In Quietness and Trust

This summer hasn’t unfolded like I’d expected.

Then again, that’s been a common refrain these days.

I never expected to move home in March. That move changed my plans, but it was manageable. With a few adjustments, I’d still graduate on time—or so I’d hoped. I saw several doctors in my first few weeks here, but none of them knew what was really wrong or how to fix it. When I finally did get answers, they didn’t make my next steps any more straightforward.

The road to healing is long and winding and anything but simple.

So now it’s August and I’m not packing up to move back to school. I’m at home, helping my exhausted body fight off a slew of long-term infections. And I’m settling deeper into my place here, trying to wrap my mind around the next five months.

It’s been two years since I’ve lived in a place for this long.

And while it’s where I need to be, it’s not what I expected.

It’s not what I wanted for this fall.

I’m restless—anxious to be back in Nashville, to put this behind me, to just get better. But it’s going to take time. And I can’t heal if I’m not resting.

This summer has taught me all over again that there’s a world of difference between a lack of activity and rest. I’m good at doing nothing. With the internet at my disposal, I can waste days at a time in the constant chatter of facebook and twitter and instagram and pinterest.  

But that’s not where I need to be.

I need to be here, present to the life unfolding before me—even when it’s not the one I’d planned.

I need to read books and write things, to finish the crochet projects I’ve been working on for months, to sit on the front porch and listen to the rain when it falls. I need to take naps and journal without wondering what the rest of the world is doing in my absence, to have coffee with friends, to be where I am.

I need to rest. And to rest, I need to turn down the noise.

In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. [Isaiah 30:15]

Quietness and trust.

How quickly I run to fill the silence with meaningless noise, to tie up the loose ends, to make sure things are unfolding according to my plan. It feels new, this noisy world, constantly vying for our attention.

The medium is new, but God’s words in Isaiah make me think we’ve always been a people inclined toward distraction. So I’m shutting out the incessant murmur of social media for a season. I don’t plan to be gone forever—there are good things happening on twitter and facebook and instagram.

But right now, I need to know that even in my absence, the world goes on.

I need to learn quietness and trust.

I need to rest.

Life is noisy. It always has been. And the internet isn’t the only source of distraction. We all have things we hide behind—things that keep us busy and fill the silence.

May we have the courage to step away, even for a moment, and be where we are.

Even when it’s not where we had expected we’d be.

Photo by AllieKF, Creative Commons

I’ll be using Buffer to schedule tweets and Facebook posts during my absence, mostly with links to blog posts. Speaking of which, I hope to be back to blogging on a semi-regular basis this fall, but that will depend on how things continue to unfold around here.