The 7th day phenomenon was one I became acutely aware of in March of 2009. The kids and I were living in a woman’s shelter and I would notice the same event happening to each woman that came in after me.
If a woman arrived at the shelter on a Sunday, you would find that every Sunday she would be extremely stressed and usually threatening to leave or some other drama. I remember going in on a Thursday and so every Thursday found me unable to cope with the simplest issues that the kids would have and I certainly wasn’t up to be around other women’s troublesome kids. Even worse, I wanted out of there and soon and to hell with the house rules.
If you’ve read other parts of my story then you know that it was both a time of healing and intense learning for me. Not just for myself but so I can share with others as I hope I am doing now.
The book of Genesis gives us the story of Creation and tells us that on the 7th day God rested.
(The Message translation) Genesis 2: 2-4 “By the seventh day God had finished his work. On the seventh day he rested from all his work. God blessed the seventh day. Made it a Holy Day because on that day he rested from his work, all the creating God had done. This is the story of how it all started, of Heaven and Earth when they were created.”
From Sunday to next Sunday is actually eight days so the key is what you do on the 7th day. Just as its not advisable to work all week without a day off, it isn’t a good idea to be in a shelter or any environment consistently without a break in routine. For some women in the shelter they have to stay in doors for security reasons while others may have the privilege of leaving if they have to work.
Once the Holy Spirit revealed to me that this is what was happening, I spoke to the women willing to listen to encourage them to put it into practice. If that meant helping with her children on her 7th day so she could sleep, wash her hair or do her nails, I did and then she would do the same for me. Sometimes it just meant baking a cake or putting on some ridiculous comedy show to change things up. Taking a few hours just to focus on own own well being did wonders for our demeanor and there was a lot less stress in the household among the women and the children.
I did not make it an official study but from observations the women that came and left well ahead of their three-month limit all did so on their cyclical 8th day. Something would always trigger an event, which lead to other actions that pushed them to say “This is it. I’m going back.” Knowing this, can possibly help some women to find ways of coping on that day when the pressure to return to that old life is most overwhelming and they are emotionally and physically drained that they cannot be strong enough to keep standing on their decision.
This is not limited however, to women in a shelter. God created the 7th day principal because we all need that day of rest. Our land needs it and so does our life. Marriages undergo a lot of stress around the 6-7-year, 13-14, 20-21-year mark. These are signals not to give up but to re-evaluate and change the patterns that are not helping us live the life we need to have. It could mean changing a job so you can spend more time with your spouse or children; changing eating habits and increase exercise but make that change.
We need that day of rest. That day to stop and breathe, to give thanks, to praise.
Your 7th day can shift from time to time. A dramatic life event will shift your day and so its to recognise this. It means being aware of yourself and pay attention to your body. Even in the middle of the week when that stress hits you, it could mean its time to hit the track and have quick walk or run. I often find that I am extremely stressed when I do not write/journal. Since I spend a lot of my days writing its not usually my greatest desire to write some more. But the writing has a different purpose when I do it in my journal or on this website. Here it feeds me and brings me joy and steadies my connection to God that is personal to me and not necessarily for public consumption.
Find your 7th day and keep it holy.