What would you do if God asked you to do NOTHING?
In a way, I think God asked the world to do NOTHING, for a bit at least, with the pandemic. To stay home for a few weeks and take a break from life and sit still. Because He was and is still proving that He’s in control.
But my NOTHING began a few months before I even heard the word COVID. In October of 2019 when I suddenly dropped off of my website and social media in an unexplained hiatus. When I simply had to stop.
I couldn’t keep up with it anymore: being online, writing, going out into the world. I had to stop and sit still. I had to undergo a metamorphosis, which ended up being my word of the year for 2020. And to do that, I had to be alone.
In a way I was grateful for the pandemic. It gave me excuse after excuse to stay home. First we were ordered to. And then I couldn’t go out because I couldn’t wear a mask. Everything was canceled. I had nowhere I needed to be.
It wasn’t until November of 2020 that God gave me words for what He was doing in my life. Each time I got frustrated and antsy for not doing anything with my time, I’d cry out to Him and beg for something to do. A story idea, a purpose, SOMETHING other than my days of nothingness. But God spoke to me loud and clear. I wrote in my journal, “And you know what He tells me to do when I ask Him what I should be doing? ‘Nothing.’ Like the magic freaking conch on Spongebob. I’ve heard it several times and now I’m finally listening: God wants me to do nothing.”
This was hard to swallow. Followers of Christ are called to love our neighbors (Matthew 22:39). To do our parts in the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12). To serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13). But God was telling me to do NOTHING.
To not work. To not really participate in the world. To simply rest and read and make crafts. To heal. Because God was going to do SOMETHING with my NOTHING.
I wrote in that same journal entry at the beginning of last November that “I believe God has a purpose for this NOTHING. That He’ll use it to create SOMETHING so huge, that I’ll look back on this time of NOTHING and see all of the seeds being planted. And I’ll be so freaking grateful that God granted me this time. Because in it, I’ve learned to see God like never before.”
It’s been almost a year since I wrote this. And about two years since my NOTHING began.
And boy what a two years those have been. While doing NOTHING, I’ve endured: a pandemic, an ant infestation that forced me out of my own home for two months, losing multiple friendships, having COVID myself, developing parosmia (a Long COVID condition of distorted taste and smell, which for me has led to malnutrition), additional health issues for my dog (including a scary MRSA infection), and more depression and anxiety and loneliness than ever.
God knew this was all coming. He knew what was ahead, and He knew I’d need to just do NOTHING while He helped me through.
My word of the year for this year has been SAFE. Because all of these issues have made me feel very unsafe. But God has lead me through it all. And like I wrote in my journal last year, He has been planting many seeds.
I’ve learned how to pray constantly (1 Thessalonians 5:17). I’ve studied my true home in Heaven, which has given me immense healing from depression and an overwhelming desire to share the Good News (check out Randy Alcorn’s books Heaven and Happiness). I’ve gotten the soul rest I’ve needed. I’ve learned many new crafts: knitting, Bible journaling, bread-making, and more. And I’ve been planning and dreaming about my future ministry.
The seeds have been planted. And God isn’t saying NOTHING anymore.
It’s time to begin my SOMETHING.
So, what am I doing now?
It starts with my word of the year, SAFE. I realized I don’t actually want to be safe anymore. I needed to feel safe, for a while. During the NOTHING. During all of the challenges I’ve faced the last two years. I had to get safe and cozy in God’s arms and take a nap.
But I’m awake now. And I’ve learned that it was never about “safety.” It was about finding my security in God. And because of that I can be bold. And I can do the work He’s asked me to do.
I’m writing again. The same book I was working on two years ago, but thanks to an activity I did in my period of NOTHING, I figured out how to keep going and make this idea better than ever. (I’ll tell you more about it in a blog post later this year.)
I’m making crafts every day. I’m not selling them or anything. I’m simply creating to create. To glorify God.
I’m finally getting back online and sharing more about God.
And I’m laying down some building blocks for my future ministry.