When Stillness Feels Like Failure

Some days later, I sat in the balmy air of another Florida morning – on the back porch that is another of my sacred places – and I wondered:

Why does stillness feel like failing to me?

Can pressing on look more like waiting in the stillness and just breathing?

Does my value come from what I do? 

Do I really know who I am in Christ?  

Coffee in hand, I let those questions soak in and percolate for a bit. In the still and quiet, I tried to make room for that which hides beneath the surface to make its way into some open space. This is what wound up on the pages of my journal:

Often it may look as though I am pushing forward, rocking it out as a Christian wife, mama, and leader – maybe to others, maybe even to myself sometimes, but I’m afraid that I’ve left no room for the gentle, quiet voice of the Spirit to instill in me humility, self-control, gentleness, and faithfulness.

 I have been striving so hard to get the house ready, to prepare for Jude, to make life more fun for the girls, to get to Arvada, to be a part of Storyline. So hard, when what I should be doing is covering it all in quiet prayer – prayer for the house to sell, prayer for a new home, prayer for a safe delivery and a smooth transition, prayer for my girls and my parenting, prayer for Arvada and for the details of our trainsition, prayer for Ben & Lynley and our whole team. I have failed to lay a foundation or stick to the blueprints of what I know works. Instead, in this time of transition and change, I have been desperately trying to work my way out of fear.

And there it was: the revelation of truth in my try hard heart.

I am afraid of so much right now. The feeling small and the fear and the failure in stillness – it’s all connected. It seems that the best, maybe the only, way to continue to dig around this issue is to jump right into that which I am avoiding – the stillness. And God, in His sweet timing, has provided me with a newborn to help me do it. There is a cocooning that happens in the first several months of a new baby’s life…it can feel like loneliness but it can also be a beautiful gift.

Is there something God is calling you to make space for dealing with? Could we have eyes that see better if we made room for the soft-edged, sometimes barely visible Holy Spirit to do his work? Can we learn to feel less small by embracing more still?

I don’t know. I’m still working through it all, but I do know my Jesus. I know that He always gets us where we need to be. We must only keep pressing harder into Him.

…for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me. 1 Timothy 1:12

1 Comment

Add Yours
  1. 1
    Liza

    This is beautiful, Emily. My husband is deployed right now and I believe God is using the "stillness" of my house this year to teach me this lesson exactly. I, too, have a "try hard heart." So blessed by his words through you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *