We are built for God. We each have a hole in us that only God can fill. When God fills the emptiness within us, our souls are at rest. But when we try to fill that emptiness within us with someone or something else, we feel restless. Our souls might feel disquiet or uneasiness. We might feel like something is off.

The restlessness we feel is often God speaking to us. It’s God’s wake-up call, letting us know that there is something that we need to pay attention to. Perhaps we took a misstep or made a poor choice. Maybe we knocked God out of the center of our lives and are trying to replace God with other things. Perhaps our prayer lives have been neglected.

The restlessness we feel is God inviting us and drawing us back to this: letting God be the One who puts our soul at rest.

When we feel this sort of restlessness within us, we can stop, notice the restlessness, and ask for God’s help in clarifying what it is about. Essentially, when restlessness appears, we need to pause and check our spiritual pulse. We should ask ourselves:

1. How is my prayer life?

2. Am I investing in my faith, my family, my work, and my life? Why or why not?

3. Are there choices I’ve made that led me away from God?

4. What do I feel is missing from my life?

After checking our spiritual pulse and becoming aware of the reasons for our restlessness, with God’s help, we can readjust what is needed and make steps forward to do better. While the restlessness we experience doesn’t always feel good, we can trust that it is the gift of the Holy Spirit working with us to keep us growing in our relationship with God.

Becky Eldredge is an Ignatian-trained spiritual director, retreat facilitator, and the author of Busy Lives & Restless Souls. Learn more at BeckyEldredge.com or on Facebook and Instagram. Portions of these devotions are adapted or excerpted from Busy Lives & Restless Souls (Loyola Press, 2017) © Becky Eldredge, used by permission.