Thursday, September 10, 2015

Quiet, Soul

The Lord has been whispering to me lately. To quiet my soul.

And I have been asking the Lord what that even means.

So I prayed, and I read. I wept as I felt overwhelmed and cried out desperately for the Lord to show me what it means. What does it mean to quiet my soul? To rest.

Jesus gives us this great promise in Matthew 11:28-30. It's this wonderful verse I've known for years, but I struggled with the meaning. And then my friend introduced me to The Message version last week. And my soul said YES... yes, that is what I am looking for.

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

And slowly, surely, the Lord continues to lead me toward this rest. To reveal to me what this rest is and how I can get it.

It doesn't come without cost. But the more I follow the Lord's guiding, the less I care about the cost. The less the "cost" even feels like a cost. Of course, I'm stubborn, and I still don't know how to trust and obey immediately. I still say, "But are you sure?" to God and lay out that fleece way too many times. And God is so gracious to me and He patiently waits for me to respond.

The Lord started speaking to me on this subject because I was feeling uneasy. Anxiety kept arising in me, and it would leave me unsettled for a whole evening... or day... or longer. And so I started trying to figure out what the source of it was. Which is my typical response... try to figure out the problem on my own and fix it. At some point, it felt big enough that I realized I needed to include God in this. I needed to ask Him what I needed to change. He promises me rest. He promises it. And He also desires deeply to give it. And yet, I go around, hustling and bustling, anxious and overwhelmed, thinking this is just the way life is. But it's not... it doesn't have to be at least. God is showing me that.

So He put this verse on my heart. 1 Kings 19:11-13:

And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

Sometimes the Lord is in the wind and the earthquake and the fire. Sometimes He appears to us in fierce and catastrophic and captivating ways. Where we can't possibly miss Him. But sometimes He just appears to us in a whisper.

And I don't want to miss the whisper. If my life is busy and loud and overwhelming and full of anxiety, I'm going to miss the Lord appearing in the whisper. And I want to protest with a thousand "buts" about how I'm a mom to three under five and I'm renovating a home and I'm doing a small side business and I'm learning how to cook new meals so we can live healthier and I'm home schooling and I'm in a small group and and and... but Jesus' promise still stands. "Are you weary or tired? I will give you rest."

So, how do I find the whisper? How do I quiet my soul to hear the Lord, to feel the rest, to live without burdens?

It starts the same for everyone. It starts with going to the One who is holding out His hand and offering the rest. Tell Him you desire that rest. Ask Him how you can find that rest.

And then listen. And the answer won't be the same for everyone. And the answer will probably never be simple, quick, easy, and done with. It will require years and years of asking and listening, giving up and letting go, stepping out and trusting deeper. But He will answer. He will give steps. He will guide in how to be faithful and find rest for today.

For me, I recognized that a lot of my unrest was coming from Instagram. Social media. No surprise. Social media has always been an issue for me. I'm a people pleaser and a people worshipper and a glory seeker. Social media feeds me in all of those areas, beckoning me to come back... but it never fills me. I've taken measures over the years to limit my time on social media, but this time I knew the Lord was telling me to step away. Delete Instagram completely. 

I struggled with what He was asking of me, and so I didn't step away completely at first. I just deleted the App from my phone. And the silence from Instagram that week filled me with a peace that confirmed that I had heard the Lord correctly and I needed to obey. So I deleted it.

And for now, that's the step He's asked of me. I'm sure He isn't finished with me yet. I'm sure He will continue to ask more of me as I walk this faith journey of finding rest. But for now, this was His simple request. Delete the noise of Instagram that was in my life. This was His request of me. This was the unrest in my life that needed to go. I honestly can't say that I feel any less busy than I did before. But I feel a lot of peace. I feel less chaos, less pressure, less anxiety, less need to please, less overwhelmed. The crazy thing I have learned is that, in the words of Sarah Mackenzie, "rest doesn't mean ease." God doesn't call us to an easy life. But in my busyness, I can find rest and peace and quiet moments to hear from Him. That's what I am seeking.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

In the quiet place
In the stillness you are there.
In the secret, in the quiet hour
I wait, only for you
Because I want to know you more

I want to know you more.


  1. Been having similar feelings about social media, but I have a hard time balancing things. This reminded me to a eek the Lord and ask him what he would have me to do :) thanks for the refreshment!!!

    1. Finding balance is so hard! But I am learning that the Lord really is showing me how to do this better and better (I only freak out and feel overwhelmed about once a week now, so we're improving). Love you and love all that the Lord is doing in your life right now!

  2. As always, I enjoyed reading about what the Lord is teaching you. I have similar thoughts and feelings and have been trying to learn what it is to be present in every moment.

    1. I think every kid makes me feel the desire more and more to be present in the moment. They grow so fast, huh?

  3. I loved that Sarah M quote as well. Rest doesn't mean doing nothing. That's such a physical, superficial definition. It goes so much deeper into the depths of our hearts. THANK YOU for sharing The Message's rendition of those verses. They were so calming to my spirit! And thank you for listening to the whisper. It's beautiful to watch you do so!

    1. Thanks sweet Sarah. I love learning from you and watching you respond to the Spirit too. You've challenged me SO many times in my spiritual walk (esp. regarding social media), and I am so thankful for God's kindness in putting you in my life.