the sounds of silence

In the days since we have started (but never finished) unpacking our bags and burdens into a new little house, on a new street, in this new town, I have made a new friend.

I come from the busyness of a not-quite-corporate office, filled up to the brim with friends who started as coworkers, but will never quite just be that.

I come from the hiding and seeking of a life filled with other people – every day, all day, every night. Almost all waking hours have been consumed with the nearness of others, in my heart and in my home.

And yet all of the sudden, silence has invaded every moment of my formerly-filled days. I work in the quiet, with the hum of my overhead fan and the faint tick of the clock. I watch timid and tiny branches dance in the summer breeze outside my window. I take deep breaths. I clean in the early morning hours, when I can feel the sun shine through the kitchen window as I wash away last night’s dinner. I go for long, slow, steady runs – my heart and lungs expanding to take in with every breath this new city. I work, quietly, diligently at the good work the Lord has called me to do.  I wander into the kitchen far too often to find something to eat. I make full pots of real tea with water boiled on the stove, because there is time for that.

From just before half-past seven in the morning, to almost the same snapshot of the clock 12 hours later, I sit in quiet.

The silence shreds my self-esteem. I ache in the quiet hours for voices of affirmation, for smiles, for laughter at my terrible jokes. Silence is emptying me out.

I like being busy, being needed, being on-call 24/7. I am still those things, but it’s amazing how much more balanced they feel when you sit in quiet all day. It takes effort to reach out, but it’s so much easier than reaching in. And in these days, I’m forcing myself to reach in.

I am choosing to seek in this season a new cadence of solitude, of self-discovery.

It is easy to cling to the Lord in times of turmoil. But what does it mean to cling to Him in times of quiet, to leave space and time for Him to work?

I think about Isaiah, when the prophet is warning the complacent Israelites of the coming strife – and then, the coming savior.

What does it look like to dwell in the house of the Lord?

“And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever. My people will abide in a peaceful habitation,
in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.” {Isaiah 32: 17-18}

I long for those things in my heart and my life – righteousness, quietness, trust forever. The Lord has given me a quiet place, to rest, reflect, and work. It is a season, and one that is harder than it seems for a perfectionist and people-pleaser like me. But He is continuing to do a new work in me, in a new way, and I am trying to welcome it with open hands.

 

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2 thoughts on “the sounds of silence

  1. I started following your blog after I read your post on Relevant’s website. You are a thought-provoking, wonderful writer and your honesty is refreshing. I really enjoy reading your work and love when you have a new blog post up!

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