I love people! I love being with people, around people and meeting new people. There is something soothing to me about opening my ears and heart to another person. Lately (I say lately but really more like the past year or so), I have found solace in silence. Weird right?! Who would ever think an introverted person like myself would find comfort, let alone, enjoy silence? Now don’t get me wrong, I have never had a problem being alone. I think part of growing up as an only child (unless you count my little brother Renoir, who was a Schnauzer) prepared me to be at peace by myself.
But the older I got (14-24) I found it really difficult to be alone in silence. As a matter of fact, I did everything I could to prevent what felt like deafening silence. It was in those moments of what others consider tranquility, that my mind would race. And once that cycle stared it was hard to turn off or even slow down. All of the choices I had put off, situations I had endured, plans, expectations, disappointments, designs for the future…they rushed in like high tide and consumed me. And so I began studying, sleeping and even in my moments of boredom ensuring there was noise. Be it music, television or people.
As I matured, I realized that people were the easiest and quickest fix. Almost like a drug I craved being with others. When I can focus on the lives of someone else not only did my issues seem smaller but then, for that moment, I could forget about my own. Geez, when I word it that way it sounds selfish. But, using others regardless of the reason is selfish. And just because they don’t realize they are being used doesn’t make it any better. What does the angst with silence in my formative years have to do with life in 2016? Great question, kinda simple answer: I have formed a love for silence! Say what? Yep, this girl who still loves a good barbecue and group fellowship thrives on silence these days. The difference? In the past, silence was a doorway to depression, and time of reminder of all that was wrong. These days, I have a relationship with a person so deep and intimate that I long for silence and protect it like Fort Knox (the place where the US gold supply is held).
It’s in this silence that I can share my truest thoughts (nice, bad and ugliest) and even better, I can hear from the very Source of life itself. See, I accepted Christ at the age of 19 but it has taken me almost 12 years to establish a true relationship. Kinda like how we know “of” people don’t know them personally…that was me and Jesus. And as cliche as it sounds, the silent moments of my day are priceless because I can just.be.still. Instead of feeling the pressure of all I’m not or haven’t done, I am reminded that I have life. I have peace. Joy. Love. Imperfections. Sad days. Make mistakes. Mess up as a parent and wife (and boy does it suck when I hit both of those notes on the same day). But despite all of that and so much more, I am loved by the One who knit me together in my mother’s womb. He shows me the prayers I’ve never had to pray and the blessings of now I may have overlooked. The power of quiet and silence can heal, strengthen and renew. When is the last time you shut off the distractions of the world and just allowed it all to go silent?