The very thing I want to do, I often don’t, and what I’m trying not to do, I do.
And so enters grace.
It’s a season of stillness. Of in-betweens. Call it the calm before the storm or existing in a white noise tunnel but I’m finding there are two options: run as fast as I can to avoid uncomfortable tension brought about in the stillness, or succumb.
To become stillness’ pupil. To surrender. To trust there is a lesson here that can’t be learned if I escape or busy myself or start writing that second book (don’t laugh- my husband knows this is my temptation). I considered going back to school to become a librarian and then realized I really like talking and laughing. Loudly. So here I am – succumbing to stillness.
But it’s scary. How long will the stillness last? What emotions will I find there? When will the stillness end? Stillness is scary. Succumbing feels even scarier.
It reminds me of when my kids experience a hard day. A lost game. Tanner recently witnessed a boy in his class being bullied by another. Then his goldfish died and he bawled into Bry’s shoulder- big ol’ heaving sobs. And my go to was to fix it. To hurry the hard stuff along and escape the unavoidable feelings that surface in the middle of tension.
It’s okay. You’ll win another game.
Just don’t hang out with that kid if he’s mean.
You can buy another fish.
See what happened though? I do that thing I don’t want to do. The thing I need the opposite of. The very thing I believe he craves is to have his tension validated. Tolerated. To plop ourselves right up in his discomfort and join him there. Ironically, I relate to our oldest. The sadness or confusion or angst that wells up inside when there is no answer or remedy or plan habitually invites something else to relieve the tension. Just make the hurt go away. Just get over it. Just try this….
I like to have plans. Checklists. Advice. But gosh, isn’t it so healing when we come alongside one another and just offer a hand or a hug or a hmmmm and allow that to be enough? Because underneath it’s still happening even if I try to move it along.
My sister in law Kristy called and offered the gift of words when I shared about succumbing to silence. Maybe you’re learning how to give yourself grace, she shared.
I think she’s on to something. Maybe by tolerating the tension of I don’t know or This is hard or There isn’t a clear answer lies a sacred hollow of something great. Maybe underneath all the stillness rests grace.