I’m sitting in a little room upstairs in our house. It has been repurposed three times in two years but now it’s a small den that belongs to me and my books and journals. It’s dark out and very cold. I come here to be with the Lord, to collect myself and contain my overactive mind through stillness. And writing. I’ve designated it a gestational space. It now has purpose and no longer serves as the depository for all things without a home. I like it when things have a home and better yet, a function.
Yesterday I sorted through files and drawers trying to bring functional order to my new space. I uncovered several things that made me pause. One of them was a file of poetry I had begun collecting in 1993; on top of the pile was a poem I had composed in our second year of marriage. A Christmas poem I signed and inserted in the cards I mailed out that year. I blush now, not because the poetry was too sing-songy but because I was pretty bold in pushing it on others. Not unlike sending a picture of oneself as a gift. (Cringe.)
I also uncovered a note book full of typed journal entries. I began reading as far back as 1993. I discovered that 22 years later I still have the same theme in my soul-unloading journal entries:
God, I need fellowship and connection.
God, I need a purpose.
God, I need to lose weight.
God, I need to be better at______________.
I also discovered that my emotional “issues” were present much earlier than I had remembered.
And, I noticed that I have always been a decent writer.
In this little room today, I am surrounded by words: God’s word, words of others in the many books lining the shelves if this womby space and words of my own all spilled out on copy paper and lined journals. I can’t deny it. I love words.
I determined the other day that I MUST simplify my approach to this blessed but seemingly disjointed life of mine. Rather than look all around me for purpose, I decided to apply myself to living my best life. That sounds cliche I know but it fits. I have always resisted taking care of myself, resisted what is right in front of me for some “grander” plan and have actively been running from myself trying to find something that would give my life meaning and significance. How absurd. I’ve been running from the validity of me for years. Can I say that?
There is the great need for “coming to stillness”, as Brennan Manning terms the quieting of self. This process of slowing down to the rhythm of God’s heart beat is so difficult for me. “Be still and know that I am God.” Those words come to me now and remind me of a way-off time when they were spoken to my broken heart and fearful eyes. I resisted them. The idea was too simplistic, too cavalier and unfeeling. Be still? That’s it?
This season of Advent I’m intentional about coming to stillness. In the hush His glory is heard with the soul and seen with heart-eyes. In the quiet my heart dares to grasp the wonder of my Savior. God humbled Himself to such a phenomenally low position that He might raise me to life. A deep groaning of gratitude stirs within me. This word girl is bereft of syllabic handles to describe the wonder of it all.
Glory to God in the highest.
Oh be still my heart and know this.