Habitual Stillness

Photo – mine. Taken of me at Rockport, MA, possibly my favorite East Coast location.

I have this propensity for staying still. 
For wanting to be in a moment and stay in it for so long, unwilling to let it change for the peace and feel I hold while in it.

Now it’s right about here, reading those two sentences, where anyone who knows me at all is probably exclaiming a resounding “HA! Yeah, right!”

Since birth, I’ve been a mover. More like a bouncer. I go from place to place in a conversation, in a room, like a hummingbird on “enhancers”. And talking?? Think of it this way (about to date myself): think WAY back to a little show called Blossom….Remember Six? Yeah, I can actually talk that fast. Coherently. (ish) I used to do it in elementary school and the laughter would follow immediately from the lunch table. I was a hyper kid who transferred into a “spirited” adult.

I enjoy change. I thrive on the adventure of it. Meeting new people is truly one of my favorite things. Learning a new area, exploring, see what new mysteries my Director-Abba wants to reveal to me.

Yet at the same time, I ache for the quietness of a moment to endure. The blanket of a stillness encounter – I am awe-struck by and I find myself not wanting to be torn away.
Most of the time, this applies to a time I’m in nature. Sitting on cliff’s edge, camping amidst towering trees, simple rivers, standing beneath thousand year trees or driving through countryside…I’m starstruck without having to see a single person.

However, the other instances where I’ve overwhelmingly felt the desire to remain have been in seasons of friendships as well. I will always hold certain semesters of college as the most beautiful of times in my life. Amazing people, close connection, forgiveness, support, and inconceivable fellowship. Other moments of such bond exist at other times in my life throughout the years. I sometimes, in a moment of unexpected random, find myself stopped in the sheer thankfulness of having experienced those times, with specific people in multiple locations. A treasure difficult to describe.

And other times, ones I’m not proud of,
I fight to remain in my flesh.
My unbelief.
My sin.
My chains.
I scrape to be left alone – to be unmoved – when He’s gently yet persistently calling me “rise, get up and walk“.

Credit: Flickr megan.barton

I make a habit of disqualifying myself. 
It’s a devastating confession.
One I wish didn’t apply so readily to my days.
I’ve been praying to see Him, feel more of Him, not just know.
I’ve been asking for my faith to increase. My understanding to grow. 
Because I’m frozen in my fears and lies and I have no motivation to escape it. Even knowing the truth hasn’t been enough (that confession stabs) because I’m still telling myself I’m safer here, than if I leap and crash and hope and fail and fail and….
Allume is coming
and I contort in the pain of not going.
I pine to go. 
Tears fell at seeing it this morning.
For it’s not easy to do.
At least not for this girl.
How people budget for the total expense is truly baffling to me.
But maybe I’m just…who knows. I’ll leave that alone.
I’m in awe of the scores of beautiful souls that attend.
I’m trying to open-palm this.
For I harken for this as deeply and strongly as I would a writer’s retreat/workshop/conference.
(And just to scale – that’s an ENORMOUS dream.)

But I cannot put this on a pedestal. I cannot hold attending a retreat as an idol. There IS a fine line and difference to wanting something and feeling like you have to have it because it’s necessary and vital and breath-giving and…that’s the dangerous territory we can get ourselves into. Even when looking towards something He could be desiring for us to experience too. But we cannot replace His throne with a symbolic cow. No matter how shiny or seemingly innocent. The end result has to be desiring HIM over desiring something.

I tell myself these things this morning. 
Bringing my vision back into focus. 
Bringing my hurting, aching, parched heart-of-trying-to-dream, to His feet and holding it bare-open, nodding that it’s ok if He takes it and casts it aside. For I know that He will only do so to replace in my hands something far more breathtaking. Something His. Unequivocally designed by His love rather than my limited imagination and flesh.

So I finish this morning not devastated by limits I see. (Okay, so I’m still a little devastated – but at least much less so!) [full disclosure]
I’ll finish this typing with more prayer and deep breath and attempting this complex called ‘surrender’. 
And the ‘Amens’ resound…

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