Last week, I felt my body start to give way.
Regular tasks at work took ten times longer than usual. Evenings that typically held loads of laundry and bread-baking were exchanged for early bedtimes due to zero energy. I had no focus to read. The sore throat crept in mid-week, crumminess resigning me to the couch. But even through the weekend, irritability. Exhaustion.
We’re making some big decisions – about homes, work, schooling. These things require a significant amount of brain space and trust and emotional attentiveness in conversation, and last week I felt like I could not carry on well with anything else, as much as I tried to sludge through.
An introvert and internal processor, I journaled to reflect on the week and noted something glaringly obvious. I had not carved out quiet. Although my schedule was not any more full that particular week, I had not compensated for my busy mind and preoccupied heart by creating extra space for silence amidst the soul-stirring decisions. I needed literal quiet, respite from the noise.
Busyness was not the problem. Noise was. I hashed and re-hashed feelings and opinions and numbers and didn’t realize until much later that I really would have loved two hours in a quiet room to sit with God. Not to read, or make a pros and cons list, but to simply be.
The Lord will guide you continually,
giving you water when you are dry
and restoring your strength.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like an ever-flowing spring.
Isaiah 58:11 (NLT)
I wonder if the times we most want to keep soldiering on are the times that God wants us to be quiet, so He can minister to us and refresh us and remind us that we’re not machines, but rather living, breathing, beings made in the image of our Creator.
There is permission to change the pace. To sit still and dig deep and not read or accomplish a darn thing.
There is a temptation to call it indulgent, or irresponsible, or whatever else you’re afraid of being named by those around you (or even yourself).
But there is a Voice who loves to speak in silence.
I’m learning how to listen.