Honest

Running from stillness

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.

Honest

Figuring out the silence

I don’t think I talk about my faith a lot. I think I try to live it, I try to let what I do speak for who I am. I try to be kind, try to treat people how I would want to be treated. I try, to the best of my ability to make good life choices that reflect who I am, not who others are.
And today, in church, everything felt electrifyingly silent.

This silence isn’t new to me.

A couple years ago I wrote a piece for a now inactive online journal about my faith becoming broken and sitting in silence.

“It was a weird silence. 

Like Jesus, playing the part of the creeper in a horror movie, when just after the power goes out, calls your house so you can hear him breathe and then when the police track the phone call you find that the call is coming from inside the house.

Jesus was apparently in the house still.”

Normally, I write in an effort to untangle something. I write to figure out how to get to homebase. 

Right now I am writing to remind myself that I do have Christ inside me.

I think that, for a while now, I’ve forgotten that.

I know the words to say, I have full confidence in my ability to access my faith and my spirit.

But, I’ve lost something.

Recently, I had a situation occur in my life that knocked a lot of faith and grace out of me. I’m realizing how much it effected me as an individual, as a Christian, as a human who tries to extend grace and love to those around me on a daily basis. I’m realizing now, how much it broke off a part of me and caused me, subconsciously, to want to step away from those parts of my life.

It has caused me to question the foundational things of my life. Those things that cause me to love and be kind are still in me, but activating them and using them has taken more effort.

I didn’t realize that it was causing me to question my faith and feel tangible silence, because I was stepped on in a way that I don’t believe I have ever been stepped on.

Back in 2014 while I was in Spain, I had an instance where Kellen, someone who was an adamant speaker of truth and life and hard realities in my life, told me during a stressful, somewhat overwhelming portion of my six months that “I was the leader and I needed to love them through their shit”.

I think that’s what I’ve done since then in different aspects of my life.

And about a month ago I text him to yell at him because I felt like I’d been kicked in the face because of it.

When I started writing today, this isn’t where I was meaning to meander. I just wanted to figure out what was blocking me, what was causing the world to feel shockingly silent.

And over the course of these 500 words or so, I’ve realized that I’m feeling more broken and hurt than I gave myself grace for.

I’ve realized that a new wall was formed and my actions and the way I love people, albeit probably not as much as I feel, has changed.

My whole heart isn’t in it.

But, in that regard, it pushes me on, to know that I am capable of big love.

My need to protect, to be wary, shows that it is still there.

You don’t protect something a castle if there isn’t anything inside.

And the silence I’ve felt isn’t bad.

It’s space-giving.

I guess, what I want to say, at the end of this is that even when it seems like something natural for me, loving people and being kind and giving grace is a choice for me.

Actively. Every day. 

Part of it is tied to my faith in Christ, part of it is just inside.

But it’s still a choice.

And that’s ok.

I believe I will get those pieces of me back. 

I believe that I will continue to choose love and grace and kindness even if I need a moment to make those decisions.

It’s who I am.

Please, give yourself space to feel. Space to figure things out. 

Space to be.

Deep breath to the toes friends.

ramblings

pardon me as I ramble about prophecy & truth

(this blog is very much a ramble. It is a topic that I need to delve more into, that I need to push more into, but these are some of my thoughts on what I think it is to have the gift of prophecy and how this blog turned into talking about feedback)

 

I remember one night at debrief in Brasov, Romania sitting with my friend Julie sipping tea and eating microwave popcorn and pondering what the next month in Ukraine would look like and then before I could even contemplate what was coming out of my mouth, I was speaking truth to Julie, words I felt she needed to hear.

piclab-6                                                                                         (this is Julie. ❤ to her)

It wasn’t the first time this kind of thing had happened. I just felt that there were sentiments that God wanted me to tell her.

Nothing special in that.

Just a messenger.

Then she said something I won’t ever forget, because it was something that I never thought would be part of who I am.

“Meg, has anyone ever told you that you have the gift of prophecy?”

Who said what now?

We talked about that for a second longer but I just had it milling in my head.

I wasn’t quite sure I agreed with it.

Going on the race we had to do this little thing called “feedback” essentially speaking truth and words into the members of our team. Sometimes that was difficult and in the form of constructive feedback, hard truths that were difficult to say. I’d begun to get into this practice of praying for the people around me, not just my teammates but my squadmates, my leaders, even my friends at home.
piclab-7                                                                 (veracity teamtime in Chincha Peru//this is how we pray)

And I’d found that God just kept filling my spirit with words, with wisdom that I shouldn’t know about it.

If I’m being honest sometimes it wasn’t exactly the easiest.

The main feedback I got through the year was too make sure I wasn’t sugarcoating what God was telling me, which if I’m being honest, I did sometimes.

I know the saying is, “don’t shoot the messenger” but sometimes the messenger feels like they are going to get shot.

Here’s the thing:

I’m a HIGH feeler. (also key WR lingo: “What’s your MeyersBriggs?)

And I care how other people feel (sometimes too much) so to impart such a hard truth on someone, who I know well and love, is a bit too much for me sometimes. I most definitely got better at it over the months of the race though.

piclab-9                                                                           (feedback dice//need I say more?)

So to bring us back to the point, PROPHECY and TRUTH are two words that have followed me home in powerful ways.

I still battle with those words. Being able to speak truth to people doesn’t mean everything I say is straight out of God’s mouth. I’m just a mere person whose brain and heart can get mixed in with the words I hear from Him. Thankfully we can take the words he gives us and put them next to scripture and the things that we know is true of Him.

 

Because, our God is not a God of confusion.

Which is comforting.

I’ve had more than one person at this point now almost a year later from that conversation with Julie tell me that I had the gift of prophecy, of truth telling.

It’s beautiful really because I treasure words so much, and I feel like God wouldn’t bestow this on me if He thought I would haphazardly throw his words around. I pray them over before they come out of my mouth they just start flowing.

In which case I have to pause and collect them, and organize them and pray that they come across wholly as his and not mine.

And in all of this I’ve learned this: God is not always loud, sometimes He is quiet, sometimes he is not speaking. But He never isn’t there.

Delving into and praying through this gift has been a constant reminder that God is always in fact there.

From “The Big God Story” by Michelle Anthony (yes a kid’s book. I used to be a preschool coordinator at a churchJ )

 “But then something strange happened….God was silent for a long time. Nearly four hundred years passed without a word from God. Just silence. But even though God was quiet, He wasn’t gone. His promise was still alive; it was just hidden”.

God has blessed in the last few weeks with the confirmation that wisdom He is allowing me to here for others is from Him. But in all of this; God has been silent about me. I think that’s where this whole topic came from, the silence from God as it pertains to my life, to my walk, to my heart. I know God is there, I know He is close by. He is just silent right now. All the things he has said before are still true, still active, still moving. His plan is still in action right now.

piclab-5                 (beginning of month 10, Siem Reap Cambodia NSQUAD worship// another moment of silence from God)

Right now in my head, it’s a stream of words of truth for others and in the midst of that silence for myself.

And all of this rambling is just for me to say:

Silence is ok.