May 2, 2014

on learning to be silent.

"the one who doesn't know how or when to be silent doesn't know how or when to speak."   - donald whitney

there are words that won't come out.
so many thoughts swirling, stories still untold, and emotions that are begging to be let through words.

so many times i've tried to let them out, but nothing comes. i feel the urge to get my thoughts out, with such a strong desire to communicate in the way that my soul does best, and still my hands are still from writing and are clenched more than i'd like to admit. and still my mouth is forming words that aren't anywhere near what i'd hoped for.

some days only dry words lacking hope pass through my lips, unrestrained.

i've never been good at silence. i struggle to wade through five conflicting thoughts at once--some trivial, some life-changing, and a growing number anxious--and the noise quickly leaves me disoriented. so, i distract myself with anything i can and usually nothing that is beneficial for me--a chatter of netflix, social media, texting, and anything else i can grab onto mindlessly.

i know that none of these things are wrong on their own, and many have been tools of grace more than once in my life. but this perpetual stimulation of superficiality has only eaten away at my nerves and emotions. it has left them bare and misfiring.

whether i want to admit it or not, i need the quiet--my soul needs it. to sit in silence and listen, not to myself, but to the truth that is hidden in the depths. to meditate on all the words that God has spoken and use them as a lens, to filter all that the world and life and my own mind are throwing at me, instead of butting in--trying to drown out the chaos--with my own weak voice.

"come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." - matthew 11:28

i wish it came easily for me to be comfortable in the silence.
i wish that my ear was naturally tuned to hear that still, small voice speaking peace and grace to me.
instead my instinct is to struggle against the silence and when i do, a frustrated string of dissonant chords rifle around and cause so much chaos in my soul that i am only left more wanting, and raw.

as i've been working towards cultivating the discipline i know i need to overcome, i've started to see some of what's at the heart of this struggle. in my need for distraction from the noise, and for self-interjection during those quiet pauses, i'm fighting against God. it's in these times when i need my soul to be silent before him the most, and not surprisingly, where i find myself resisting it most fiercely. the more i resist, the more off-track i find myself.

and it usually ends in burst of hopeless, self-centered prattle, followed by a puddle of tears.

so here i am, in a new month and new day, and i'm trying to learn how to train these thoughts to cease (if only for little snippets of time). i'm working on opening my hands--letting the muscles relax when the urge to wring them comes--when the words don't and the chaos creeps in. and as i learn to stop my words that lack so much grace, leaving a pause for them to give way to graceful words that string themselves into prayers.

prayers for humility and strength, to not only be okay with the silence, but to embrace it. because i know that the more i seek (and ultimately find) rest in the arms of my God who is able to breathe peace into my mind, the more i will be comfortable in this skin, and with the words it breathes and writes.

it might be a little bit quiet for a little bit longer around here, but it's in hopes that fresh words will eventually flow and that they will be words full of life and hope, pointing to the source from where i draw my very breath.


1 comment:

hey, friend! thanks for your comment--so glad you're here!