When You Need Rest by Ellen-Graf Martin. Photography by Green Apple

Years ago, when I was going through a season of changes I didn’t necessarily desire, a friend shared this with me.

“Healthy things grow.
Growing things change.
Changing things challenge.
Challenge forces us to trust God.
Trust leads to obedience.
Obedience makes us healthy.
Healthy things grow.”

It was what I needed to hear then, and what I’ve needed to be reminded of over and over. I printed it up and placed it in a few places. In a journal, tucked in my nightstand drawer, stuck on a mirror. Yesterday I found it at the bottom of a box in my office. The line that hit me as I read it again was “Changing things challenge”. Oh, and how they do. Sometimes it can feel like a bit too much challenge.

We’ve been in a season of change and challenge this past couple of years. It has seemed as though one thing after another just happened. While I should be grateful because that may mean that we’re healthy and growing, it can be exhausting in the growth and challenge. Then it seems that one day, without our noticing, we moved past the challenge to the trust piece – and with the trust comes so much real peace.

Although fall is weeks away yet (thankfully), it feels like a new season has started in our lives. Just this week, my beloved commented that it seems like this spirit of peace has settled in our home, and I agreed. A beautiful thing really, and for now, I just want to rest in it. That may be the trust and obedience – knowing, in whatever season we’re in, that this is what God has given us for right now, and it’s what is best for us. That we are to not only be stewards of what has been given in the moment, but enjoyers of it as well.

As much as we have to push through the challenges of change, and learn to trust, we know this: He gives His loved ones rest.


Oh, how my growth-challenged heart needs to soak that in.

At work, when we conceptualize and design a brochure or poster, or even a book, we choose to include white space. The white space is rest for the eyes, and critical to the design. Too much content or clutter and we completely miss the mark.

Strangely though, it’s often totally ignored.

I think we’re provided this rest for our hearts and souls as well, but we often entirely ignore it because it seems unproductive, and useless. Although it will take some discipline, I don’t want to miss it this time.

While spring brought the ugly season and summer has brought on some very real growth (seriously – our Sweet Girl grew over 2” in two months), this is a beautiful season. One in which I’m called to trust and rest, and it’s awfully good, friends.


PS – interested in finding some whitespace of your own? You may want to check out Bonnie Gray’s “Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Heart to Rest”