Originally published October 8. 2013
I hate the silence. I hate the whispers that come when the distractions are gone and the fear sets in. I hate being in a room full of people and still feeling alone. I spend most days with my back against the wall. I love to fight. I’ve never been comfortable sitting back and letting life happen to me.
I’ve fallen in love with the pressure to hold it together, but the silence always betrays me. The silence is where my doubt finds its strength and consumes me.
I need a distraction.
A person, project, drug, job, child, or friend I need anything that will distract me from the prison of quiet. I just need something to divert my attention from me. Because when I’m alone in my thoughts I calculate the improbability of my dreams becoming a reality. In the silence I pick myself apart searching for a list of all the things wrong with me. I relive all the things that hurt me. I’ve collectively spent hours confirming my present holds no similarities to my past. I live for the moments when the noise comes and takes away the voices of doubt running a marathon in my head.
Afraid that if I can’t find a way to escape these thoughts that they’ll overcome me. One day I’ll open my mouth to speak and my world will hear that the crack in my voice isn’t just nerves, it’s doubt. They’ll know that the silence is teaching me to not believe in me. They’ll understand why I need the microphone to drown out the voice of my fears, regret, and maybe even my truth.
How could I tell them that I’m as equally afraid as I am confident? How could I tell them that everyday is a battle? Some days I win and other days I willingly surrender to the voices and stifle my hope. It’s too hard to believe when the silence screams my greatest fears.
We spend years convincing children there is no boogeyman under the bed and fail to mention that he’s closer than he may appear. So many of us let the monsters reside safely in our heart scaring away any chance we have at rest.
What if the silence isn’t about the voices? What if the only way to win is to do what we did as kids? Find peace in the face of fear.
In the Gulf of Alaska, for as far as the eye can see, there is nothing but mountains, trees, clouds, water, and silence. There weren’t any car horns, no blares from sirens, or people chattering. From my view on the ship all I could see was how beautiful life is when each piece finds its place and just…..is.
I didn’t wonder how much more beautiful the land would be if the skyscrapers were touching the sky instead of the mountains. I never stopped to imagine pavement where the ocean was. I didn’t look at the trees and try to fix the color of its leaves. I didn’t try to fix what God created so that it could be what people were used to.
I made a pact with my fear long before I found my purpose. The pact insisted that I fix what the world said was wrong with me before I could be used. The day I realized that I was laying concrete over the ocean of my soul I made a new deal. I made a covenant with God that I would learn to seek His voice in the silence. And no matter what the people say I believe that I don’t have to look like what you’re used to, to still be used.
I’ve seen clouds tell the mountains secrets, water embrace the shore, and trees grow high enough to worship the heavens. I’ve heard the voices torment me in my head long enough.
The secret to muting the fear-filled silence when walking in His purpose for your life is trusting that God is stronger than your doubt. He may not have created you to be like the rest of the world, but it’s only because He expected that you would be strong enough to find peace, not fear, in the silence.
God, I’m tired of living up to the expectations of what people say. I want to remove the roadblocks that are keeping me from finding the beauty in my purpose. I’m tired of talking myself out of better. May the words from my mouth be pleasing and acceptable in Your sight. All I want is for others to look at me and see You.