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The Terror of Quiet

This morning I gave myself permission to not run out the door. I was planning to race out of bed and go to fitness and adult streetwise class. But instead I sat with God. I wanted so badly to hear from Him, and I did. He said to just sit. Well crap, that’s what I suck at doing. Just being still with no purpose other than to just be still. To rest my soul for a bit, and instead of chewing on the thoughts and worries that came up, I handed them to Him silently; asking no questions and not asking for answers. I just emptied myself of the things that came up.

I am so good at running and hiding. Sometimes I run to God, but so often it’s out of sheer resignation; I’ve hit the wall on something or everything. I go in utter panic, and usually demand directions and answers. RIGHT NOW. Other times I just simply run from Him. I’ll let you in on a secret- this morning’s sitting with Him time was in response to an invitation and challenge I’ve had from God for over two years. TWO YEARS!!! I had the challenge placed on my heart to sit with Him for an hour. Seriously only an hour of being still with Him and it terrified me. I’ve been running for a long time.

You see, I’m lousy at slowing down and just being. There is always something racing through my mind- Worry about money, never ending needs of the kids, what’s for dinner, the underwear that needs folding, I have to color my hair right now, the zit that needs popping, or I have the coolest creative project that needs to be on my wall yesterday. I let those things pull my attention away and take priority in my life. I am fueled by adrenaline and am very good at avoiding deeper pain and emotional intimacy at times. I escape my pain or facing the matters of my heart as well as running from time with God by getting distracted or finding fun and adventure, or even dismissing it all together.

So yes, today I sat with Him. Can I share another secret? I only made it 50 minutes. I couldn’t complete my hour. But I quieted myself and sat. No prayer, no journaling. Just sitting at His feet. When the distractions came to mind, I simply handed them to Him. Nothing more. I even dozed off at one point…And it felt amazing and peaceful.

I’ve been working with a Life Coach for the past two months. I’m diving in to my wiring and personality, looking at what my strengths are and moving towards utilizing those things in my daily life… getting out of the dissonate state I seem to live in perpetually. One of the processes I’ve gone through is discovering my Enneagram number, and understanding that. It’s an ages old personality assessment that is wildly accurate at reading your mail once you land on your type. Some of my mail feels like junk mail, and some is the super fun letter from a friend that makes you happy. In summary, I strive to be excited. I like options, new adventure, fear boredom and complacency. I’m a free spirit that hates boxes and fences around me. I’ll keep life in a whirlwind and funny…. I am prone to overindulgence and impetuous and compulsive behavior at times. I love being fascinated with life and find the good and joy in things around me. I can’t decide on a track in life because so many things seem good. Apparently my type is fabulous at wanting life to be light and fun, and when things feel hard, escaping into activity and adventure. To the mountains or for a run, cleaning the house, organizing the nail polish, planning a trip or a new project. Running and escaping again. As a result of these revelations, I committed to my coach that I’d take God’s challenge. To be struck terror to say I’d do it, but this adrenaline junkie loves a challenge..

I used to think I was this emotional pendulum, swinging wild chaotic all the time. I’ve grown to understand that I feel intensely, passionately and engage fully in experience, and that it’s ok.  But I’m having to learn to temper my fullness with quietness… much like the steady foot giving gas while letting out the clutch. Not the right amount of either and I’m left stalled out and empty. But a fine balance can take you forward smoothly and maybe even fast, which I love…So I am shifting gears in to making the conscious choice to learn to get quiet and still. With God. I’ve never been able to just be still, yet my soul loves quiet around me. I just typically enjoy quiet while I’m busy or moving. Distracted.

What this has revealed to me is that I have easily stayed busy and distracted out of a combination of temperament and fear of what I discover when I’m left with myself. Quiet and still uncovers my lack of love for who I am and how I’m made, and doubting the God that made me with a good purpose. That I might actually have to believe what He says to me about me. To hear that He knew exactly what He was doing when He made me, but that He’s not finished with me yet. That my areas of struggle and deficiency don’t define me, rather they need shaping and refining to allow the full package of me to be fruitful and on target. I’m grateful for the process, and am so excited to discover a new peace with myself.

Peace to you….



About Erika Barrett

Endlessly curious and a strange mix of too simple and way too complicated, I'm in awe of the beauty and glory this life offers, celebrate resourcefulness and finding simplicity in life. I am a certifying LifeCoach, specializing in helping others find a way forward towards crafting a life of joyful purpose. I'm also Masters Level Practictioner of Splankna Therapy, which is a mind-body-spirit therapy model. I'm a currently single mama to three beautiful souls, and I love to be outside, adventuring and exploring, laughing, playing in the water and hugging those around me. I'm a believer that life is rich when we become aware of the little moments placed before us and embrace them fully-the joy, sorrow, beauty, love and pain. Life is too short to be so serious, yet there is so much devastating brokenness all around us that feels crushing. My writing is about a journey into wholeness and restoration. For me, you and those around us. So won't you join me in diving into our experiences and hearts? Feel free to share a thought or many, and please, please, love those you're with.

One response »

  1. Thank you for this. ❤


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