I live surrounded by the cacophony of abundant goodness. It is full and it is noisy.
A voice comes from the heart. My voice has come. It has grown up in this heart.
Wounds had stifled the risk of speaking and even greater, the risk of being silent. Wounds can still make me retreat and want to pack up this voice and leave the places where I am heard and stop being courageous and go to the safety of solitude. Then I remember. I remember that God has given me the voice and He has loved this heart enough to give me the words and the places to speak. The places of holding my tongue come from Him as well.
Silence is golden.
Speaking means risking.
We can speak out of turn and then it is not our voice, but the voice of anxiety, pride or brokenness which fills a void. My true voice has come from the silent places. When I have been willing to still and sit I have been unraveled and I have sat in discomfort. Silence has not been the easy road. Solitude has not always been the comfortable place. As I have said, "no" and cut back from the busyness, I have made places of quiet where I am seen and vulnerable. The broken places are open to Him and He comes. Silence can ultimately bring a balm of peace. In silence I hear Him and I can receive the echo which I share in the lives of others.
My sheep hear my voice. His voice. He speaks -- the still, small voice. How are we to hear the voice if we do not come away from the din of life? We must slow. We must make the space. We must take the risk of quiet to find our true voice.
On the best of days I pull away from the hum and bustle, even for a moment, and I am with Him alone. I don't fill that void with my agenda, stack of devotional books, planned study of His Word or all my list of requests. All of those elements have their place in my walk, but in this quiet, I merely pour out and I sit open to receive. I call out to Him and I sit in waiting.
When my boys were infants and I was relegated to functioning with one arm for most tasks and I rarely sat unless I was nursing, and night and day bled together, I didn't find the still places as easily. Seasons come when even the thought of stillness and solitude evades us. It simply is impossible to still as we would like in these times. In those days I would prop His Word on the recipe book stand in the kitchen and I would cruise by it in the midst of the day. I would pause and glean a verse -- a word, a drop of water for a weary and parched soul -- and I would return to my mothering with a bit of refreshment.
As the boys have aged, they have learned to do things on their own for a time. I am able to go to a chair in my room, settle in and still my thoughts. I can refresh myself and redirect my thoughts by reading His Word or my devotion, but then I must be still. I am able to sit in His presence and pour out and wait. I fast from words and I open for His presence.
In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. ~ Psalm 5:3
I have sat in solitude and found Him present. He has given me words to speak and a heart to encourage and bless. I have found my voice. I am finding my voice.
In the quiet I hear the voice of my Shepherd. In the quiet I find my voice.