Seasons of Silence

Imagine you are driving on a mountain road. You start sometime mid-day and drive until dusk. It is a beautiful view as you twist and turn, ever climbing towards the top. There are cars behind, following the rhythm of back and forth, winding across a ridge only to ascend further up into the heights. The road may not be familiar, but it is similar to ones you have traversed before, and so you make the drive with the ease of a seasoned traveler. Dusk fades into inky darkness, broken only by the headlights sweeping the road a few feet in front of you. Slower now, due to the road that is unknown, your senses are more alert, but still, you know this state of heightened awareness so on you go. Now imagine the headlights fail. Adrenaline floods your bloodstream causing your heart to race. Your mind snaps to full attention and considers your plight. Slam on the brakes, stopping in the middle of a treacherous road, and the cars behind you are sure to crash into you. Continue on in blindness, and off the mountain you will go. Somehow, you must pull off the road, but doing so without light is nearly impossible because you cannot see the shoulder…if there is one at this particular spot. Fear and panic rise in your throat because you KNOW you must DO something. You are in life threatening danger. Every fiber of your being screams to stop. Rather than stop you slow to a crawl because the car behind you is gaining, unaware that you are now invisible in the darkness. Just as you think the car will ram you both off of the mountain, its lights sweep around a curve and illuminate a graveled overlook to your right. You inch off the road, into the gravel just as the car goes past, narrowly missing you. Now you sit in dark so complete you cannot see past the hood of your car. Relief floods your mind as you peel your trembling hands from the steering wheel. The immediate danger has passed, and now you are in a position to wait…for the sun to come up.
Welcome to my dream. Waking up in a cold sweat after an extremely vivid drive through the pitch black mountains is not my idea of fun. Yet it is a picture of my life, which does not require words for me to understand. I have felt the heightened awareness of approaching disaster for some time. Pressure has increased in every area until it has reached the breaking point. In a very real way, the lights have gone out. I can no longer see what is ahead, but to stop moving forward is not an option that has felt possible. You cannot stop time from passing. Yet I have pulled back into the secret place. The place, which in the past, has been my strength. A silent place where I sit and wait for the sun to come up.
A season of silence is not a bad thing. It is in no way depression or giving up because life, at the moment, is difficult. It is instead a season to listen rather than talk. To sit on the side of the road of life and wait to see what God has to say. I listen for his heartbeat…and wait for his grace to empower me. You may have noticed my silence. Some have called to check on me because of it. I will tell you that things are not easy, but since when has my life been easy?  My God is faithful. He holds me close in the difficult times and whispers in my ear. When I am silent, I can hear his breath, breathing life into the darkness. What I cannot see, I can hear. What I can hear, I can eventually write and when the season of silence has passed…the sun will come up.

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