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Silence….

August 5, 2009

It’s been almost two months since I’ve written anything here. I’ve thought about it often. I’ve tried to write but everything came out sounding hollow and empty. I didn’t have anything funny or creative or deep or meaningful to share so I’ve been silent.

silence

I’m learning that silence is OK. I’ve spent a large portion of my life running from silence. It’s always felt heavy and overwhelming to me. Alone with my thoughts, I can fall victim to all sorts of crazy rabbit trails.

Sometimes I hear the lies in silence – the ones that tell me I’m not good enough and never will be. The ones that tell me I have nothing to contribute….and on it goes. I’m sure you are as familiar with those lies as I am and hear some of them too.

Sometimes in the silence I experience regret. All the things I wish I had done but didn’t. All the things I did but wish I had not. I’m sure you are familiar with that drill as well.

The silence that scares me the most, however, is the silence where I experience nothing. The silence where God seems far, my thoughts can’t settle and I feel utterly alone. This is the silence that I run from the hardest and the fastest. Turn on the TV, Jump on the Internet, Call somebody, Read a book. Anything to escape from the silence that seems crushing and empty.

I think God has had me on a journey these last few months. I’ll be honest with you, I haven’t turned to him much – in fact, I’ve turned away more times than not. I’ve felt alone, I’ve felt burdened, I’ve felt scattered and confused. I’ve wondered where the person I knew ME as had escaped to. I’ve wondered if I would ever again feel like the dreams that were part of my heart would live and breathe again. And I’ve tried to run from the silence.

Here’s what God has been teaching me lately, in spite of all my running, my shortfalls and my confusion. Silence can be beautiful. I’m learning to listen more and talk less. I’m learning that I don’t have to call somebody as soon as I get in the car to escape being alone with my thoughts. I’m learning that those moments before sleep when all is quiet and it’s just me and my thoughts are grace-filled moments where God is pouring comfort into my soul. Comfort that I need to keep going. Comfort that I need to start living from my heart again and breathing life into some of those dreams.

I feel a little bit like King David:

21 When my heart was grieved
and my spirit embittered,

22 I was senseless and ignorant;
I was a brute beast before you.

23 Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.

24 You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.

25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.

26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.

27 Those who are far from you will perish;
you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.

28 But as for me, it is good to be near God.
I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge;
I will tell of all your deeds.

I didn’t know if but God has been working in the silence…holding my hand and leading me back to him. My flesh will continue to fail, my heart will continue to fail, but if I learn from this maybe I’ll start embracing the silence.

What have you learned from silence?

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