Monday, September 12, 2016

learning in the quiet

It's pretty quiet around my house. Sometimes. Like at 8:05 in the morning when the kids are finally on the bus, and Adam is off to work and my mom (who lives with us occasionally) is out or still asleep. And I realize that what used to terrify me as silence isn't considered that anymore. I don't need talk radio or the Today Show on to keep my mind from racing. This was the case less than a year ago. I would have on podcasts or local radio stations or sometimes both in different rooms to keep myself occupied as I went about daily chores or checking off my to do list. I was uncomfortable with the silence because it seemed to scream at me about the absence of God.
Here's the thing though, God was there all along.  I was choosing blatantly to not notice, to turn away from His truths and spiral into lies instead. I was unsatisfied with where my life was for a number of reasons and instead of crawling into the hand of the One who knows all things, I tried to take control of uncontrollable situations. I fell into the trap that if I tried harder, took more effort and time, read a little more about the topic, ran a little longer, gave one more smile, that my multitude of varying problems could be fixed. Then, then I would feel whole and well rounded and happy. So by taking control of these things I was taking the control away from God. And getting myself nowhere.
Part of breaking that silence (just as with most people and secrets, or addictions or deep pain) was admitting the fault and brokenness. There was a specific breaking point where I remember the turn from darkness back towards the light. It was when I decided to ponder on scripture. Something I've done in the past, not anything revolutionary, not even specifically memorizing or anything intensive, but just pondering, reflecting, leaving certain scriptures out where I would see them often. Although I wanted to pick a catchy, lesser known, "cool" scripture, scriptures often choose our hearts. In the course of a week I had been told Psalm 139 over and over. My counselor had gently reminded me of it during the course of a session, a friend mentioned part of it in her post on Instagram, and it was discussed in a book I had been reading. I know well enough that once a scripture pops up in a number of ways over a short period of time that I need to pay attention. 

He was in that silence and He broke through that noise. With His very own Words. Through that well known Psalm He reached down to me and reminded me that I was not alone, that He knows when I wake and when I sleep. He gently reminded me that He also knows when I am avoiding Him and corrected my heart. He had never left me, He is always there. He knows me and my struggles (and my JOYS!) even better than I could know them myself. He is good. Always good.

Psalm 139
You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you.
19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
    Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
    your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
    and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
    I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.