I cherish my quiet solitude. As a child I would escape to the golf course behind our house or the opening I’d created in our brushy backyard. Actually there were several spots I had for exploring and had made my space. I enjoyed my bits of get-away time but it never mean I wanted to be alone. Found places for my quiet space.
Making big steps/decisions as a teenager would overwhelm me to the point of panic & uncontrollable tears. I’d call home sobbing and shaking, hoping for consolation and the magic words of suggestion that would change my situation. Or for less hopeless situations in my teenage mind, I’d grab my mountain bike and rush away in such determination that nothing could stop me. Filled with personal determination I’d escape in my solitude; …a lake side with ducks for company…riding hard in the pouring rain till I was drained and could return… It was always something out of sight that gave me the difference I needed; for no one to see, understand or ever know about. My forced and determined quiet.
When I got married and my husband would go on hunting trips, it was painful to be alone. Longing for my husband would devour me. Staying up all night, eating more ice-cream than was humanly possible, escaping to the coast where my parents and sister lived were all distractions from this fit of emotions. It was devastating and crushing to not be with him but always filled back in when he returned. He had become my quiet.
Plans of family and future filled our home for years with questions, answers, plans and decisions. As kids grew I needed that quiet solitude for physical and emotional healing. I would withdraw to the bathroom or bedroom and let my emotions flow in tears. My husband learned to understand I needed these moments to process and heal from the overload motherhood and life created in me. I hadn’t quite learned that it was normal to process and unload. Being alone in my feelings though justified in my mind that I should be able to handle it and that I needed to just get over it. It was a troubled quiet but one I needed to survive; choosing to be there alone never allowed me to completely heal.
The kids have graduated from high school. Their choices, lives and futures rested on my mind and I willed these to stay. I didn’t allow myself to see I had no true control over anything anymore or that I really ever did. I had come and gone emotionally and spiritually with God; letting Him lead only to forget I’d given him leadership: inevitably creating frustrations and doubts once again. I let it happen over and over again knowing all along… whether in the moment or in the dark hidden chambers of my mind, that I was doing myself a wrong. God was teaching me while not letting me destroy myself completely, that He was my all, all along. He was always my “alone and quiet” that held it all together whether I saw it or not. All the other quiet moments I had used growing through life were good and given by God, but would have been so much stronger had I first gone to God for His quiet.
Now in this calm Sabbath morning as God creates a new day (ironically a day of rest) I’m reminded once again I can choose….choose to let the inevitably approaching, quiet, childless mornings envelope me; …choose to let this new venue, life says is next, change who I am; …choose to turn away from all my deeply passionate loved ones and friends when they reach out to me. But honestly these choices will only lead me backwards, back to the times of my forcibly created ‘quiet places’.
I am grateful to God in Heaven that He has not given up on me. Time has passed with memories made; also actions & choices determined thru emotion I cannot change. But today in the light of Jesus, I continue to choose to make Him my quiet. When self is strong He reminds me of our past quiet times. When Satan is tempting, the memories I’ve built, spending time with Jesus, are more vivid in my mind. Just knowing that nothing can come between me and my Lord is such a comfort and the healing I’ve always needed. I can be the daughter, sister, friend, wife & mom that God intended. God is gracious. God is good.
These are statements that will withstand any trial this world throws in our way. Stumbling blocks are real but God prevails for us each and every time.
What a way to start a day, let alone a Sabbath day. Being Sabbath is God’s gift to us to know and remember that He is and always will be our quiet place.
May you find rest today….this Sabbath friend