Of Rest, When the Storm Won’t End

I had no idea that last year’s storm would keep raging long after the whirlwind had stopped. I had no idea that once I had faced such physical terror, and survived, that I could ever be afraid of anything else again, only to find myself afraid of a whole lot.

Maybe the year we lived in a tiny cabin while we rebuilt was too consumed with plans, Pinterest, adrenaline and survival to begin any kind of process of healing.

And healing from what? The words make me feel ashamed. Yes, it was sad, hard, devastating and unbelievable. But not nearly as much for us as many others. We all lived. A way was made to build our house back. My parents too. The mobile home we owned next door was destroyed–the only possible “solution” to a debt-trap we had been under for ten years (true confession: I had prayed for years that “a tree would fall on it”). And our wedding business question was answered–all in about twenty seconds.

That is amazing. We got to witness the power and providence of God in a way few people ever do. Not to mention the countless numbers of wonderful people we got to meet, love we got to receive, all orchestrated from God’s perfect working out of His plan.

So what’s this storm about? The aftermath of sad feelings, fear and…paralysis? We’re in our new home now. Life is good. New, empty cabinets. We can begin again. That’s what I keep telling my heart. “It’s time now. Take off and fly.” But like a timid bird who has never flown, I sit uneasy, unsure of what I’ll do once in flight.

And will I regret sharing this publicly? That for now, I am changed? But maybe one of you, just one, needs to know and will somehow find comfort in it. I am still picking through rubble. And while I know that ALL is being used to fulfill His purposes–oh how I want to be used!–it is a time of searching and I think I need to rest.

I need a time of sitting on the porch swing. Of picking blackberries with juicy-mouthed children. Of listening to my husband’s concerns, dreams and ideas. Of sitting at my Savior’s feet.

Of quiet sunrises and slow days. Of walks, holding little hands, jumping on trampolines, snuggling with books, hearing hearts. Of looking into faces, sharing ideas, being still and renewing my mind.

Of listening instead of talking and a bunch more life-stuff.

It may be a bit more quiet here for a while. I’m not gone, just resting. And living. And finding myself again.

__________________________________________________________________

60 Responses to “Of Rest, When the Storm Won’t End”

  1. Cathy says:

    If the Lord gives you your voice back, we’re here. And, if He doesn’t we’ll still be here. Rest assured, though, He will always, and forever, be here, there, everywhere and anywhere for you.

    Cathy

  2. Robin says:

    I love ya friend!! I’ll see you soon and I’m always here!

  3. Marcie Hadley says:

    The greatest need of someone traumatized is just what you are feeling you need right now. It is GOOD that you have the time and support to rest and receive comfort from the Lord, from drawing your family around you and begin making new memories and normal. May He gently lead you through healing, dear friend. BTW, we laughed recalling Aaron wishing a big wind would take away that trailer.

  4. Joyce from Marianna, Fl says:

    Oh, my precious Kelly, I’m praying for you. You know I love you. I shall forever praise the Lord for ordaining that I get to go to the conference in Chattanooga where we met. Even the way we gathered at lunch was in His plan, of course. I appreciate what you have gone through and are going through all these months. One day at a time, moment by moment, sweet, sweet Kelly. I am also so thankful that you have Bria right by you side. Imagine my arms around both of you.

  5. Kathy says:

    Hey Kelly, I think what you’re planning to do is a really wise idea. I know I have needed time for rest after going through some hard things. Rest is important. I pray that God will use this time to bring healing and restoration to you, your husband and your children. And that in the process, he will also prepare you all for what he has in store for you next, whatever that good thing might be.

  6. 6 arrows says:

    Oh, Kelly, *tears*. You’re living out your beliefs, God and family first, and it’s just the gentle push and the encouragement this reader needed 😉

    I will pray for you during your time of rest and renewal. May the Lord grant you and your family deep fellowship together, and an ever-growing trust in His provision and faithfulness.

    “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22,23.

    I love you.

  7. Kim M says:

    enjoy your rest! <3

  8. Kim M says:

    …and like Cathy said, “We are still here.”

  9. Kelly, I totally understand. I often have moments of wanting to rest and get rid of all the extra things in life. Your family comes before all those extras. Take time and enjoy. We’re still here. *hugs*

  10. Carolina says:

    Enjoy your summer.
    your 2 little ones are gorgeous.

  11. Laura says:

    I know, Kelly, at times when I have had to face a transition or some uncertainty, I usually do one of two things: I either operate on adrenaline for awhile and dive in wholeheartedly, or I shrink from any decision making and attempt to disappear(read a book in a corner). After a year making hundreds of decisions every day of the caliber that you have been, I’m sure you are decided-out! Iknow after a move (and we have moved 8 times in 9 years), I don’t want to make a decision for a week. But in this last year, when children come and need to be fed and comforted, and on and on, that isn’t an option, by God’s grace you have had to move forward each day. Now is the time to stop. Besides Kelly, even birds have a period each year where they stay on the nest! In spite of their ability to fly, and nature’s push to do so, they still stay on the nest, and they have to. Perhaps this is your time to stay on the nest…
    prayers and blessings.

  12. Mrs. Santos says:

    God bless you! You are so loved and appreciated.

  13. Rachel says:

    I think I do kind of get it. No tree fell on our house … no tornado whipped over us (though the storms and the raging fires of last summer have been frightful) … but …..

    First, my Dh lost his job, and then there were 2 miscarriages. A year later, on mother’s day – 3 years ago – my mom died. It was extremely sudden and unexpected. As the oldest daughter, I had to be strong. I pretty much refused to grieve – I was about 20 weeks pregnant, and once the hullabaloo of constant, and very welcome, company died down, I found myself responsible for much of life at my dad’s house next door, and a 2 1/2 year old niece. She was a handful. I was constantly tired. The home birth turned into a hospital birth, and then 6 weeks later, we were in a horrible car accident. Then my best friend (who was driving the day of the accident)’s baby was born with downs and wouldn’t breathe right. Six weeks later, I had 4 of her children while she was in horrible pain – an ovarian cyst the size of cantelope. At some point I had gone into survival mode – I just did what had to be done to get to the next day. Then my Dh had a heart attack, he didn’t get better – he got worse. We almost lost him 3 times.

    A year ago, my dad remarried. My sister took my niece to add to her 3 daughters (with hopes to reintergrate her back in with her own parents who now lived about a mile away). Dh finally started getting better. Fires broke out all over East Texas and all around the area I lived in. Then suddenly they were gone. And finally my life slowed down.

    Suddenly the immensity of everything was overwhelming. For the first time in 3 years – I had time to feel. And the 2 years of emotions I had buried and denied flooded my heart.

    It has taken nearly a year – but I’m moving forward again. God’s grace and love has sustained and comforted. There were still rough spots. The pain isn’t gone. But it is healing. God continues to provide for our needs.

    I’ll be praying for you. Hugs.

  14. Steph says:

    Sounds like now you are finally having the moments you need to grieve what was lost. You could have some adrenal fatigue which can be easily tested by a natropathic Dr.

  15. Natalie says:

    Oh Kelly, shedding tears again for you…and also so pleased to see 1. you making this choice, even though it is a difficult one for you, and 2. so many readers who are NOT just readers. They are friends who love you dearly. I’m praying for you…and anticipating all that God will do in your life this next year as you wait on Him. One day, you’ll fly again!
    “…but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

  16. Word Warrior says:

    I love you all. Your words of comfort and confirmation are a balm to my soul. As Natalie said, you are friends. And knowing you are here is a beautiful thought to me.

  17. Talya says:

    May the Lord continue to bless you and keep you as you rest in Him. His comforting arms are the best place to be!

  18. Gretchen says:

    God bless you and your family. The Lord is your Protector and High Tower. He is with you always. He is your Healer, your Shield and your loving Father.
    Psalm 91
    Psalm 121

  19. Leslie from VA says:

    ((hug)) May HIS everlasting arms hold you tight…you can rest there safely, my friend.

    The eternal God is your refuge,
    And underneath are the everlasting arms…
    Deut. 33:27

  20. Keri says:

    Hey Kelly,

    Rest!!..Take all the time you need!! Love and enjoy those little ones and big ones!! You are loved and prayed for!!

  21. Julia says:

    I can only imagine what the past year must have been like for you and your family. Rebuilding, and still you took the time to reach out, to lead and encourage all of us. You inspire me. I don’t pretend to know how long it will take for you to heal, but I know, with God, you will heal. Thanks for all your warrior words, and I will pray for your renewal.

  22. Kate S. says:

    We are in a different storm of sorts and wonder when the bombardment will end. The bulk of the burden is on my shoulders and I often cry out to God for a little respite. It is good of you to present your true self rather than what you or your readers think should be presented. There is s tendancy in the blog world for readers to put the blog author up on some sort of pedestal, even unintentionally, as the author avoids unpleasant truths. At the same time, the truth can help so many.

  23. Mrs. S says:

    Have a wonderful time of renewal! Peace and blessing to your family.

  24. Heather says:

    Have a great rest! Don’t worry, I’ll just pick up where you leave off. Haha!!

  25. Sarah L says:

    Thank you for sharing! Good for you! I truly mean that in the nicest way. 🙂

  26. Kelly, I’m totally teared up at your words…and completely understand them. Rest well, dear sister. …The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and ***give you peace***

  27. I’m echoing what everyone else has said and I also know from experience that you NEED to do this. Enjoy your rest. We can certainly enjoy reading through your archives. SO much good stuff there!

    In Him

    Meredith
    xx

  28. Sarah says:

    Kelly,
    I am with the other ladies who commented above. May the Lord give you the peace and rest that you need. Enjoy your family and your time with them 🙂
    Blessings!

  29. 6 arrows says:

    Kelly,

    I thought of you today while singing our opening hymn at church, about your time of quiet searching as you sit at our Savior’s feet. The hymn was “Open Now Thy Gates of Beauty”, and verse 5 really spoke to me and called you to mind:

    Speak, O God, and I will hear thee;
    Let Thy will be done indeed.
    May I undisturbed draw near thee
    While Thou dost Thy people feed.
    Here of life the fountain flows;
    Here is balm for all our woes.

    Always praying for you, dear friend, as our Good Shepherd feeds and nurtures you in His tender loving care. May the fountains of love and joy flow over you in abundance this day and forever.

    Love and blessings to you.

  30. tammy says:

    Lord bless you as you rest in Him and on this journey of life. You will be missed and we will look forward to your encouragement in your return. He is your Shepherd ,He leads beside still waters, He restores. Praying for you.

  31. Magriet says:

    I know… one needs a breather. We’ll miss you, but we’ll all survive 😉 Enjoy your rest. God bless.

  32. Tracy Timberlake says:

    Rest well, blogging friend. I have no doubt our loving, faithful Father will meet with you, refresh you and grant you renewed vision for the next chapter. With love in Him, over the miles, Tracy in South Africa

  33. Kacie says:

    It is GOOD to take a blog break every now and then! Let your mind rest, let you recharge and reconnect with the 3D folks around you. No apologies needed, though I think it’s awful nice of you to share your intentions so people aren’t like huh? Where’s Kelly?

    Take as long as you need and even then, if you adopt an infrequent posting schedule after that, it’s certainly allowed! 🙂

  34. Cathy says:

    I’m so glad you wrote this today. It helped me realize that what I’m going through is ok. My fil was sick with cancer for 3 years, the last 6 months was very intense care with hospice. He passed away a few months ago. Because we live next door I was always over there helping and running back and forth. I can’t seem to get going again now that he is gone. Maybe I just need time to rest also.

  35. Dear Kelly,

    Time will heal all things, and I completely understand how you are feeling “changed”. It is not a bad thing, and God can use it powerfully, as He always does and already has in your life. Go on and live life–really live it and be thankful because it is a treasured gift. I felt so blessed just to wake up this morning. We will be here when you get back (us writers cannot be silent for too long)!

    Many blessings…

  36. Jennifer says:

    So glad for God’s providence outside your home and in your heart, Kelly 🙂 The worst storms are those on the inside; I’m still gaining my balance after emerging from one.

  37. Deborah says:

    I know. After the first tornado ever recorded in these parts (we were unscathed), a lightning strike that did do damage, woops dropped by insurance, Oh and about that job, there goes the contract that made up for it. Parents with cancer, brother -in-law with serious illness. Now there goes my sister’s job. I hope the storm will end soon.

    There is still rest. Last night when I could not sleep at about 4 in the morning I remembered, “If the almond tree fails to bud and the olive crop fails, yet will I praise Him.” Why? because, He is in charge and there.

    Last week, again while half sleeping I saw it. There is just a little more inner strength in me.

    Praying for rest from your storm.

    And trying to find that post about the benefits of financial struggles I had stumbled upon earlier : )

  38. Deborah says:

    Yes, that’s the one. Thanks!

  39. Kristen says:

    Awww, Kelly! Don’t feel ashamed about needing to grieve your losses. Just because your loss wasn’t as “big” or “bad” as others doesn’t diminish the fact that it was a loss. And your family was traumatized. The person with the biggest losses isn’t the only person who has the “right to grieve!” Don’t be so hard on yourself.

  40. Charity says:

    Even Jesus rested, and He wept.

    Still, I will miss your posts, but my family will be praying even more for your and yours.

  41. vicky says:

    Dear Kelly,

    I think your plan to rest is a wise one. There is nothing wrong with trying to find your new ‘normal’ and come to terms with all the sad loss in your life this past year. I know you heart is also burdened for your friends the Lees and their loss as well. Take what time you need. I’ll be praying for you. I so enjoyed your talks at the Living a Legacy Conference. What a blessing you and the other ladies all were.
    Enjoy your season of rest.

    Victoria

  42. Heather says:

    I don’t know if you like to listen to music a lot or what styles you like, but I find music very helpful when I’m trying to process things.

    I think that you might be encouraged by listening to Beautiful Things by Grungor.

    I will be praying that you have a restful summer to start to process, grieve, adjust, start fresh and continue to grow closer to the Lord.

    Heather

  43. KTHunter says:

    Kelly, you have more than earned a rest, and I’m glad you are taking it. It is okay to grieve. We have a relationship with our homes, and it is ok to miss the place where so many memories were made. It’s not the same as losing a person, no, but a home is more than just a thing, too. It’s part of us. (We found out that our previous home that we left 10 years ago got hit by a tornado this year, and I feel sad even over a home I don’t own any more. It was our first home as a married couple, and I have fond memories of it.) It’s taken a while to get back to your normal routine. It’s ok to feel shaken, it’s ok to FEEL. You’re still standing, and you will be after you get through this phase of grief. Many HUGS for you and your family. Enjoy the summer and have some ice cream.

  44. Susan McCurdy says:

    May you find rest and be restored.

  45. Melissa says:

    “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – Jesus (Matthew 11:28-30)

    “And he [Jesus] said unto me, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” – Paul (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

    Praying for you, Kelly!

  46. Patricia says:

    Kelly, What you are experiencing is not out of the ordinary. PTSD is not only lived out by our soldiers–it can manifest with civilians as well. Know you are covered in prayer as you walk this path, not of your choosing, not of a preferred direction, but with a destination ordained by the Sovereign of the Universe. May He comfort you through your grieving process, and strengthen you for the future. Rest well.

  47. Linnie Lues says:

    Lots of love and prayer for you and your family.

  48. You’re such an inspiration! Many times I think of what you said when we were all still working on our chapters for The Heart of Simplicity, that you’d been offline for 2 weeks.
    I’d realized that I hadn’t noticed 😉 …and if I didn’t turn my computer on and blog for 2 weeks, most of my readers wouldn’t notice either.
    “Look to the LORD and His ways, seek His face always!”

  49. Ponder Woman says:

    I’m so glad that you are taking a break from everything and getting refreshed and just enjoying your family, but I sure do miss you!

    I am the commenter known previously as Elisabeth; I’ve thought about starting a blog myself for a long time and I finally did just recently because I’ve always found it helpful to write about what is going on in my heart. I am also the same Elisabeth that sent you an E-mail ages ago. I want to thank you for the help you have been to me over the years as through the prayers and encouragement of people like you my husband and I are finally walking in what I can only accurately term newness of life and definitely newness of marriage. We were baptized together yesterday and it was an amazing experience.

    Thank you also to 6 arrows (I believe) who was so gracious and kind on a comment a while ago that I left here and also prayed for me. It is through prayer that God came into our lives and I’m in absolute awe of what He has already done and continues to do.

    I hope that when you come back to check on your blog here it will warm your heart a little to know that though we live in different countries and several thousand miles apart, you have been so near to me and caused me to examine myself and think through many an issue over the years.

    God bless you.

    • 6 arrows says:

      Thank you for your sweet comment to me, Elisabeth! (BTW, I like your name Ponder Woman – I’m a ponderer, too.) 😉

      I popped over to your blog and read about your baptism. What a beautiful testimony you have of the Lord’s faithfulness!

      It is my privilege to lift you up in prayer, and I will keep doing so. May the Lord continue to shower His blessings on you, as I know He will.

  50. Sherry says:

    Dear Kelly, Please know that I have been praying for you and will continue to do so. It seems to me that your decision to rest is a wise one, and I pray that your rest will be sweet and full of healing moments spent on the porch swing. May it be filled with moments spent with giggling children all about you who are enjoying simple summer pleasures and the sheer joy of having their momma *holding their little hands* while taking walks with them. May you have sweet times of bonding even more with Aaron as you spend time listening to his concerns, dreams, and ideas for your family. May your family now have the time to recall together the many changes-and the ramifications of those changes – that came into your lives in a matter of moments. And now that you’re past the *survival* phase of , by God’s grace, taking care of the essentials of daily living – may you have even more time to simply live and adjust to what life *looks like* now. And may you continue to find rest, comfort and wisdom as you sit at the feet of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ! We love you!

    Sherry for the family

  51. Tiffany says:

    Kelly,

    I know this had to be very tramatizing for you all. We still think of you guys and pray for you, we have not forgotten you. Billy just said while we were on vacation that he was going to call Aaron soon. In time God heals all wounds. Everything happens for a purpose. Love ya and hope to see you guys again.

    In His Grip,
    Tiffany
    http://theballardsblog.blogspot.com/

  52. […] God, storms do end! Storms that wreck your physical world, andstorms that wreck your emotional […]

  53. Friend says:

    Worst thing that I did when I went through some horrible things was just go into survival mode. That works for about six months to a year, then I crashed and literally lost if for awhile. I didn’t have anyone who was in my life to help. I had God, but that was literally it. If you need rest, take it. I will pray for you.

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