When the Bravest Thing You can do is Sit…
by Brooke Heberling
Sit. Take a seat. Park it. Take a pew… however you say it, sitting can be the most challenging and the most brave thing you can do in life. As a whole, our society is in constant motion and on the go. We are told to run faster, work longer, be perfect in as many roles as possible without dropping the ball; it is exhausting. I personally wear many hats — I have to be successful in the following roles all at once: wife, mom, teacher, coach, friend, daughter, sister, advocate, recovery warrior, writer, and cat lady. Phew — that is a lot of hats to wear at once! When God says in Job 42:2, “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted,” I have to laugh — God, do you know my life!?! But the truth is He does know we can succeed because all He wants us to do is trust Him. We as His children have to sit in His love and His grace and simply put on the role as His to be successful.
This past year, I was in treatment for anorexia for six months. I was addicted to running, I was not nourishing my body, and my heart was failing due to the over exercise and lack of nutrition. To heal both my body and my mind, I was faced with putting all my roles on hold to go to treatment. My first thought to leaving all my responsibilities, comfort zones, and loved ones behind, was there is no way! There is no way I can press pause and put my life on hold to get just better! I had made a career of running… running from my problems, running from my connections with people, running from any of my emotions. The last thing that I was good at was sitting still. When God called me to “Be Still” (Psalm 46:10), I fought Him. “Do you know who you are talking to? Obviously not, God, because if you did, you would not tell ME to sit. I can’t sit. I don’t know how.” God’s reply: I can teach you.
After prayer, tears, and months of fighting, I accepted God’s will for my life and went to treatment. While I was there, I had a 24/7 team that helped me to literally and figuratively sit. All my roles were stripped from me — I only had to play the role of recovery. This was a blessing and a curse at the same time. I longed for my family, I missed my students, and I ached for my friends… but in the absence of the world, I found my savior at the cross. Romans 12:2 states, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” The world had taught me to do, go, please, and conform, but God was calling me to sit in who I was in Him and not manipulate His masterpiece.
This concept is not specific to people facing addiction or disorder. This is a concept of accepting where you are and who you are today. God has purpose and direction for every struggle, every joy, every hardship in life — all He is calling you to do is “Be Still” enough to embrace His plan. Currently, my recovery is strong. I now can consider myself a recovered anorexic, but I am still feeling the aftermath of the financial strain of treatment. Restlessness has settled in my heart at times of distrust in His plan, and the “why me” statements cripple my ability to see His blessings upon my life. But sitting intentionally in gratitude and prayer has continued to show me that when you trust, He will provide.
As two teachers and Dave Ramsey believers, my husband and I sit at the beginning of each month to plan out the budget. Satan often likes to join in this oh-so-joyous monthly ritual and turn my heart angry and cold. The act of seeing we are in the red over and over again due to medical loans and bills tests my faith in God’s plan. When my husband has to tell me that as of right now we will not afford groceries at the end of the month, it is so hard for me to sit in the Truth that we should still trust God and not only tithe, but also give… I want to be out of debt. I want to be able to enjoy the fruits of our labor. But, God tells me to sit. Ugh, did I mention how much I despise sitting!!!
The other day, after an unexpected car breakdown, we had decided that the kids’ Christmas would have to be put on hold. My three-year-old and four-year-old would have to settle for hand-me-downs and grandparent gifts. Well, since we have been faithful in our current financial position by continuing to tithe and give even when it hurts to write that check, God has provided. Two of our faithful friends in Christ asked to meet with my husband and me — they sat us down and told us that God told them to provide our family with some Christmas money this year in the amount of $200... I just cried. Right there in the McDonald’s booth, I cried. $200 was the exact amount we had budgeted to spend on our children before our car broke down. Amazing how God’s plan works if you sit in His truth and be faithful to Him.
Not only did God bless us in this time, but he blessed the family that gave authentically, as well. The woman who gave us the God prompted gift received an unexpected check from a canceled flight she had taken 6 months prior in the mail the next day for the exact amount (ATM fee and all!) that she gave us! Amazing. He rewards those who are faithful and sit.
Although this year has been trying and although it is never comfortable to sit in pain and discomfort, sitting in God’s glory got us through many storms and trials that came our way. Life is not perfect nor is it without pain. The beauty is learning to use your pain to bring God’s glory to the lost so that their eternity can be in Heaven sitting at God’s feet. I am thankful for the ability to sit in anticipation of that eternal seat waiting for me.