The Wilson County Fair is arguably one of the busiest weeks of my life. Each and every year Jon and I, and our family, gear up for a week of funnel cakes, giveaways and all around carnie fun. The past two years have been ten times more stressful as I also have a full time job. This year, we are also in the middle of construction. All of it combined has left me wore out to say the least.
It’s ironic that the fair this year came two weeks after starting the “Breathe” study by Priscilla Shirer in my small group study. Sabbath, meaning to cease or come to a complete stop, in the middle of my busiest season, was nothing short of a divine intervention. During the fair, it came in the form of a migraine-or two.
I struggle with migraines anyway. My whole family does. And they always tend to happen at inconvenient times. But the first Friday of the fair? That wasn’t going to work for me. By the time I got home that first night, I thought I was going to be sick. I took my medicine and turned my alarm off. I wouldn’t sleep too late , I thought. And I would still have time to clean the house and make it to the fair again that evening.
Around 4 a.m., I woke up-barely. Before I could roll over and shut my eyes again, Jon jerked in a dead sleep and elbowed me so hard in the nose I saw stars. Looking back, I think God intentionally moved Jon’s elbow that night because the lesson I learned, was one that could only be learned in the wee hours of the morning-alone, with God. As I laid in bed, and tried to go back to sleep, my head continued to throb. I had one last resort pill left I could take but doing so would cause my plans for the day to be thwarted as it made me sleep-long and hard.
After tossing and turning for about an hour, I got up, and grabbed my Bible. I plopped down and read through the study I had recently begun on Sabbath and just so happed to read a passage regarding margin. Margin, is when we give ourselves room on our paper-and in our life ultimately keeping things within the boundaries in which they belong. Upon reading this, I knew exactly what I needed to do that day-rest. I took my last resort medication, took a long hot shower at 5 am, put some essential oils in my diffuser and crawled back into bed. I didn’t wake up until later that afternoon and I missed the fair that night. The rest I received was more than needed-it was mandatory for the week ahead. God used this inconvenience as a time for intimacy with him.
Throughout the week, as I tried to balance the fair, work and all that I had going on, exhaustion and sickness still lingered as I battled more migraines and eventually ended up missing a day of work as well. But those setbacks, turned into divine spiritual appointments that only came because I was forced to rest-right smack dab in the middle of a circus. Both literally and figuratively.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the fair. And as I do every year, I had a blast. This year, I also found my niche and I am excited to work in the Poultry Barn next year alongside longtime friends. But the fair, and my fair committee, do not dictate my life. My job does not dictate my life. My employer does not dictate my life. My blog does not dictate my life. My husband does not dictate my life. God does. And when we fail to rest and take time to communicate with him, we miss out on the best, most intimate times in our lives.
One of my favorite quotes-and I believe it’s by Emily Ley-though I cannot find a direct link so forgive me if I am wrong, is the following: “Having grace with yourself means forgiving yourself for your mess while trying to find peace in your circus”. This week, be sure and take time to go to a quiet place with God in the midst of your circus and see the sweet moment that unfolds. I guarantee you, all the cotton candy in the world has nothing on those precious moments.