Searching in the Stillness

For a brief second, time paused. I wished I could live within this moment forever. Although, I knew this was impossible, I was hopeful because I knew this was a moment filled with promise. It was a  moment that was filled with foreshadowing of what the future would hold. A promise that this would not be the last moment like this.

Simultaneously, it was also a moment filled with fulfillment, the promises of the past had been fulfilled. This moment was a reminder that God would never leave or abandon me. I could see his hand in all that had happened and I could see his hand guiding me forward. While the future was unknown I knew in this moment that it would be filled with beauty from the God of abundance, goodness, and grace. Although I have known it all along, I was reminded that His promises never fall flat.

This moment was a glorious, albeit short, second in which I was cocooned in God’s arms. That was my night last night.

Have you ever experienced a moment so wonderful that you wish you could live in it forever; a moment where everything stills? I have, but honestly, in the hustle and bustle of life those moments have seemed few and far between, lately.

Last weekend I went to Breakforth One, which is a Christian convention with speakers, workshops, and worship. It was a beautiful refresher for my soul to stop and be. I felt clarity as things in my heart began to shift and as things were put into perspective.

However, as the weekend came to a close and I went back to real life, I quickly got caught up in going through the motions of life without thought or intention.  The peaceful stir that had flowed through me was quickly overcome by  a restlessness in my heart that could not be tamed.

Midweek I sat with glazed-over-eyes that were mindlessly staring at my phone. I felt a sudden surging desire to instantly get off of Instagram and minimize my time on Facebook. I needed to step back from the constant input of others’ lives into mine. So, without stopping to dwell much on it, I immediately deleted all social media apps off of my phone.

This is not the first time that I have done a social media “cleanse”, but this is the first time that I have felt an immediate stillness embrace me as I set my phone aside.  Other times that I have done this I have felt fidgety; constantly reaching for my phone.  This time an instant peace settled on me, clarity slowly began to return to me.

I wondered: how often do I actually seek stillness? How often do I stop to pause and ponder?

I don’t mean sitting and doing nothing, or going on vacation. I mean finding peace in my soul and stopping to truly explore what is happening within me, pausing to ponder what God is doing in my life, stepping back from what I think I should be doing to listen to what I actually should be doing, and finding stillness in God and allowing myself to dwell in his presence and search.

God was, and is, and is to come. He is always and unchanging. He is the God of all time and the God of time. God never rushes, everything is done in his perfect timing. And yet, those of us who claim to trust him rush and worry and try to force things into being.

God told us to, “be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).

God did not tell us to run around like a chicken with its head cut off and know that I am God. Nor did he say rush through life and know that I am God. He also didn’t say be all-consumed with the thoughts and opinions of the world and know that I am God.

No, he said be still.

Seek his presence and find shelter within it. There you will find stillness.

I think that when we find stillness in him we become more aware of his hand in our life. Our eyes are opened to the moments of beauty he has given us, we start to see him working. When we are still, we are prepared to listen when he speaks.

So we must search for stillness, but once we are still we must search within the stillness.

Often times I think that we get stuck in endless loops of confusion due to lack of clarity in our lives. The confusion leads to frustration, and soon our wheels are spinning frantically while we remain stuck. If we would just stop spinning our tires and rather be still, we would find the clarity we need and would quickly be progressing forward.

When I searched for stillness, I found it. When I searched within the stillness I found God’s hand continuously working in my life. The moments that I wished I could pause time seemed more abundant, or perhaps I had just slowed down enough to appreciate them.

A shift of perspective occurred within the stillness. I found myself filled with a sharp sense of awareness, yet no anxiety.

Last night as I dwelled in stillness and spent quality time with Wayde, I came to a realization. I realized that where I am now, while different than what I had pictured, is more perfect than anything I could have dreamed of growing up.

I was never the person planning out my whole life. Yet, I had large expectations for my life. As I stepped into stillness I was reminded that God has given me exactly what I needed and so much more.

I have the most beautiful husband, an apartment that is filled with love that feels like a home, and a supportive community. Even though, at times the road was rocky getting here, God has still given me all of these things. He has brought them to fulfillment.

In the stillness I felt God’s goodness and fulfillment in my life, and in the stillness I also felt God’s promises for the future. This moment was a reminder that God would never leave or abandon me.

When I take the time to seek stillness I am reminded that even if I feel confused, even if I am not exactly where I think I should be, and even if I am not at the same place others my age are at, God is walking through this with me and it shall all come together in his timing.

Be still and know that He is God.

It’s under control.

~S~

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