Heart Choices: My Struggle with Soul Rest -->

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My Struggle with Soul Rest


Today I'm linking up with The Faith Barista for a jam session.  Bonnie's topic for this month is on restoring soul rest. 

Right now, I'm struggling in this area.  I long to experience that soul rest no matter what circumstances may be occurring in my life.  But I must admit; I've not quite arrived at that point yet. 

I look back at this photo of me as a little girl.  Little did I know what was ahead in life for me.  

Since then I've learned what it's like to:
  • Go through open heart surgery as a child of seven
  • Attempt to make up for lost time as I was determined to be able to keep up with other children
  • Have an exciting and fun life in high school
  • Be blessed with many friends, including many that began 50 years ago
  • Get married young and go through a divorce
  • Move cross country with only what I could take in my car
  • Meet my husband Greg and celebrate 26 years of marriage last November
  • Have a career in cardiovascular nursing for 25 years
  • Struggle with infertility for many years and never be able to conceive a child
  • Be flat on my back after C-spine surgery
  • Be blessed with an abundance of material possessions
  • Move into my dream home
  • Experience great health and being in the best shape of my life
  • Share many blessings with my family
  • Have fun adventures with my nieces Kristin and Katie
  • Find a wonderful church family and recommit my life to Christ
  • Lose material possessions and sell my dream home
  • Become depressed and gain twenty pounds and feel out of shape
  • Have to return to work after many years with a lapsed nursing license
  • Find a job working with little children in a private school
  • Be blessed by the love of 19 three year old children and 15 first graders in my after school class
  • Work at losing weight and getting back in shape
I long to be like the Apostle Paul and be content in all circumstances. 

Philippians 4:13 goes on to read:
"I can do everything through Him who gives me strength."

I am learning that the secret to soul rest is abiding in Christ moment by moment.

As I spend time in prayer ...He comforts me.
As I read His Word ...He gives me wisdom.
As I take time to spend time with Him ...I get to know Him better.

I am very slowly learning to lean on Him; to trust Him. 

My emotions have a way of taking over at times. 

So I return to the Scriptures and replace the fear with the Truth. 

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
Isaiah 41:10
Do you struggle with soul rest?  How do you deal with life's challenges?

Blessings and love,

Debbie Petras
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  1. Beautifully sweet thoughts!

    I am contacting everyone as a reminder and an inquiry to see if they're attending the AZ blogger's luncheon on March 26th as I have to call the tea room on in the next few days with a head count.

    Details are on the Monday (3-14) post of my blog.

    If you are attending please leave a comment on that post.

    Thank you and be blessed!

  2. Sounds like you have experienced a lot as well. It is nice to see such a positive attitude after some of those really difficult times. I know God has worked in your life if I saw nothing else but that! :)

  3. We so easily forget the moment by moment don't we? Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  4. Seeing a life spread out like that...so open and vulnerable. Thanks, Debbie, for sharing your ups and downs and your faith in Jesus. God has a way of sending surprises with new challenges for us to learn to trust him. I'm so thankful that we're on the same journey. Blessings, sweet friend. You are an amazing child of God.

  5. And so the chapters of the life of Debbie unfold... every one of us have a story, and the best news is... God is writing the books of our lives. I can't wait to see your next chapters!

    Love you!!

  6. So true. What a blessing it is to know that He is with us in all circumstances. Why do we sometimes fight so fiercely, rather than trust Him and yield to Him?

    I think that we often let our emotions distract us from what we know to be true. So you're right: we need to go back to the Scriptures and let that truth be our guide.

  7. I need some soul rest. It's never easy for me to just be still before the Lord. Thank you for this gentle reminder to do so.

    There's a reason we don't get to see too far ahead in life. We'd probably run the other way! lol

  8. I love your quote, "the secret to soul rest is abiding in Christ moment by moment". That is so true, Debbie! I find that when I am not abiding in Him, that's when my soul is anxious and not at peace. Even this morning as I drove to work, I had a nagging feeling of unease. So, I made the conscious decision to focus on Him as I drove. I mulled over the blessings in my life and thanked Him for all He has done for me. Voila! I felt so much better. Abiding in Christ is the key. Thanks for the encouragement!

    Living for Him, Joan

  9. Amen...my list looks like a roller coaster also...but it is my life and it is what He will use for His glory, not for my glory. I would have picked it to be different at this stage in life, but that probably wouldn't have meant I would have had a baby at age 45! He truly knew what was the best and gave me a gift while other things were being taken away. I will never be able to thank Him enough for the thing I probably wouldn't have put in my life. So I am learning also to let my soul rest in Him and enjoy this roller coaster life that is mine...while He continues to refine.

  10. abiding...just learning to be in His presence..I am struggling with the same things...and I love the pics of you as a kid!!

  11. I think all of us at one point or another struggle with this very thing. Goodness knows I have MANY times. But at the end of the day, the LONG and REALLY difficult at times road I have traveled through the course of my life has made me who I am and pointed me over and over again to Him. One thing I do know for sure, He is ALWAYS there and ALWAYS has my best at heart. Now if I could just learn to be more content no matter what my circumstances are. Have a wonderful week-end Debbie. HUGS

  12. It's an amazing story, Debbie, heartbreaking but unbelievably encouraging. I think he's been with you every step of the way.

    Great post.

  13. Oh, what a heartfelt entry Debbie. I so admire your way with words and how beautifully you express yourself and your walk with the Lord. I am blessed each time I stop by. Hugs!

  14. Do I ever?!

    You're not alone in your search for rest, sister. Life affords us enough chaos and upheaval to warrant our continual quest for God's peace. I do firmly believe it exists and is available for all believers.

    We must do our part, but as we do, we find that God has done his in abundance.

    Keep to it, sister. Prayers.


  15. I think it's a good thing we don't know everything that's ahead of us. Finding soul rest for me starts with remembering who God is and who I am not . . . and then adjusting my expectations.

  16. I liked this post as you point out all the things God has brought you through. And, like the children of Israel, you can look back on them and remember!

    I find my soul's rest in CHOOSING to have faith and believe He will work out things in my life. I have to choose to believe He will bring my two 20 year old sons back into a relationship with Him. If I do not make that choice then I slip into hopelessness. Then there is definitely no rest for my soul.

  17. Love this post....I need to write mine out and I might feel better....Great idea....I have been blessed so much

  18. Debbie, thank you for your transparency. It allows your readers to relate to you and helps those of us who haven't quite got it all together to know we are not alone, but that we can count on God to get us where we need to go. I appreciate your blog.

  19. Thanks for being vulnerable and sharing your heart and story with us! It is very encouraging. I have struggled finding rest lately and I really think that is why it is my "word" for the year.

  20. Such a powerful collection of heartfelt truth-telling. I dare say it's a condition - unrest - that besets the vast majority of us at one time or another (or many another).

    The prescription is always the same, isn't it? It never ceases to amaze me how, when I lean hard into Him, the unrest gives way to peace & contentment. Even so, I resist at times. I'm even learning how to un-resist.

    What students He makes of us. What incredible joy accompanies the learning of our lessons :)

    Love you,

  21. What a powerful message of dealing with life and it's pain and yet finding peace. Scripture and the Power of Positive Thinking works for me.

    You are a strong woman and I'm happy I found your blog.

    Take care.


  22. I am not sure what to say except wow. Sorry you have all this to go through but it is so encouraging to see how you have risen above from this and have learned so much. You are quite the inspiration to us all.
    That is a good question you asked at the end. Not sure. I need help with that too.

  23. Wow, Debbie what an amazing life you have had so far! What a lot you have been through! When you see your life like that doesn't it just make you grateful all over again that God was there every step of the way? Thank you for sharing! Lori

  24. Many of the things you shared on this post about yourself are new to me.

    I have forgotten your age, but I assume you are younger than I am. (I'm turning 58 next week)...

    Wow, you have been through a lot.

    Come to think of it, we all have our own stories to share.

    And you are passing every stage with flying colors.

    God is rebuilding you deep inside, as you seek to find time for soul rest.

    I appreciate knowing you more each time I visit your blog place, Debbie.


  25. Hi Debbie,
    I appreciate you more and more everytime I learn about you and your life. SO encouraging. This post is like a faith gem. So excited when I saw your post show up in the jam, friend! I hope you got a restful break last week and your week is off to a good start back at work. ooxx..


I love to read your comments! I know you have something to share so join in the conversation. And thank you for taking the time.

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