When I think of silence, I think of snow falling outside. This image perfectly describes the feeling of silence. There is something so peaceful about these moments. Everything seems so calm, and a hush falls over the area. Watching it snow always makes me stand in silence.
Silence has so much to say, but you’ll never know if you don’t listen to it. It is so beautiful and creates something that noise cannot penetrate. We have to become still enough to understand the power of silence.
Throughout many years, I always had so much in my mind and so many obligations that being still was very often wishful thinking.
I was going places and doing things. Being busy was my reputation.
However, I experienced depression and exhaustion for thirty years, and when I wanted to be still, I was too busy mentally and physically.
I would sigh and think, “Tomorrow, I’ll have time.”
Can anyone relate? Being still or quiet was out of my reach, or so I thought.
I was a mom, wife, busy with church activities, and a full-time business owner. These responsibilities consumed the majority of my 24 hours each day.
I wanted to have my quiet, devotional time daily, but it was always hurried and never enough! On top of that, I felt guilty for not doing it.
So, I would read books about how to be better at quiet time. I was looking for “Ten Steps to Productive Prayer and Bible Reading.” All I found was more guilt because I didn’t have the discipline to get up at 4 AM!
I think so many of us struggle with similar things. We want to find time to be still before God, but something always gets in the way.
During these seasons, God was gracious with me. He had ways to get my attention and talk to me amid my broken and busy life.
Some of my most memorable and comforting moments and conversations with God happened on the run as I was flying around the world and busy with daily meetings.
One example of this was when I was at an all-time low, flying home from a work trip in Indonesia. (In hindsight, I guess sitting in a plane forced me to be still.)
I had pulled the tray down to write on my legal pad. I was in the middle of making a personal decision that would’ve devastated me, my family, and my business.
The words rushed out of my pen and onto the paper. My tears flowed like Niagara Falls. I was angry and felt like I was trapped. I didn’t want to make a decision. I wanted a way out of my pain.
In my emotional distress with no way to move forward and certainly no way to undo my choices, God broke through the chaos of my heart and mind.
I hear it as if it was yesterday. He said, “Anne, I WILL make a way for you where there seems to be no way.”
That’s all He said, but it startled me.
My tears stopped flowing, and the words from my pen stopped immediately. The message was so clear I had nothing to say, and so I listened.
As I quieted myself, I realized the power of the promise – “I will make a way.”
It’s like God said to me, “I don’t need your help. I’ll do this for you.”
I was in disbelief because there was so much at stake, but the truth of His promise played out within the next several days, and I stood back with wonder. He did make a way without any effort on my part, which was miraculous to me.
I share this particular story to encourage you.
If you’re struggling with the busyness or the lack of discipline on your part to meet with God regularly, know He is with you during those times. He can break through the chaos of your life and give you direction when you most need it.
Decades after this story happened, I found myself rechallenged by silence and stillness. We had moved from Pennsylvania to Texas and learning how to surrender in ways we never experienced. (You can read about that story and how it impacted our lives in this blog series.)
This change took me to a place of quietness that I hadn’t experienced since my late teens and early marriage. It’s almost like God moved us to Texas to enjoy the beauty and wonder of being still.
I discovered silence in incredible ways because of our surrender.
Silence truly has a therapeutic component to it that makes you feel alive with wonder. I have learned to embrace the stillness, and being busy isn’t important anymore.
“Be still my soul” has become necessary for me during this season of my life. I call it “bless-ed quietness.”
Stillness and silence have become my lifeline to strength, peace, and creativity.
In my silence, I’ve learned there is so much more inside of me. It shouldn’t surprise me because God chose our bodies to be His dwelling place.
Out of His presence, there is a never-ending flow of thoughts, ideas, and creativity.
I would never have dreamed our move to Texas would be a lesson about silence, quietness, and stillness.
Be encouraged because God has limitless ways to connect with us, and one is through silence. When you allow yourself the gift of being still, God can reveal his creativity and grace to you in miraculous ways.