The word SILENCE has a few different connotations for me – some positive, some negative!
“Silence” – with French pronunciation always reminds me of my first year French teacher! Our class loved to chat so she was always telling us to be quiet in a dramatic French accent.
In the crazy madness of life a walk in a peaceful silent forest or park sounds like bliss to me most days. How lovely it can be to escape the rat race and get out into the wild nature to relax and enjoy some fresh air.
Today I took myself off to a silent office to get some very important work done without interruptions. The silence helped me concentrate but boy was it lonely.
I love it when my girls cosy up on the sofa beside me, silently watching TV or reading a book (it doesn’t happen often but it’s so lovely when it does). Or when I’m putting them to bed and we cuddle in complete silence – I usually relax so much I doze off beside them.
About this time four years ago I remember facing a challenging personal situation in work and one of the things that really struck me was the silence of some people. Friends and colleagues who I would have expected to be supportive and reach out to check I was ok, didn’t bother – their silence really surprised me. On the other hand, and more positively, people who I would never have expected to care got in touch or stopped me in the corridor to offer support and kind words.
Silence can be such a good thing at times, there can be a calming side to it but it can be discouraging too. As C.S. Lewis put it best…
Spiteful words can hurt your feelings but silence breaks your heart.
I get it! As I grow older I seem to find myself dwelling more on the silences rather than nasty words that are thrown at me. I think it’s because if I have a disagreement or face a challenging relationship I can talk it through (I’m a talker incase you hadn’t realised) with someone else to understand the motive or the intent and then move on. But silence, well it drives me slowly crazy as I never know if it’s an intentional snub or not. I don’t discuss it most of the time as I don’t want to sound paranoid or insecure when maybe it was just because someone was too busy with their own life to care about what is going on with mine.
I’ve been sharing on this blog for over a year now and I’ve been privately reflecting lately on a few different aspects of my journey. I can say hand on heart if I was doing this for likes, reactions or comments I would have given up a long time ago. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not perfect so human nature does kick in and sometimes I get a little discouraged when I pour my heart and soul into a post that doesn’t result in a lot of engagement – silence. And equally, when I get a random message from someone unexpected to say they were encouraged or really liked a post that does give me a wee boost.
I remember not long after I started the blog someone asked me how many followers or subscribers I had. I wasn’t sure, as for me that didn’t matter, I wasn’t keeping a tally – because sometimes in life there’s a word or a story or a person that touches your heart and they never know that they made an impact. I can look back on the last year and know that in the silences there was only one voice that really mattered to me – the voice that spoke to me and through me – the voice that reassured me that this was part of the plan, this is how, in my current season I can serve the Lord.
It’s been a wonderful learning experience for me and I’ve encouraged myself through the studies and research if nothing else. By putting my heart and life stories out there – sharing what matters to me and how I get through life I think I’ve become more focused on my purpose, more focused on what really matters in everything I do – turning hearts towards the King.
So if like me, you struggle with the silence, remember that there is an opinion and a voice that matters more than anyone’s silence. So much can be achieved if we focus on what we can do through and for God.
Embrace the quiet, embrace the stillness and trust in None but Jesus…
In the quiet, in the stillness
I know that You are God
In the secret of Your presence
I know there I am restored
That is the message I cling to and want to shout from the rooftops – so I’ll keep sharing in the hope that just one heart will be encouraged or interested in learning more about my Constant Friend and the benefit of a life with him by your side.