Finding Quiet

Quiet is so hard to find.

I can be in a perfectly silent room… and need mental ear plugs for my thoughts.

Or for all the chitter chatter of Twitter, Facebook, email…

And when the earplugs are in and the computer closed, the phone rings.

Or there’s a knock on the door.

Or a thought slips through… with a list of to-dos.

Even if I drive to the most remote places on the planet… away from cell service and wifi…even there my thoughts will find me, filling the desired silence with bursts of memory, curiosities, questions, and answers.

Or I open a book… and enter the noise of someone else’s world.

Which can be a great respite… but is not quiet.

Where, then, can this quiet be found?

The kind that can escape the endless running of a human brain?

“God, are you there?”

And for a moment, silence.

Then thoughts invade again… “Nope, no one is here. Am I fool? But isn’t He here? Aren’t You?”

On and on that chatter goes.

And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.

Matthew 6:7

At last, when I’ve commanded silence from my own reckless bantering… it is then that I hear the still, small whisper.

“I Am.”

And it is before that voice, that quiet is found. Not just the kind of quiet in silence, but the kind that seeps into the deepest parts of the human soul and spirit, wrought with peace and a sense of “all is well,” even when it is not.

Sometimes, when He wills it, the voice is loud and booming… and the quiet of the soul that follows His thunder is like the calm after a storm… when one shudders to remember their size in relation to the entire universe.

How small thou art.

And it hits me.

It’s not the voice alone that brings peace… because for some, it wreaks havoc. The Voice of Truth has been known to flip illusions on their heads. Dismantle deception. Confront our boxed in ideas of life. This can be terrifying.

But for the one who wholly trusts that voice… to him does the true quiet come.

The quiet that can be known in the midst of a rock-out concert. A crowded Christmas market. A home (like mine) with four kids.

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.

Isaiah 26:3

The kind of quiet that steadies a home, a marriage, a heart… even in the midst of the storm… before its end when the world is rewarded with calm.

This is the quiet I long for. Which comes with or without a voice… but because of my trust in the One speaking.

Just as I can look into the face of my husband and know he loves me… even if he’s not saying it.

Or onto the tops of little heads snuggled into my side, squeezing me with all they’ve got… without their words to clarify it.

Trust.

Trust in the Creator of my soul, in the Potter of this clay, in the Artist in this masterpiece… Trust in Him is the silencer of all that wages war against peace and quiet in my life.

No matter where I am or how loud it is.

It’s quiet.

Inside.

{Dad} and the Bigger Picture

This, I believe, is one of the greatest lessons my dad has taught me…

One that has spared me many undue heartache.

One that I wish I’d learned much sooner… but am grateful to have learned at all.

The wisdom of living assumption-free, trust-filled, and believing in more than I can see.

To take in a circumstance with all that my eyes, ears, and heart can understand… and then believe that there is more to it than I can know… and to rest in the assurance that Someone knows. It doesn’t have to be me.

Though I often wish it were.

How easy it is to look at a weed… one sole weed… and determine that the entire garden must be over-ridden with this decrepit beauty-choker. What frustration, hopelessness, and despair could overwhelm me… if I never looked up.

Never looked up to see a beautifully flourishing garden… weed-free.

To pull just one weed and be at ease.

One weed at a time.

Or maybe it’s not a weed.

But a miscarriage. Financial loss. Death of a loved one. Disease. A broken relationship. An unexpected bill.

A friend’s comment. Or lack of comment.

An envied gift given to another.

Whatever it may be… it’s an opportunity to allow that one moment to suck you in and convince you that God is dead, life is unworthy of living, and what you see is all there is… and it is unexplainable. Unacceptable. Unlivable.

Oh how I’ve bore up under these moments! These lies! When I was convinced that death was far better than life! That my dad must hate me. That no one loves me. Not one.

Only to have my head lifted.

To see a garden… beautiful, weed-free… goodness that overwhelms a moment. A circumstance. A broken expectation.

To see that her death changed more lives that her life had… because of her life lived… then given over.

To realize the unspoken comment… wasn’t absent from mind and heart, just air.

That the loss of what I thought I wanted and needed… wasn’t what I wanted or needed… and I was free from the tangle.

To hand over something I did want… knowing that I can be better without it.

To surrender what I see… and trade it in for the hope of what is unseen. The knowledge that is unknown.

To recognize the command as an invitation… the discipline as life-sparing.

Hate… not as hate, but of a very hard love… a love needed to see true change. The hardest kind of love… but the truest.

To live a life that trusts the unseen, that believes and hopes in the greater… that refuses to waste pain for the greatness that can come from it. To be mastered by no moment, no fickle feeling, no thing that we’ve established as greater than we are.

Save One.

The One who sees all, knows all, understands all, offers all.

For free.

To rest in the assurance that I am loved and all is for my good. What a life of peace and security!

My dad has taught me this… through difficult lessons, unexpected surprises, moment of humility and regret at having jumped to conclusions.

May this be a lesson I continue to grasp… in every moment of every day, and live out in such a way that the world around me releases the hold of false assumptions, accusation, self-absorbed thinking, generalizations of each moment onto every moment.

And meet my dad.

Because he’d love to show you his garden.

Your garden.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.

Proverbs 3:5-8

To learn more about 31 Days in 2012 or view other 31 Dayers blogs, click here.

I’m spending 31 days writing about my confessions and the lessons {Dad} has taught me. This is day 8 of 31 Days in 2012.