"Sing me a song, please."
I sat on the edge of the reservoir, admiring the different shades of green and yellow found in the landscape around me. I've lived in the lush hills of Kentucky for the past 4 years, and being back in the rocky Colorado that I'd grown up in felt rather nostalgic.
I waited for a song to come to mind, but instead I felt God say:
"I have a song for you if you listen close enough."
I closed my eyes, and then I heard it.
The wind was blowing the leaves of the aspen trees, and a soft rattling was filling the air. The sun was barely rising, and the crickets chirped and chided. A boat passed by, and waves crashed along the rocks where my feet rested at the edge of the water.
I heard my Father's song, I soaked it all in.
The past few days had been exhausting. We were traveling a lot, visiting family and friends all over the state. We made some fun memories, but sometimes these trips have a way of bringing up old, painful memories, too.
As I sat along the water, I felt rested and at peace —a stark contrast to how I felt during my year living in the city of Fort Collins. That was a time that I probably needed rest more than ever. But even though I used to live only 15 minutes away from this reservoir, I didn't visit it even once the entire year I lived here.
And as these thoughts fill my mind, I felt God speak to me again.
"While you lived here, I had these peaceful waters available for you. All you had to do was come, and I would have given you rest."
I sat for a while longer to take it all in. My Father's song played here every day, and I missed it. Not because He didn't sing; I just didn't come.
I didn't stop long enough to come and listen.
When I moved to Fort Collins from my small hometown, I had a bit of a rough start.
I always say that that was the happiest and loneliest year of my life. I was so happy to be married to the love of my life after years of dating long distance. But I was incredibly lonely because I didn't know how to make friends in such a fast-paced city.
I was 19 at the time. Going to college and working almost full-time. No time for art. Battling anxiety and an identity crisis. All that to say, taking a moment to rest when you're young and poor and in love is not the first thing on your mind.
But I wish it had been on my mind. I wish I would've taken an early morning walk along the reservoir.
"You're going to have a time of rest here."
That's what the Holy Spirit told me when I visited Kentucky for the first time.
And when my husband I moved here a few months later, He made that promise come true.
I even found a beautiful reservoir within walking distance of our apartment —and I learned how to make time to watch the sunrises and sunsets reflect off the water.
I learned to listen to my Father's song almost every day —and it's a song I still listen to even as I've started working and making art again.
I learned that we don't have to wait for life to slow down in order to rest, for God always offers us places to go and be with Him wherever we are.
All we need to do is go and listen to His song.
Sometimes it seems like the whole world is waiting for permission to rest. For life to stop piling on burdens. For a little window of time to just sit and be.
But you don't need permission to rest.
You and I were made for peaceful waters and quiet morning walks. The world will never slow down for you, but you are always allowed to stop whatever it is you're doing to listen to the Father's song.
I wish someone would have told 19-year-old me that.
So I'm telling you now: go ask God where He's hidden your places of rest. Go find them.
Ask the Lord to sing you a song, and then stay there a while.
You don't need anyone's permission, but I'm giving you mine anyway.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.