing coach. She believed my book had potential. We met in Nashville, yet lived within driving distance from each other in the DFW area. Because she knew of no other Christian writing groups in our area, we founded Living Write Texas, a writing group for women.

· My nudge to attend Blueridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference, resulted in meeting a publisher with interest in my book.

The list goes on and on. I’d not scheduled one of these meetings. Each were divine appointments. It took me awhile to see the pattern. Misunderstanding Linda; discovering writing coaches exist—praise Jesus; a chance conversation about my book with a gentleman, with no idea I was speaking to a real publisher. He invited me to pitch my book the next day.

Obeying what I believed the Lord called me to do, I followed through on His nudges.

He’s done the rest. Which brings me to my point. Rest.

God calls all of us to enter into His rest. First the rest of salvation: Jesus did it all, by accepting His gift we enter by no efforts of our own.

So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. (Hebrews 4:9-10 NASB)

Second, as I continue to experience, the assurance we need never strive when we follow Him in obedience.

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. (Matthew 11:29 NASB)

“Entering into God’s rest takes place after we have done the will of God in any given situation and are waiting to receive the promise.” Greg Winfield

Our work is to rest in Him.

Winfield, Greg. “Entering into God’s Rest-Rising Above the Storms of Life.”, attained 12/10/19.

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