Other than the Y and random part time jobs that I have had here and there I have always worked at a church or for a Christian organization.
I’ve almost always been on a church property 40+ hrs a week.
From 2007-2012 I worked at a preschool and for some of the time also worked at the church.
(Basically, I lived there.)
But, in that I found myself among families and people that I could talk to and process with and be around.
Around 2010 the Wayman family came to the church.
And it was lovely.
Not only did I get to see their kiddos grow but I got to lean on and reach out and be mentored by Eric and Cathy.
They are two humans that I am so grateful for. I know that I was in the exact place I was supposed to be when they came to Lighthouse. They are two humans who walked me through some of the hardest, ugliest times of my life up to that date.
They’ve always welcomed me back with open arms, even when I wasn’t sure of up and down.
I mention them because I randomly decided to listen to one of Eric’s most recent sermons.
It was about solitude and noise in our lives and essentially how we are surrounded by it. Now, this isn’t new.
We all know this. We know that there is an immense amount of noise in our life. We are engulfed by it. (As I write this I am listening to music and texting two different people).
My mind is full of to do lists and assessments and assignments and 18 different tiny humans (probably more if I’m being honest). I’m thinking about what I can do to show my friends I care. I am trying to be present in people’s lives and present 40 hours a week in my classroom.
I’m trying to make space to be creative and to write and make good choices for my body.
So, today when I decided to sit and listen to Eric speak, I thought of sitting on the couches at Eric and Cathy’s house and I realized I would probably just sit down and burst into tears. It’s one of those few places that I would sit and stop.
Now, I have been stopping here and there. I’ve been learning more and more to saying no and staying in and eating apples.
But…sitting WITH God?
Not as much.
I’m slightly terrified of the quiet right now. Mainly, because quieting all the things would take a lot of work.
Opening my Bible stirs something in me. Praying is a little too close for comfort.
I wrote something for an online magazine a couple years ago. And I know I’ve quoted this exact section before but it resonates once again.
“Everything in me wanted to run.
I couldn’t handle Jesus any more.
He was being silent.
But it was a weird silence.
It was almost like Jesus was playing the part of the man in a horror movie, who just after the power goes out, calls your house phone, so you can hear him breathe and then when the police track the phone call you find that it is coming from inside the house.
Jesus was still in the house, I apparently just needed to go find him.”
Jesus is still in the house. He still lives here. My relationship has morphed and changed even since I wrote this piece. My life is ever evolving. My beliefs and truths are morphing and become more refined.
But, sitting in stillness still terrifies me. It isn’t something I’ve ever done super well.
So, I go back in my thoughts to sitting with Cathy on their couch or walking into Eric’s office on my lunch. My life wasn’t all roses and sunshine then. I was going through depression and sickness in my family. And whenever I stopped with them, I would almost always cry.
And that’s ok. But, I sat. And I stopped.
There are so many things I’m wanting to say right now.
I think what I want you to know that if the silence and the quiet scares you; you aren’t alone.
If sitting with whomever your deity is terrifies you because of the intimacy of it; that’s ok.
If stopping will make you burst into tears-let me pass you the Kleenex.
And if you have something in your mind that is changing, then explore.
Today, I disposed of the shame of feeling far from God. The shame of not being able to hear Him.
Today, I disposed of the shame of running. I didn’t stop running-I just stopped feeling shame.
Today, I disposed of the shame of a changed mind.
Deep breathes to the toes friends. We’ve got this.