It’s okay to be alone. This the the thought that I’ve been pondering the past year or so. Since having kids anxiety has washed over me for many different reasons. Some triggers have felt very real and imminent. Like after bullets ripped through our first home, inches from where my firstborn lay asleep. Other times my panic has been brought on by more philosophical wonderings. Questions like, do I really trust this God I love with these tiny humans that came from my very own flesh and blood?
After having my daughter this past year, two questions started filling my head and heart. Do I really trust the promise of life after death my faith gives? How will I handle the quiet, when these loud years pass? I thrive on loud.The first question has prompted me to dig deeper and learn more about my faith. I’ve been on a journey; reading, praying and seeking to know Jesus more. I want that peace He promises. The second question points me to the fact, I’m not okay with being alone.
I’m an extrovert. I often joke I have a five hour limit on the amount of time I can spend on my own. Once I hit that five hour mark, I start growing restless. I usually end up driving to Target, just to be close to other humans. Since having kids this has been less of thing, since you aren’t even alone in the bathroom.
As I watch my kids grow, I’m struck by the precious passing nature of life. These moments come and go faster than I have the capacity to process what has been. In light of changing tides, I wonder, am I ready for what comes next? Will I be able to let these little ones go? Will I be okay in the years to come, when the loud morphs into something new?
For some reason, my eyes are being pointed to the quiet. In God’s almost comical way, I hear in my car on NPR, I read in my random library pick, I discover in my bible study and through some random article I click onto online; in all these places I am being reminded that God speaks in the quiet.
I know it’s possible for God to shout to us in the loud. Yet, the bible shows us that God prefers the quiet. He mostly spoke the the patriarchs through dreams or wrestled with them in the night hours. He came upon Mary in her sleep. The Psalmist describes God “as a quiet retreat” (psalm 119) and he instructs us to “cultivate a quiet heart” (psalm 131).
As a lover of “loud” facing my fear of quiet is a challenge. To see that alone is good, feels wrong. To look ahead to a future past yelling siblings, dramatic tears and bathroom pow-wow’s, without fear and a tinge sadness, is a struggle.
I think many of us struggle with this same reality. Modern life is so loud and distracted. Unless we carve out space in our lives there is no room for quiet. We can go our whole lives avoiding the tough questions. I want to live my life at peace with God, now. I don’t want to wait for the hard stuff. The forced silence. The moments of loss, to know God is real. I want to be okay with being alone, wholly confident that God’s love will meet me, carry me, in the in all the seasons life brings.
God promises, if we seek, we will find. In the past year, I’ve started to find new truth’s that have pushed back the tide of anxiety. I’ve started to discover peace when I used to only feel panic. I’ve started to understand the miracle of Jesus, in a personal way, beyond the inherited faith of my childhood. This gives me hope! I will be able to weather well the seasons of both joy and pain that my future likely holds. I’m also assured that, if you seek, you also will find. Peace is waiting for you too.