Rhythm of Rest

Steven told me about the Navy Seals, and says we need to rest like they do during Hell Week.

We’ve been in a season of one-thing-after-another, and losing Sam is the greatest trial among many smaller ones. Life has been just plain hard. We make a conscious effort not to brace ourselves for the next thing, to try to accept the good days for what they are–a time to breathe, but it takes effort.

It’s hard to accept the good days. They are becoming more frequent thankfully (today is one of them!). It’s tempting to hunker down on good days, to keep muscles tensed, ready for the next downpour. Staying alert kept us going while Sam was alive. We never stopped fighting for him, even at night in our dreams. We knew we were in for either a funeral or the challenging task of being the parents of a special needs child. We knew something hard was ahead. Now, the funeral has happened, and we just don’t know what’s ahead. Something good could be ahead, or something bad. We have our hopes and fears, but we don’t know. Fears are magnified by trauma, so we try to stay in the moment where fear cannot reside. It makes me tired to even think about tomorrow.

So we rest in today.

Steven told me about how the Navy Seals eventually learn how to rest instead of anticipating the next thing. They even sleep while eating. “I think we need to take every chance we get to rest like the Navy Seals,” Steven told me. So we are.

Part one of constructing our little cocoon was to make the blog private. Then, we resolved not to change much. We’re staying in the same apartment. No more applying for jobs. Steven goes to work day in day out. I keep house day in day out. No big ambitions for now. We’ve adopted a rhythm of rest, being very intentional about how our time is spent, what kinds of books and movies come into the house, how well we eat, how much we sleep, who we spend time with. In the evenings, beginning at 8:30 or so, all screens and sounds are turned off. No unnecessary conversation. No work. No play. Just listening with full permission and encouragement to be still. We hold one another to our agreement to be still during this time.

Life is rarely so quiet. We are taking full advantage of the chance to rest.

Suddenly, we’re sleeping harder, as though we’re catching up from all the restless nights of the past few months. I’ve noticed I’m breathing a little slower and deeper. My thoughts aren’t quite as frenzied. We’re not as jumpy. Nightmares have stopped for both of us, and dreams have resumed. We dream while we’re asleep, and we’re even beginning to timidly dream while we’re awake as we hope for the future.

I planted bulbs in containers yesterday, and Steven wants to take daily pictures to mark their progress. I decided to force one bulb in a bottle of water, so we can watch the roots grow. There’s something about quiet growth and progress that we’re both drawn to lately. Nature affords our senses a picture of what we hope is happening with our souls. We’ve endured such a harsh winter, but we see evidence of spring.

I can hear gentle thunder outside as I type. The beginning of the season’s first thunderstorm? My heart is resting in this unmistakable evidence. Spring is coming, and I hope it is coming for me.

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2 thoughts on “Rhythm of Rest

  1. Spring is coming sweetheart you can count on it. You and Steven are so brave and I’m so proud of you both. You have made the decision to face your grief and it will pay tremendous dividends. “We have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.” 2 Cor. 4:7
    I love you both very much, Papaw

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