Posted on behalf of, and written by, one of my best friends, who has inspired me over the years.
I have dedicated this year to Courage and making room for God. I challenge myself to look, feel and move beyond my fears. To live in the NOW and work through the feelings that causes me to retreat in fright. Those feelings of fear of the physical, emotional and spiritual. Busyness is abundant in my life. In my head, I am constantly thinking, moving, doing. When I am weak, heavy-laden and waiting, the noise begin in a different way. It is dismal and petrifying, loud and negative.
The Gift of Silence
There have been three times in my life when God has blessed me with the gift of silence in such a profound way that I can only describe it as holy.
- The first time was in a moment during childbirth. The calm during the process of labor that entered my being brought me to a place of comfort and peace. It could only be described as divine. It was an outer body experience in a few moments.
- The second was years later after my beloved father passed away and I continued for months grieving. The storm of grief would hit me and I would feel like the world was swallowing me up again. On one occasion as I stared out into the ocean a calm invaded me, the thick salty tears subsided and all I could feel was serenity. No hurt, no pain just the wind in my face and the vast ocean sprays.
- The third was when lumps were found. Voices came into my head, “it’s just a cyst… a lump… What if it’s worst?’ There were stories from everyone. They all emerged in my head, everyone knows someone.
I tried to shut out the noise in my head. In my prayers I asked that there be just plain lumps, nothing to talk about, a benign lump. I have been described as a strong woman. I have been perceived that way my entire life. But I was terrified. I was terrified to even say what I thought it may be. Everyone said things like “you’ll be okay.” Did that make it okay? It did not nullify my fears.
I could not turn off, turn down the fears nor the noise that entered my head. I could not control my family and friends stories or the way they seemed so sure all would be well. And I could not turn of the gnawing feeling that I felt. It felt that they were saying “it’s no big deal and somehow you’ll find the strength”.
Then one day as I sat in my kitchen waiting for the results and crying as quietly as I could for fear of my daughter seeing her mom in such pain and fear, I felt something which propelled me to walk outside into my back yard. In that moment, one bird appeared on my fence and suddenly birds appeared. I stopped. Birds were all around me lining the fence. They descended on my lawn.
The Peace That Passes All Understanding
Then calm swept over me. What can I tell you? The deepest peace flowed through me. I stood in complete silence watching and feeling. All the noise, all the hurt, all the tears were gone. The birds as quickly as they arrived on the ground hopped back on to the fence and in perfect formation took to the sky. The quiet erased the fear and confusion in my head and heart. That moment became a prayer. In that moment if it were cancer, if it were something that I needed to remove for other health reasons, I knew I’d be okay.
God gave me the gift of that peace. Great moments of peace come to me now in the stillness, in the moments that I choose to observe them, the times I set aside just for quiet. In the moments I don’t set aside but God says “this is exactly where you are supposed to be, in the now.” We are never promised tomorrow, all we have is today. I still practice giving God some part of my day alone. Our time. He is my power source. What I wouldn’t do just to sit in God’s presence. I have learnt that once I sit in His presence, Pausing and making room for God … that peace, it will come to me.