This past week, I have been struggling to find the right topic to share with you.
Typically, blog and video ideas are overflowing or inspiration finds me. This week: silence. The answers haven’t been clear about what I should share. It has been uncomfortable and literally a blank canvas with silence, or as I now say, sigh-lence.
Throughout the week though, I found myself saying to my friends, clients, and myself “Be still.” A theme kept arising.
I kept listening to others’ frustrations with not being able to move forward past a challenge or not understanding why answers hadn’t been more clear for them. I totally understood. Over the past few weeks, I have experienced a silence in my work that was totally unexpected and a sense of being unsettled.
That’s when it occurred to me. I want all of the answers now. I’m being impatient. I want everything in its place – both physically, intellectually, emotionally, spiritually – you name it. Guess what – don’t we all?! My clients echo these sames sentiments too. That’s when it becomes so clear to me that we all want the same things. We want happiness, peace, and to know that everything will be okay.
Well, you know what I tell myself next and find myself sharing amidst this feeling of unsettledness:
I tell myself: “Stop trying to be in control. Stillness has its purpose. Being still and trusting is for a reason. Surrender. Completely trust that God has your back.”
How many times in our lives do we want clear answers and we just aren’t getting them?
How often do we long for someone to: Show us the way? Get that promotion or job we’ve been dying to have? Understand what path our children will take or what school is best for them? Know the clear direction when the road less traveled looks equally paved as the most traveled path?
If you’re anything like me, there are days that feel like a communications desert. The answers I’ve prayed for or the things I think I need are just not there. It’s silent. It’s like crickets. It’s barren.
So what do I do? Do I let go? No. Often I get busier or get myself too busy IN the challenge rather than honoring it for what it really is: an opportunity to stop trying to be in control and let GOD do the work.
Ahem. Isn’t that really just a nice way of God asking me to chill out? I see my clients do this too. They start to fill the void with low priority activities and tasks so that the silence is more comfortable.
I get it totally. I, too, say no to God’s needing me to be still all too often.
He knows my Betsy-busy-ness all too well. After all, He created me to be this way – one of my strengths is accomplishing a lot in minimal amount of time, but He also knows when to put a stop sign up for me.
Come back to me – and I will help you, He reminds me.
The reason the silence is hard is because of our impatient and totally human desire to want the answers right now.
We all need answers to challenges. The hard part is realizing that everything will be okay, but we have to rest and trust that He’s got it covered for us. That’s where faith is a big deal – a big, sometimes super hard, part of getting to a place of peace.
Sometimes, I have this vision of God with a football coach’s megaphone and He says something like, “My child. Here is what I need you to do.”
Wouldn’t THAT be awesome? That would solve all sorts of challenges, wouldn’t it!
Here’s the truth: During the times when I have trusted, surrendered, and let God take care of whatever has been a concern for me, He has taken care of it beautifully. Throughout my life, the beauty in how He took care of it (i.e. removing a toxic relationship, not allowing me to get a job, having an awkward confession, closing doors I probably didn’t want to be closed, being completely blank on a blog topic!) hasn’t shown up immediately. Some of the purpose of those hard and all-too-quiet times has taken 15-20 years to realize.
As I look back, most of the time when things haven’t gone well, it was because I wasn’t letting God do His work and I was trying to do things the Betsy way…and let me tell you…that never ever works. It really doesn’t work for any of us.
The only piece of advice I can share this week is this. When the going gets tough – whether it’s having a mental blank like I did, wanting answers to challenges to surface, or something more challenging – find a way to get quiet with God. I know that for some of you that may sound awkward. I know how you feel. Do you think this talker-doer was good at getting quiet at first? No. Not at all. I was TERRIBLE at it.
Try this: Find a place where you can get quiet and take the chill-out break that God needs you to take so that he can put your uniquely designed plan in action with you. This goes for both our personal AND professional lives. After all, He loves you and wants to work with you. He is not going to work against you. People may, but God won’t.
Then ask yourself these questions: Where do I need too BE STILL in my life. Really still.
Then listen: Maybe something will pop into your mind or you’ll sense the answer. Once it comes to you, sit back and be willing to let it all go. Give it all over, sit back and trust. Then – the hardest part – be patient and feel the peace the passes understanding as you LET GO. If you relapse – like anything, try, try, again.
You’ve got this. Let go and Let God. xo