Fathom Mag
Article

Published on:
October 29, 2019
Read time:
2 min.
Share this article:

Finite

Five minutes after getting home from church, and I am already in my fluffy pink robe, setting out lunch, which I bought from a church down the street who was hosting their annual ham ball dinner. I open the styrofoam to-go boxes and set them on TV trays in the living room. In each box are two ham balls, a scoop of cheesy potatoes, canned green beans, and a roll. In a smaller box, we each have a square piece of chocolate cake with rainbow sprinkles. We pray over our food, thanking God for His provision, to the tune of “The Office” theme song. 

I want to be the pastor’s wife who invites everyone over for lunch after church. But I’m not.
Rachel Joy Welcher

I am so tired after church. It’s not that it doesn’t fill me. It does. Margaret, age 92 and as beautiful as ever, always finds me after service to “give her Rachel a hug.” And when I occasionally pause while leading worship, to listen to the voices of my Family singing, it is a taste of heaven. I love listening to my brothers and sisters banter before Sunday school class. I love hearing my husband’s words of truth and hope as he preaches. I love watching the children run up to the front of the church for a Bible lesson, noting how their eyes get big when they hear something new. And I love being given that moment to bow before God, with the bread and the cup in hand, to remember how great my salvation. 

But going to church is also a pouring forth, and by the time I get home, I feel like I have nothing left emotionally, physically, or mentally. Maybe there are dirty dishes in the sink. Maybe a friend is texting me. But I can’t do anything but find my spot on the couch and curl up. Though surrounded by my art supplies, I don’t touch them. Instead, I turn on Netflix and let it act as a soothing background noise while I scroll through my phone, smiling at baby animal pictures on Instagram. After about an hour, I finally give in the urge to take a nap, and climb upstairs to bed. 

Needing rest is humbling. I want to be the friend who always says, “yes.” I want to be the wife that keeps a consistently clean home. I want to be the writer who gets to work every time she has an idea. I want to be the pastor’s wife who invites everyone over for lunch after church. But I’m not. I am easily fatigued, and an introvert who must recover from her time with people, even if she thoroughly enjoyed that time. And I have always been this way. But I wrestle against it, resent it, instead of nestling my head under God’s wings. He keeps finding ways to remind me that I am not Him. That I need Him. That He is fully able to accomplish His work without me while I nap. I am nobody’s Savior, and that’s a good thing. 

That friend who texted? Will be okay without me. That task? Can go unfinished for a while longer. God did not have to make us need rest. But He did. And I believe God is wiser than all of us put together. Sometimes it takes humility to take a nap. Sometimes His mercies show up in the form of styrofoam boxes, ham balls, saying “no,” and watching animal videos. We are finite. 

Listen to this sketch

 

...

Rachel Joy Welcher
Rachel Joy Welcher is an editor-at-large at Fathom Magazine. She earned a Master’s degree in theology from the The University of St. Andrews, taught high school English for ten years, is a published poet (Blue Tarp, Finishing Line Press), and writes for magazines such as Cordella, RELEVANT, and The Gospel Coalition. She lives with her husband Evan, who is a pastor in Glenwood, Iowa.

Sign Up Today

You don’t have to miss anything. We send out weekly notifications when we publish a new issue. We like you—so we won’t sell your info to Google or the NSA or even advertisers, they probably already have it anyway.

Already a subscriber? Log in here

Next story