I spend a lot of time in intentional silence. As the world streams around me at a million miles an hour, I retreat to a place where the noise stops.
It goes beyond the physical noise – TV, traffic, people – to that place where my thoughts quiet and I can hear the voice of eternity. I feel a hum of energy, this unfathomable cadence vibrating through me that calls me out of this reality and into the infinite.
In these moments of silence I cease to exist. I am no longer a single mom trying to balance work and life, or a busy professional feeling pressured to climb the ladder of success in order to feed my children, while I long ago stopped measuring my own success by such things.
In the silence I am not a woman terrified of a new relationship. I am not fighting this battle of being in God’s will and fending off attacks from the enemy that would have me believe I am not worthy of such a gift. I am not shielding my eyes from the blinding glory of purpose, where I cower amazed, humbled, and burdened by the responsibility of all this blossoming fruit.
I’m not sitting in the crowd, watching the movement from beneath the heavy curtain, and half hoping the cord will never be pulled and I will never have to face all of these things God has placed in my heart, which he has been crafting so diligently behind the scenes. I am not sinking down in my seat, hoping I will not be called to set foot on the stage, while resigned to its inevitability.
In the silence I see what is and what could be. The past is inconsequential, the reminder of failures eclipsed by shadows cast from the increasing light ahead. And for a moment, these burdens are lifted. My words are snuffed out by God’s Word. My spirit is settled within the all-encompassing peace of the Holy Spirit. The static quiets.
This is why I come to this place, where I get quiet before God and I find myself trapped amidst the beautiful commingling of purpose and futility. I am shackled by my weaknesses, yet empowered by the things God has done through those same faults. And all the efforts of the Enemy and the struggles I have faced become a sweet spice, adding flavor to God’s beautiful recipe for my life.
In my silence He is my voice.
In my fear He is my courage.
In my weakness He is my strength.
And then I open my eyes. The next door neighbor’s dog is barking. I wonder if it would be rude to leave a note on their door to ask them to do something about that. The toilet in the master bath is running again. I should get a new plunger from Home Depot. The kids are arguing about whose turn it is to feed the cats. I need to stop by PetsMart later to pick up cat litter. I realize that I forgot to finish my laundry this weekend. How irresponsible of me.
I drive to work, knowing that hundreds of emails and dozens of unfinished projects await me. I check my email on my phone and Harlequin still has not responded. A thread of terror tightens around my throat and I am overcome by the realization that my manuscript has been rejected again after I had such high hopes that this time it would be different. Will the same thing happen in other areas of my life where I am foolishly allowing myself to hope again?
The things of eternity fade. The noise rushes in, and I am once again riddled with doubt and fear. At a stop light I close my eyes and let it all in. Then I take a breath and find the silence again. For just a moment.
And a still, quiet voice whispers “Go.”
The light turns green, I put my car into gear, I press the gas, release the clutch. And I go.