Be Still and….. No.

The quiet is hard.  I knew it would be hard, distraction is so much easier than quiet.  Quiet is uncomfortable.  A little scary.  It make’s me itch, not physically, but just a restlessness underneath my skin that I can’t quite satisfy with a peace that seems just out of reach.  It’s in me, that peace, that contentment.  It’s mine to claim, to access, to call forth, I know this because I experience it in waves, along with gratitude and thankfulness.   When everything else is stripped away though, the noise and call of duty from kids (happily engaged with neighborhood friends), work in a sustainable ebb and flow, and the vacant hole where true, soul refreshing, community used to reside, there is a quiet that is unsettling.   In that quiet comes the still small voice ‘Am I Enough?’…. ‘Will you sit with Me?’……..

It seems so baffling and backwards, to not want to melt into that, not be MOST grateful for this season of time, space, quiet, but if I’m being completely honest, my first response is ‘No’.

I would feel ashamed writing it, but its not like it was a secret I was keeping from God anyway.  He knows.   It’s why we’re here.  I know too.  Denying a truth doesn’t make it any less true.   It’s not that I DON’T want to be with God, I absolutely love His presence and enjoy feeling Him close by, we’re just getting down to the brass tacks that my truest truth is: I want God, and……  I want God, and…. Family, friends, health, wealth, peace on earth, and good will toward all, cancer cured, and a full social calendar.   You know…. just a few little minor things.

People.  My greatest strength, and weakness.  I love them SOOOOO much…. Sometimes TOOOOO much, that it confuses my priorities, and I begin to think they are the source of my happiness, they can/will bring me fulfillment.  I suffer the consequences of this daily, and yet can’t seem to learn from my own mistakes.   I have more examples than I can list, going round and round this issue.  I love them so much that I struggle with fear and anxiety over anything happening to them…. and I mean anything, ranging from death or disease, to minor inconveniences like my kids fighting me over doing math, or spelling correctly, and what if in 10 years they can’t get into the college they want?  They leave to go have fun, and rather than enjoying the peace and quiet, I worry about car accidents and kidnappings.  They bicker with each other, and rather than letting it roll off my back, I worry I’m not raising kind and compassionate people.  If it’s not fear and anxiety, I can swing all to quickly to anger and resentment, for them seemingly not appreciating how hard I’m working, the sacrifices I’m making to LOVE them.  Love is not supposed to feel like bondage.  Love is not bondage.  Love is a gift, the greatest gift, to be enjoyed, adored.  Love set’s free.  This is truth.  His truth.

But.

He doesn’t force His truth upon us, we have to choose to accept it.  Over and over.  Trusting, over and over.  Believing in His goodness, despite a world gone BLOODY BONKERS!  A world in rebellion.  A world not quite satisfied with God, so looking for their own God, and….

Works.  My other go to salve when the itch of stillness starts to creep up my spine.  The truth of this world still biting at my consciousness, that if I can do better, give more, sacrifice more, work harder, create beauty, hustle…. Then ….. Fill in the blank… I’ll matter, I’ll be at peace, I can out work feeling pain, loneliness, whatever.

He tell’s me to ‘Be still and know….’   and my response is ‘No’?   I can’t make any sense of it.  It’s absolutely bass-akwards, but currently…. it’s where we’re at.  I’m making progress, day by day.  Years ago, the aversion was so strong my subconscious would auto-numb even the idea to sit with stillness and quiet for even a second.  Now, I can feel its presence close by, inviting me in and I will pause and contemplate the idea, inching ever closer toward it.  When I boil it down, much of my current apprehension stems from being in detox to the rabid pace we kept in D.C, and a decade of littles.  I’m simply out of practice from even being NEAR quiet or stillness, but there is an underlying apprehension that predates that.  Before I had the ability to take a thought captive, stillness and quiet were not my friends.  There was a darkness in that quiet before kids and those first couple years with kids, where insecurities raged, and lies were the only voices I could hear.   There is trepidation associated with going back there, even knowing the truth that I am not the same person, and feeling the warmth/light within the invitation now.   I appreciate, so much, that the invitation waits.  Loves patience is unending.  It’s an entirely different feeling than before, and ultimately, it’s what’s drawing me in.

He began a good work in me, and He will see it through to completion.  Eventually, I believe, the tension that comes with each step of obedience will give way to joy in each step I take forward, toward Him.   He’s growing a patience in me, that slows my internal tempo from the breakneck pace that accompanies the perspective of this vapor of life world we’re living in, and is resetting the beat of my heart to an eternal tempo.   The ties to this world are loosening their grip, but the tension still remains.

With all that being said, don’t cry for me Argentina….  My prayer when moving was that God would take care of my family, if I followed His lead….   My standing joke with Him now is that I SUPPOSE I can ‘suffer’ the quiet here 😉  He is SO good at being patient with me!

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