Be still in the presence of The Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Psalm 37:7
Two years ago next month I began an intentional walk with The Lord, one I still continuously work on to build relationship with Him. It marks the biggest, most beautiful change of season I have experienced in my life. But, amidst the beauty, it has also come with trials, tribulations, heartbreak, and lots of tears. By no means has it been a faultless walk with choices I made and the circumstances I experienced. But, I will say with each hurt there has been twice as much grace—an amount of grace I can thankfully be still in.
So, what does it even mean to be still? What does it look like, what does it feel like to wait patiently for Him to act? In my Christian walk there have been many times I have heard the phrase be still in The Lord. Honestly, that statement brought me so much frustration more times than I care to experience. In hearing it, I was filled with confusion, ultimately leaving me feeling disconnected from God. In turn, this just brought me to more frustration and hurt, leaving me feeling like I was the only one who didn’t understand this secret to be still.
Along with beginning my walk with The Lord almost two years ago, I also began a walk of inner healing within myself. Along that journey also came a beautiful woman gifted straight from God. This woman came after I took a brave step in walking in to a counseling office in my church. Since then this women has been a voice of hope, an empathetic listener, and a loving heart with hands full of grace for nearly two years. I have been blessed with the great gift of watching her grow in completing her work experience, to obtaining her license, and now on her way to becoming a mother. Along with becoming a mother comes maternity leave. Though I am so happy for this season of her life, I will also be missing her weekly presence greatly. But, knowing that each season doesn’t last forever, I know we will be back to our weekly sessions when this season ends.
In one of my last weeks with my counselor, she encouraged me to intentionally watch the sunset every day of the week to just be still with The Lord. My first thought was…wait, that is my goal of the week? To do my absolute favorite thing and watch the sunset? If you know me and you have seen me at the golden hour of the evening, then you know how infatuated I am with watching God light up the sky in all of His glory at sunset each day. With this goal, my counselor advised, “…Be still with The Lord.” I interrupted with an irritated tone, “What does that even mean?!” It was like all of the times I had heard the phrase be still built up into one annoyed response that left me feeling defeated, alone, unable to accomplish the mission of being still in the presence of The Lord watching His fingerprints paint the sky above me. Lovingly, my counselor smiled back at me, as she always does, agreeing how confusing the common statement be still can be. So, she explained how this can be done…
- Showing up and saying, “Here I am, God.”
- Being mindful—what do I see, hear, smell, taste, and feel?
- Letting each thought come and go, not holding on to it longer than the moment.
- Loving myself where I am at and with what I have.
- Remembering to BREATHE.
Though my go-to spot over the years has been where the salt water meets a million tiny grains of sand in fierce, but gentle waves, I don’t currently have the luxury of walking across the street to put my toes in the sand quite the same way I did for the past 5 years. So, I have ventured off and found an untouched-by-Tiffany, quiet spot near my new home. This spot takes a short hike in some dirt, a surge of motivation to make it uphill, and a little more improvising to find the right place where I can stay comfortable, yet out of the way of any trail-walkers/bikers/runners/dog-walkers. So, I sit. I put my phone on airplane mode and out of sight. I whisper nervously in my heart God, here I am. I allow myself to keep my eyes wide open—naming and noticing each color, cloud, and thing in the sky. I feel— I feel all of the things happening inwardly as well as outwardly. I feel the grumble of my stomach saying I am hungry. I feel the fear in my heart wondering how seen I really am. I taste the cool winter breeze as I take deep breaths. I hear the birds, the wind, the dog walkers, the mountain bikers, the joggers, and the chit chatters as they walk on the trail. I let my thoughts come and I release them back to the Hands that are greater and safer than my own—freeing myself from fixating on one single thought/feeling/experience. I am still.