If there was anything I dreaded, it was silence.
When the night closed in, the hollowness in my stomach would hit hard. Singleness, aloneness, and the looming thought on repeat. Did I miss my chance?
I had gone through a divorce several years prior, something that took me far from wanting to set foot in the church. The healing wouldn’t fully come, and over the years I desperately tried to fill in the places of brokenness with distraction. I dated, bought all the cute clothes, changed my hair color, and filled my calendar with as much as I could to numb the pain. While none of these things are bad, it was the busyness and the silencing of my soul that was doing the damage.
But, you can’t escape the night . . . and when you are in the burbs, the quiet is very apparent. I would toss and turn and feel the deep aches within, screaming for attention. Over time the aches became anxiety, moving throughout my bones constantly. And soon enough my days became a battle to get through without feeling the pull of an anxious and insecure heart. Something had to change — I couldn’t handle the heavy feelings anymore.
I decided to make friends with Silence, and I would intentionally do so during the evenings before bed. Making a sanctuary in my room, I found a plush rug from Aldi and a friendly plant that sprawled across the corner of my sacred space. I added a small table with candles and a simple lamp. And, each night, as the evening ushered in, I’d light the candles and sit in silence. I would allow the heaviness and anxiety to fall upon me as I learned to sit still in the present.
I took notice of the anxiety that filled my stomach . . . and I began to welcome it with open arms. And then, slowly, I allowed myself to be okay with the hurt I was feeling — the parts that felt unfair, the angry parts that went way different than I wanted, and the parts where I needed to take ownership. At first it was hard; it was very hard to sit still and let the silence be alright. But then one night, tears began to fall. And they kept falling until, somehow, they soaked through my weary flesh . . . and began to soften my soul.
Sometimes, in these moments, I would play worship music and cry out to God. Oftentimes, I was asking why or demanding to know when I would feel okay again. But regardless of the approach, I began to ask God to come into the silence with me. And I chose to trust He was there with me — sitting by my side, holding my outstretched hands, healing my heart.
Over a timeframe of a couple years, I began to welcome the silence as something refreshing. I began to crave the present moment. I began to be okay with letting distractions fall away as I welcomed silence and welcomed the healing that happened in it. A lot of times it was not fun, and it was not easy. It first became an intention . . . and then a craving. Moments of silence turned into quiet walks as the sun was setting, candles in the cozy corner of my room, and inhaling and exhaling as I focused on my breath.
Silence has become a beautiful way to connect with Jesus, to be still and remember He knows the intricate details of my soul. It’s only in the silence and in moving away from distractions that I was able to see all that was possible . . . again.Leave a Comment