Updated: Jan 19, 2021
Let me start by telling you something you may not know about me. I talk more than most people. I am one of those people who enjoys good conversation and is uncomfortable with silence. Can anyone relate?
I struggle with listening to people and even to God. I try so hard. I talk to Him all the time. I wake up with a praise in the form of a melody most days, and I worship through song for the majority of my morning. I pray, which is talking. I read the Bible and do devotionals, but its rare that I sit still, separated from everything and everyone, and listen to Him.
This is not new information to me. I did not just stumble upon my chattiness. If I’m being honest, being quiet is hard. My thoughts are scattered, random, and jumbled with unorganized thoughts. Talking helps me oragnize the chaos happening in my brain. Being still, separated and silent is so important though. A missionary told me that once when I asked him how he knew God was talking to him and not his subconscious. It has been over a decade, but that little truth bomb has stuck with me! Still, separate, silent!
My life is FULL! Anyone else? It is packed. Pre Covid-19, it was even more stuffed full and crammed with all of the busyness of life. I worked two jobs, had two kids, a husband, and two animals. I had a lot of family and friends. I had perfect health, motivation, inspiration, and discipline...I was immensely blessed, but I was always thoroughly exhausted. Somewhere between finding myself in 2017/2018, I had over planned and over booked and overachieved. I overpacked my days, and by doing so I lost myself again. We know “life is a great balancing act!” (Thanks, Dr. Seuss!) and then Covid hit.
Quarantine happened, and my life for the first time ever was pretty still. I hated it. I thrive on community, remember? I am EXTROverted. So, I trained my clients, taught my students , and had many long meetings through Zoom. Did I stop? Nope. I adapted. Then, I found out I was pregnant in the beginning of a global pandemic. I found out I was 10 weeks pregnant with a third child. I kept going though. I broke my foot a month after I found out I was pregnant, which forced me to sit down, and be still. My foot healed, and then I was put on bed rest because my doctor thought I was going into pre-term labor, which meant after six months of not doing more than walking to the mailbox I had to cancel my beach getaway vacation with my husband. I was forced to be still, again. Are you seeing a pattern yet? I started to...
God was asking for my attention, and I kept ignoring Him. So, He stopped me dead in my tracks. He halted my life as I knew it. What did I do? I listened. I quit my second job at the gym that I LOVED! I stopped training. I stopped coaching. I stopped focusing on the world, and I started focusing on my home and the four other people in it. I started enjoying quarantine, which doesn’t sound so bad hindsight.
School started back. Life was chaotic, again. I filled life with other things, instead of letting God fill it. I over planned, overbooked, over indulged... I lost my balance, again. I was so busy with all of the things that I forgot to enjoy pregnancy. I was so naive to believe that I would have the rest of Jade’s earthly life to love her. She never took a breath. She never opened her eyes. She went to heaven to be held by Jesus... forever!
I am so grateful God slowed me down, so I could enjoy Jade. 8 months in the womb was the blessing of her life, and in that short time I learned so much. I learned to be still. I learned how to be separate, but what about being silent?
Yesterday, I listened to a sermon given by a really cool dude. He is one of my personal favorites. Maybe you have heard of him... Steven Furtick? He challenged the church to make room for God’s blessings, so He can lavish us with all He has for us. I was profoundly silent listening to that call to declutter...I thought about my days and routines. I thought about how I could make room. I asked my inner circle what they thought I could do. Through talking it out with them, I was reminded of “still, separate and silent”. In that moment of reflection and reaching out, I realized I do not practice silence everyday. I do not listen to what God is saying to me voluntarily. Usually, He has to talk over me and my full life. I am so glad that He fights for me and my attention, but He shouldn’t have to. I should dedicate time every day to attentively listen to what the Lord is saying.
So last night, I sat still, alone, and listened to God. I laid at His feet, and eagerly I listened. I am going to continue this practice every day. Even though I worship. I pray. I read the Bible, and I share it... I now know that I must listen, too. I created space of silence in my everyday routine so God can speak to me... to truly listen.
Do you do this, too? Are you listening?