I needed a change of pace, but I didn’t know it.

In March, my schedule looked more like a wobbly Jenga tower than a calendar.

Someone would ask me if we could meet, and it felt like they had their finger at the tower, about to shove.  

I mean, my year didn’t start that way. My year started with Christmas break, it started with rest. It started with happily watching the Oscar-winning short film, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse and dreaming of England. 

I jumped into work with a well-ordered list of responsibilities. But I had one problem. I didn’t have a lot of margin. And when life started to happen, as life normally does, I had no room. 

Oh, I made time. There was still journaling in the mornings and Sabbath and even lunchtimes spent in the Prayer Room. But these times were starting to feel more like survival than living from the overflow.

I needed a change of pace, but I didn’t know how to get there.

Then I added an international trip to the mix. If I was wobbly—preparing for the trip almost toppled me over. 

Then I arrived in Mexico. Instead of sprinting around campus—I threw pebbles into puddles with my nephew. Instead of speeding to the next event—I read aloud a chapter book to my nieces.

And that was just the start.

Then I arrived in England. Yes, I opened up my laptop. I started work again. 

But I don’t know how to explain what it’s like to get emotional every day—not because I’m stressed, but because I feel so loved. England is one of my favorite places in the world. I love forests. I love coffee. I love bookshops and walks in the countryside and springtime. 

And to experience all of that in my spare time—well, I wanted to cry. 

And that change of pace was changing me. 

Early one morning, I was doing my routine reading. Naturally, I was in Psalm 23 a lot. I was in England—I couldn’t get away from it. I mean, I’ve had it memorized for a few years. But those phrases, shepherdlie downstill waters. Psalm 23 still got me.

But what stood out this time? 


Yes, I’m not joking.

That morning, I realized there was a full stop in a place I’d never noticed.  There wasn’t a comma after “He restores my soul”. It was a period. It didn’t run on quickly to “He leads me”—instead, there’s a stop. 

Now, I’m not an expert on Bible translation punctuation, not at all. I don’t want to over-spiritualize sentence structure. 

But the fact I noticed the full stop was a good sign that I was slowing down, finally. The change of pace had changed me.

That spring morning, it became clear. 

God’s heart is always to restore and heal me before He leads me “in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake”. 

Or, in other words? 

Often there’s a rest between restoration and direction. 

So, today, if you find yourself in an unexpected delay, or things don’t seem to be moving along, don’t worry. 

The change of pace could be changing you.

The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.

— Psalm 23:1-3 (ESV)