As you wait upon the Lord, you learn to see things from His perspective, move at His pace, and function under His directives. Waiting times are growing times and learning times. As you quiet your heart, you enter His peace: as you sense your weakness, you receive His strength: as you lay down your will, you hear His calling. When you mount up, you are being lifted by the wind of His Spirit…When you move ahead, you are sensitive to His timing, When you act, you give yourself only to the things He has asked you to do.
i entered summer bone tired and weary from a long season of care-giving and loving of others. the One who knows my frame made it clear to me i was to step away from certain ministries i’d been a part of for a very long time. since obedience is better than sacrifice, i obeyed. it really wasn’t that difficult at the time, there was the natural end of the school year which always put these things on pause coupled with having my children home for the summer and all of the hidden work that comes from where we live and move and have our being. a couple of weeks before my youngest’s last day of school i penned these words in my journal:
i’ve heard it said that as swimming is to fish so is loving to a Christian. does a fish ever get fatigued from swimming?
my heart is struggling with fatigue, yes, but something else has taken root, something subtle, yet it feels a bit ominous.
maybe its time to go underground for a while. to hide away with my savior and work through what it is that is threatening my heart: a growing resentment for those who sleep ignorantly peaceful in their beds while the whole world is hurting. a resentment for not having control over being inconvenienced when it comes to strangers….or a call to love. an anger at being so alone in our way of living.
i’m finding it hard to be in the presence of others. i am aware of my inner pulling away….
something is wrong here.
i walked through summer with this sleeping dragon in my heart. my Wonder of a Counselor and i have been getting to the root of things and it has felt messy. and very difficult to explain. the light and warmth and fun and slowness of summer has been a nice companion, but community remains challenging. there have been conversations that have set my heart to churning and made plain the reality of my aloneness.
i’ve longed to write here as i live and process through this season. but have felt a quiet nudge to allow these stories i am living and struggles i am feeling to remain hidden….for a time.
and so i wait.
the voices of our day call out; “show yourself, show yourself, make your story known!” they are loud voices, constant voices, overpowering voices. so to find myself in this underground and hidden place, well i have felt this need to rush. to hurry up and learn what i need to learn; grow and process through, and then get back to work. for goodness sake, the time is short and there is no place for waiting or hiding, the investing of time in the inner man needs to be minimal, and the work that flows out of that needs to be made known.
but there are other voices. they rise above the noise. it is important that they do. because without the courage to speak of another world, another type of King, another Life, those of us traveling the narrow road lose our footing wondering if maybe we have made a mistake. i have numerous drafts written regarding this season of hiddenness, unpublished because i’ve been unsure. could i really declare this as holy work?
and then one ordinary day i am given the gift of these words:
One of the reasons that hiddenness is such an important aspect of the spiritual life is that it keeps us focused on God. In hiddenness we do not receive human acclamation, admiration, support, or encouragement. In hiddenness we have to go to God with our sorrows and joys and trust that God will give us what we most need.
In our society we are inclined to avoid hiddenness. We want to be seen and acknowledged. We want to be useful to others and influence the course of events. But as we become visible and popular, we quickly grow dependent on people and their responses and easily lose touch with God, the true source of our being. Hiddenness is the place of purification. In hiddenness we find our true selves.
Henri Nouwen via Shawn Smucker on the Importance of Hiddenness
waiting and hiddenness-i do declare it to be a wild and holy work. i am learning to see things from His perspective, more than ever going to Him with my sorrows and joys and learning to trust that He will give me what i most need. as i choose not to rush through this season, accepting what comes as direct from His hand, blurred lines are coming clearly into focus that it is He, the God of Israel, who calls me by my name.
to draw further in: proverbs 1:20. Isaiah 45:3; the hymn Be Still My Soul