faith

when you have nothing to say

I have never been more speechless in my life. These past few months, well, nearly a year now, I have never felt more helpless, confused, astounded, and dismayed. I can count on one hand all the times in my life when I have felt this much despair in my heart, enough to keep me in bed or to keep me from joy.

It’s not that I don’t have opinions. Of course I do. But when it comes to opening my mouth and saying anything, I feel like I haven’t gotten my thoughts together enough to add anything to the already chaotic conversations swirling about. I refuse to attack and attempt to “destroy” other people’s arguments (which is really a nice way to say other people) and I can’t make sense of any side. There are always more than two, and it is always more complicated than many seem to admit and accept. I have found myself at a complete loss for words, which is quite disheartening for a writer.

So I have nothing to say. I keep my mouth shut 99% of the time and let the cacophony continue without me.

What do I do when I have nothing to say? I listen. I read. I pray. Oh how I pray. It’s a good thing God knows the wordless groans of my heart.

Read the Psalms. The impreccatory ones are quite good. Psalm 11 and 35 have done good things for my soul. Justice will prevail and there’s a good chance no one alive really knows what that will look like in the end.

Pray for a calm spirit. Be still my soul. Let fear and doubt be for other minds. Let MY mind be Christ’s mind. Let it be that my heart is filled with peace.

And all I have left is to trust Him. And to really understand what that means. Lots of people say to trust God. I wonder if what they mean is something like when a new mom says she’s overwhelmed and a more experienced mom says, Trust me… insert unhelpful statement here. It gets worse. It gets better. It gets different. Whatever.  But in this case, to really trust God, we accept that it could get worse before it gets better. We’ve been told as much. We’ve been warned that it will be hard for us to believe. We are told that the work we need to do is to believe, because it IS work. Trust is hard. If anyone thinks it’s easy, chances are they aren’t trusting in God for the right things. God told us to expect life to be hard, our way to be long and dangerous, our hearts to be disheartened at times, and our only strength God’s strength, not our own strength at all.

So I guess I’m not totally speechless. I just have found myself going back to the basics, Christian Life 101. I guess sometimes the only way to mature is to admit how immature I really am, how very much I need Someone else to change me and strengthen my heart. I’m guessing there are many of us out there, quiet, but confident, not in ourselves, but in the One who is at work, who always has been at work, and will see it through. Dear Lord, see us through!

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