Silence is a funny concept. Really, it just means that things are quiet. But in our life, it can represent so much more.
For example, I've had the TV on all morning while I was cleaning up, working around the house, doing my budget. There's an Andy Griffeth marathon on this weekend, and it's great background TV. I just turned it off, though, to come here, and in the silence I hear the sounds of home and summer. The refrigerator, the cats' water fountain, cicadas outside (that's a new one for me, the Washington girl).
I've been silent on my blog for a few months, too. My last post was from February. There's a reason I haven't posted since then: March. In a very short period I injured my knee, got bronchitis (for weeks!), had my identity stolen, 2 family members very close to me had heart attacks, one of those soon after broke his kneecap, my apartment was broken into and items stolen, and more.
It was overwhelming.
It was exhausting.
I was living in a mixture of fear and faith and confusion.
And while I was silent here, I couldn't be silent in real life.
The moment silence settled, fear or anxiety overwhelmed me. In a group of friends, at work, at home alone. My heart would race, tears would fall, I would envision the night I came home to my door busted open.
The problem is that a lot of prayer involves silence. When you can't pause, when you can't take a quiet breath, it's almost impossible to hear from God. When you have to drown out YOUR voice with music or TV or talking, you also drown out the only One who can truly give you comfort.
During this time I found a new tool to add to my arsenal. It's called Praying in Color, and it allows me to draw, write, and color my prayers. The first time I did it, I wrote out a verse that had impacted me and doodled around it... as I was doodling, I chose colors and shapes that represented what I wanted to pray. I thought through the words that God had been trying to speak with me. An hour later--a SILENT hour later, I ended up, not with a masterpiece, but with evidence that though I was still struggling, God was continuing to love me.
There are people in my life right now who are experiencing things far worse than my horrible month. Things I wish I could take away, but I can't. Even so, what I felt was real. What you are feeling, whatever you're experiencing, is real.
For me it was the silence that felt like it was strangling. But God showed me a way out of the suffocating, anxiety-causing, fear that wrapped around me in the silence. He will for you, too.
If you're stuck in fear, stuck and feeling like you're sinking, take a deep breath. It might happen right away, it might take a long time.
But He is yearning for you.
He is seeking you.
You need to reach.
He has a way out, even if it's hard. Maybe it's something as simple as praying in color. Maybe it's filling your silence with quiet music until you can be in peace. Just keep trying.