Kaylee, I’ve got this GREAT Bible verse for you. I reaaallly think it’s going to help you. Here goes: Be still and know that I am God.
Apparently I was born for this verse. I wear my anxiety on my sleeves, and by that I mean, you can mostly find me crouched down in the corner of any room, sweating and crying, scared and nervous, about most any-everything. Even a butterfly can catch me off guard and send me in full retreat.
And so it goes that over and over in my life people would quote this verse to me. In fact, it’s been said enough times to me that I started to think maybe there was something to it.
I filed for divorce a year ago. I had no idea how to quiet the storm and so I ran to the shores of Lake Michigan every weekend and sat. The sun would beat on my face as the tears poured down my cheeks.
I’d sit. And I‘d try really hard to be still.
Ten minutes would pass and I felt no more still than ten minutes prior. I’d try meditating or staring at things but my mind would actually then obsess about not thinking. It was terrible. Sometimes I’d pause for a second and think “AH! I did it! OMG, I did it!” only to realize I was pretty sure I hadn’t.
I’d even sit and stew on the word be.
Am I been now? I’d wonder. Is this begon? Is this the be now? Am I BEAN yet? Aight, I’m done being be.
I felt like such a being-still-failure.
And I felt so much shame with the inability to master this verse.
SIT DOWN, Kaylee. I’d hear in my head, like an angry father would say to his child standing on the dining room chair. SIT DOWN, and don’t ask any questions. I’m God. You’re not. Just SIT. DOWN.
And this scared me because I have a lot of questions. Because I don’t always know how I’m feeling or what to think and so things sorta rattle around as I try to figure them out.
But sitting on the tan grainy sand, with the waves crashing and my heart beating, I learned that I know how to be still. But the stillness was nothing like I had anticipated. The stillness has been a process of choosing to create time and space for answers to unfold.
Being still wasn’t about figuring out how to un-twiddle my thumbs or how to stop myself from thinking. It wasn’t an order to sit down and shut up; rather, an invitation to show up and speak out. In the words of Brene Brown, “stillness is not about focusing on nothingness; it’s about creating a clearing. It’s opening up an emotionally clutter-free space and allowing ourselves to feel and think and dream and question.”
I know God is God, and some days this simple fact gives me great comfort. Other days, I wrestle with my humanity and inability to control or completely understand. What I learned this past year is that the knowing part isn’t always immediate. Last spring I didn’t know all the answers and I didn’t have words for it. I just knew my truth. A year later, I know much more about myself and my story.
I spent a lot of time in the stillness with God this year - grief has a tricky way of pulling you into solitude - and it was here in the stillness that I KNOW God in deeper, more intimate ways.
My prayer is that we would continue to pursue our humanity by creating space:
For our questions.
For our minds.
For our heart.
Space to talk with God. Space to wrestle with God.
An invitation to think and dream and question.
Grace and Peace.