Friday, July 23, 2010

Be Still and Know

Stillness is not an easy state for me. Something upsetting happened yesterday morning, and a good friend offered to take my kids for a couple of hours in the afternoon so I could spend a little time alone to think and try to find a workable solution. The door closed behind them, and silence filled the house. When I am happy, I yearn for this silence, and soak it up like a dry plant accepting water.

Yesterday, my emotions were churning, and I held back tears for most of the day, trying to carry on with the kids like nothing was wrong, when something was aching deep down inside of me. We cannot ignore our emotions. We can only go through them. Circumventing and pretending won't get you very far; at a certain point, your house of cards comes crashing down and you must face what is gnawing at your spirit.

I bustled around for a few minutes, cleaning up dishes and toys, and finally forced myself to sit down in a chair. No phone. No computer. No novel. No pen and paper. Just myself and what was hurting me. I had to look at it, full in the face, and allow the tears to fall without censoring myself. I closed my eyes when the bulk of the emotional storm had passed, and concentrated on each breath, in and out, trying to quell the anxiety and worry.

Nothing happened for a long time. The butterflies were still fluttering around in my ribcage, no matter how deep the breathing was. I asked God to come and give me comfort. I asked for him to show me the way out of what I was feeling. Again, nothing happened, and I began to feel angry in addition to being hurt. I was reaching out, and I couldn't feel God when I most needed him. I must've dozed off at a certain point, because when I opened my eyes fifteen minutes had gone by, and one phrase was as clear as a bell in my heart and mind. "Be still, and know that I am God."

There was a peace that carved a small space out of my fear. I had walked through the pain and found the other side, and things were a bit easier there. Stillness and quietness revealed my salvation. The problem will still need to be addressed. Nothing outwardly had changed, but I didn't run from what was hurting me. I stopped, stared it straight in the face, and waited for it to blink first. I would've preferred to clean my bathrooms and cross that job off my list for tomorrow, but instead I sat in a chair, and waited to meet with God.

My friend gave me a wonderful gift yesterday - the gift of silence and space to be on my own. I'm grateful for this chance to find peace in the midst of fear and uncertainty. It took time, but it opened my eyes to the benefit of stillness in this ever-moving world. Sometimes we need to unplug, to sit down, and to simply wait for our souls to slow down and speak to us. I want to make more time for this still, small voice in my spirit. Less distractions, and more peace, but I have to be intentional about it, or it will never happen.

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