April McGowan

Fighting For Rest


Fighting For Rest

For the past few months I’ve been learning to rest. Or fighting for rest. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference!

Our society teaches us to fight. Fight for freedom. Fight for your rights. Fight illnesses. The best publicized battles have to do with cancer. Having that positive attitude of overcoming with cancer can oftentimes make the difference between life and death for the patient. It’s good advice. However, resting is also good advice, so your body can recover.

Rest is not looked upon positively in the US. We’re to push through, get stuff done, and overcome. But you can’t overcome chronic illness. There’s no cure. There’s no end. So, what do you do with that???

There’s not a lot of advice out there for the chronically ill. When all the info out there says FIGHT and push through and your body can’t do that then fighting is often counterproductive.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean roll into a ball and give up. I mean not forcing yourself to keep going when you know you shouldn’t. Not fighting against your shell. Against your illness. Against your limitations.

Fighting is Hard Work

Fighting, mentally and physically, taxes your energy reserves. When you are chronically ill, you only have a small allotment of energy every day–and there’s no daily consensuses on what that amount is. You could do four small tasks. You could do one big task. You might not be able to do any. For days.

But if you are fighting, you will do less. Trust me. I’m living it.

So for the past couple months I’ve been laying low. I’m recovering from years of this battle. I’m learning to rest. Which strangely enough also takes a fair amount of mental energy. Because at first, it felt like giving up. At first it felt like quitting. At first it felt like losing. Lazy. Worthless. Nothing. Sometimes it still does.


I’m learning to let things go that don’t matter. I’m worrying less about other people’s expectations.

I’m still working on my own self-expectations. An ongoing theme of this blog! That’s a tough one. That’s harder than everyone else’s expectations all put together. But I’m getting there. I might never arrive–baby steps! This has taken a lot of prayer. A lot of submission. A lot of reliance on the Lord.

Do you know what I’ve learned? Sometimes it’s harder to NOT FIGHT than to fight.

I thank the Lord that He’s there, guiding this process and as I lean on Him, I’m learning more about His amazing providence, His loving supply for all my needs, and His wonderful grace.

Through Him, I can do abundantly more and less.

Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (read here)


  1. Janet
    Feb 2, 2016

    April thanks for articulating this so nicely. Fighting Depression gets one weary and it is very difficult to make myself rest when I’m overwhelmed. But that verse from Jesus in which he invites the weary to Himself and promises rest…that one brings such relief to my soul and peace to my spirit. Praise God that in our Weakness He is STRONG!!!
    Give me that PILLOW!!!

  2. Laurene
    Feb 2, 2016

    And yet here you have found the energy to write a blog post. I have not updated my blog in so very long because it takes a lot of mental energy. You are stronger than you think you are. Even when you are resting. Or maybe because of it.

    • April
      Feb 2, 2016

      It’s been ages, but I’m starting to regain some ground. Thank the Lord.

  3. fruitbearer
    Feb 3, 2016

    I know what you mean :). During 2 weeks of intense pain each month (because of Adenomyosis), I’m forced to rest. The world promotes do-do-do and go-go-go. God shows us the value of rest in His Word. Yesterday, I wrote a blog post on Psalm 37:7-8. “…Be still (rapha = be weak) before the Lord and wait patiently for Him to act. Why weak? God wants us to cease striving on our own strength and instead, submit to Him, lean on Him & His strength…” I’m glad you are resting more.

    • April
      Feb 3, 2016

      That’s beautiful! Thanks for sharing. I’m praying for your comfort and releif, A. Hugs.

  4. Dan Carpenter
    Feb 3, 2016

    I shared this w my lovely wife who often feels defeated when she is unable to accomplish her daily goals due to chronic health problems.

    • April
      Feb 3, 2016

      Please tell your beautiful wife that in His arms she’s held. ❤

What do you think? Leave me a comment :)

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