August 24, 2015

on silence.

"i've begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it. it has a quality and a dimension all its own."- chaim potok

i have never been fond of silence.

somewhere along the way of growing up, the silence became my enemy. it did the very opposite of comfort and instead, it was loud and buzzing with insults, criticism, and fear. eventually i learned to fill any moments void of outside noise with whatever i could--books, movies, music, and people, as often as i could find myself around them.

perhaps that was the start of it, but i'd like to think that i was made to crave words. there is something essential and spiritual to me about words in all mediums. but how often the most damaging sort to me, are my own.

words are how i live, thrive, and crumble.

i love people.
i love talking with them, engaging with them.

i quickly feel connected to someone after i share bits of my soul through words, and learn about parts of theirs. these words are the root of my foundations and are intertwined with the essence of my faith. talking about the things that dwell in my soul is what makes me feel whole.

simply put, i find comfort in the exchange of words. without the ability to use my words, i feel as if i am not fully functioning in the way i was meant to, from the beginning.

this has been a season of transition--a stretch of days, weeks, and months that has been filled with so many lessons for both our hearts and minds.

and, it has been a season light on words.

they have stuck in my fingertips, and stuck on the tip of my tongue.
and they have refused to fully form most times i have tried to push them out despite their defiance.
for months now, there have been times i've felt as if they have betrayed me.

my passion, dried up.

but the thing is, i think i'm starting to see why.

i've been learning so much of my heart lately, and that there is correlation between how quickly my words jump out of my mouth and how unsettled my heart is.

oh, how much i rely on those exchanges for comfort and contentment.
and the anxiety i feel when i come up wanting for words correlates so closely with the discontentment in my own soul.

i have reverted back to my default position, my good old survival mentality. once again, i viciously dread the silence. i allow my vulnerabilities, my faults, and my fears to scream at me once outside sounds cease. because i see my lack, and my lack of ability to fix my sin, and i push it down.

and i run from facing the things that need to be pulled out by their roots by proverbially putting my hands to my ears as i fill the silence, and add a stomp of a foot each time i hit "next" on netflix to watch just one more show.

i am missing so many moments of communion with God, i cringe at the thought of even trying to count.

so many missed opportunities to hear him speak through the chaos in my mind, and to calm the waters that rage in the moments void of sound.

there are countless passages that speak to stillness.
to waiting. to listening. to simply being.

be still. it says.
yet i am hardly ever still. at least not in the true sense.
how often instead do i grab my phone, bouncing from one app to another, until i calm my reeling mind (as if that ever really works)? or pulling up netflix when i have a short respite or a few moments to myself.

how do i expect to have words of merit flow out, when i resist putting anything of merit in?

so as part of a chapter ends and a new one begins, i have looking back at more and more unearthed sins and corners of my heart filled with complacency. corners i had forgotten about for years.
it has been messy at times, and fruitful too, though sometimes it seems the lesser.

and yet, i feel my heart being stirred to action.

i have learned more about patience.

and silence.

learning how to hold my words.
and learning to let them go, and to listen, instead.
beginning to pursue contentment, and inspiration.
instead of demanding inspiration (like that ever works).

and so here i sit, looking forward to learning to love the silence once again. to embrace it, drink from it, and let my words flow out from it. it won't be an easy process, but not many things of worth really are.  so, i am encouraged.

and for that, i am ever thankful.
because i know that God will meet me in it.


1 comment:

  1. Ashley! Hi!
    This is inspiring and was also the conviction of my heart today. Thanks for putting it into such beautiful words! It makes me smile to know you are writing, you are so good at it!

    Sarah Blair <3


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