On Rivendell and Rest

Before Dave and I got married, I had a little list of things I wanted to do. It sounds funny now, but watching the Lord of the Rings series one more time was on my list! I love the epic story line between good and evil. I love the beautiful scenery too! And of course, the hero wins.

When Dave died 5+ years later, God took my mind back to Rivendell. At the end of the story, Frodo goes there to recover after his arduous adventure. In the movie, Rivendell is a gorgeous citadel nestled in the mountains. It’s characterized by towering waterfalls, beautiful light and even soft music. There’s a sense that everything is going to be okay…

After our own trip through what felt like Hell, God used the imagery of Rivendell to teach me about His peace, provision, and rest. The contrast was striking.

I am somewhat task-oriented; I thrive on to-do lists, sticky notes, plans and goals! Right away, I felt overwhelmed by extra responsibilities, which Dave would’ve done otherwise. I felt like it was “all on me” to keep the house in working order, pay the bills, discipline and take care of Lydia—not to mention working, preparing food, and trying to sleep.
Even in my grief, I knew could not do it all.

Then, in the midst of turmoil, God’s peace filled my heart. It was a supernatural calm, one I cannot adequately describe. Rivendell doesn’t do it justice!

In my mind’s eye, God gave me a similar sense of rest and tranquility, safety and security. It was extremely comforting. I didn’t need a game plan; I just needed to recuperate.

I knew, eventually, my heart would heal enough to take on other things. But in the meanwhile, I let God do the heavy stuff. True to His Word, He gave me “peace that passes all understanding” (Philippians 4:7).

Peaceful waterfalls

Slowly, God’s grace started to change—and heal—my heart. It was as if He told me just to rest, and in His time, He would see to it that everything was accomplished. And then, God’s generous grace for me allowed me to give myself grace.

I felt like God literally moved my personality default to a more laid back disposition. I realized I didn’t have to do everything, but only the most important things. I reorganized a few systems, like responding to mail and paying bills. I asked for help when needed. God also provided friends to help with outside housework, like mowing the lawn.

“Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).

As I clung to the Lord for support—minute by minute at times—I relaxed my standards and let some things go. I decided “close enough is good enough” for many tasks. At the time, I just needed to focus on Lydia and grieving well.

I may always be a checklist person! But now, I focus on what is most important—that is, joining God in the work He has for me. No more, no less. I am glad we can live in freedom and rest, knowing God is in control!

Because of His gracious love, we can live in peace and receive His provision.

God takes it personally upon Himself to help us. In Matthew 11:28, Jesus said, “Come to me, all who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”

Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, we can walk in grace, peace and Victory. Thank You, Jesus!

Questions: Can you think of any epic story lines or movies that have paralleled your journey? What have you learned?

What is God asking you to let Him handle, so you can walk in Victory?


4 thoughts on “On Rivendell and Rest

  1. This was a perfect reminder for me today that Earth is not our final home. I had an awful day. You know those days when everything seems to go wrong? Well that was my day. I also get a special high from crossing off my to do list, but am learning that I need to ask for help or let others handle some tasks instead of doing it all myself. I thank Father God that we have something way better than this life to look forward to.

    1. Hi Livi, I am sorry you had a bad day. Hopefully, you can get some help with your tasks. Maybe tomorrow will look better.

      Lamentations 3:22-23 says, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” God bless you!

  2. Natalie,
    Thank you for being so very brave and for opening your life for us all to see. God is using you in a mighty way. As women we want to be the fixers, we want things to be a certain way, and it is hard to let go and let God be the multi manager! I too feel that God has me on a specific journey using my talents and gifts. I believe He is wanting more time with me so I can clearly hear what it is He is asking of me. Thank you for your tender words and truth. It’s just like a breath of fresh air and a tug at my heart. Blessings to you, courageous girl, and your sweet Lydia!

    1. Hi Tammy, thanks for your sweet comment. I am thankful for the opportunity to share what God is doing (and has done!) in my life with others. It is exciting to live for Him. Thanks for the reminder of the importance and value of spending time alone with God so we can receive clear directions. 🙂

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