Embracing the Silence

frustrated woman hold her head with hands sitting on chair in living room, playful kids jumping on couch on a background.

Article by: Eleisha O’Farrell

Silence is one of the most uncomfortable things we experience as humans. Why is that? 

Possibly, it is because we have music and video streaming services right at our fingertips. Maybe, it is because we are mothers and teachers who are surrounded by noise for long periods of time, so silence is scary. 

It could also be we have a distorted view of the purpose and power of silence. 

If our friends or family are silent for even a few hours, we begin to wonder what we’ve done wrong. When we send a text that we know has been read, but they don’t respond immediately, we fear the worst and think something we wrote was misinterpreted.

Or, maybe silence scares us because of our innate inability to stop what we are doing—stop focusing on ourselves—and focus on our Creator and what He is trying to show us. 

Maybe silence scares us because of our innate inability to stop what we are doing and focus on our Creator and what He is trying to show us.Click to Tweet

As I sit in my living room, I see proof that we’re living a loud life: a floor decorated with toys and crumbs, three baskets of laundry yet to be folded, dishes from dinner that still need to be washed, and a kids show blaring on the TV.

My to-do list races through my mind between the sounds of giggles, crying, and the children’s songs. All I can think is how tired I am, and how much I still have to accomplish after I put my kiddos to bed.

 All the while, the Holy Spirit is gently whispering “Stop. Slow down. Listen.” 

Young black family sit on couch at home using devices playing game on smartphone.  Embracing the Silence

God is Not Silent; We Are Too Loud

Have you ever stopped to listen to what the Spirit of God is saying to your soul?

I mean, really, stopped.

Left the dishes, left the laundry, shut off the TV and radio, and sat down. Silently. 

I have, and it wasn’t even one minute before I was losing my mind because I couldn’t hear God say anything.

I have things to do and responsibilities that need tending to. I can’t sit all day waiting for a word! 

Or can I? 

Even when I think God is silent, He’s not. 

He is rarely silent; I’m just too loud. 

God is rarely silent; I’m just too loud.Click to Tweet

My lists, my responsibilities, my fears, anxieties, and my worries drown out the Voice of Truth.

Oftentimes, when I sit in silent communion with the Lord, He reveals things in my heart that I do not want to see. Things I would rather ignore than deal with. Because it takes too much emotional energy—energy I don’t feel I have—to confront the problems I only see in the silence.

The process of confronting those things is often painful. And long.

But fruitful. Liberating. Life-giving!

John 15:1-5 reads:

I am the true sprouting vine, and the farmer who tends the vine is my Father. He cares for the branches connected to me by lifting and propping up the fruitless branches and pruning every faithful branch to yield a greater harvest. The words I have spoken over you have already cleansed you. So you must remain in life-union with me, for I remain in life-union with you. For as a branch severed from the vine will not bear fruit, so your life will be fruitless unless you live your life intimately joined to mine. (The Passion Translation, TPT)

Is this resonating with anyone else? Notice how it reads life-union

Not crisis-union. Not heartache-union. Not trauma-union. Not emotional-union. 

Life-union

Christian mother enjoying some silence as her children color and draw on the florr

We Need Jesus to Survive

We live in a world that is continually moving and changing. We forget what we actually need to survive. Outside of food, water, shelter, and the basic things we take for granted every day, we also need Jesus.

We don’t need Him just to show up when we are on our knees boldly praying for a miracle; we need Him each day when we wake up to our beautiful, messy, loud lives.

I need Jesus to help me be the woman, wife, and mother that He created me to be, and there is only one way this can happen. 

I must regularly sit in silence and seek Him. I must learn how to turn off all the other noise and focus on what He wants to say to me as I dedicate time to prayer and Bible study.

I can’t expect to live a life of freedom if I am not connected to the One who gave me freedom in the first place.  I can’t expect to sit comfortably in silence, soaking in my God and King’s presence if I haven’t taken the time to get to know Him.

I can’t expect to live a life of freedom if I am not connected to the One who gave me freedom in the first place.Click to Tweet

I especially can’t expect my family and community to see Jesus in me if I am not willing to get out of my comfort zone and get quiet before Him.

Sometimes, there are no words that need to be said. Sometimes, silence is met with tears of sorrow and heartache, questions about why certain things happen. Sometimes, silence is the only way to get our attention.

Most times, embracing silence in God’s presence is the most peaceful, fulfilling environment we will ever experience.

Once we experience it, we begin to crave it.

Wecan’t expect to sit comfortably in silence, soaking in God's presence if we haven’t taken the time to get to know Him. Here's a place to start.

I don’t have it all figured out, but I am learning the beauty of sitting down, whenever and wherever I can, pulling out my Bible and journal, and listening for God’s voice.

Today, I want to encourage you to do the same.

Sure, it may be scary and uncomfortable, but let your Creator, Healer, and Comforter give you life. His silence is never truly silent. It’s an invitation to search His Word and find rest for your weary soul. 

Will you boldly accept the invitation to get uncomfortable in the presence of God for the sake of your life? Or will fear, worry, and the idea of control hold you back from leaning into all the blessings waiting for you? 

Will you boldly accept the invitation to get uncomfortable in the presence of God for the sake of your life?Click to Tweet

“So, above all, constantly chase after the realm of God’s kingdom and the righteousness that proceeds from him. Then all these less important things will be given to you abundantly. Refuse to worry about tomorrow, but deal with each challenge that comes your way, one day at a time. Tomorrow will take care of itself.” Matthew 6:33-34 (TPT)

-Eleisha O’Farrell

I’m a wife and mom to two toddlers. Formerly a special education teacher, I am now a stay-at-home mom. With many decisions ahead of me every day, there is only one way to make them—through prayerfully walking with the Lord and leaning in to hear his voice above the chaos around me.

Each month I share the things heavy on my heart and how the Lord is speaking to me at “A Mother’sHeart Exposed.” It’s a simple way to express how the Holy Spirit is working in even the mundane.

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