Over the course of life, we find ourselves waiting a lot. Waiting for things to happen, waiting in line, waiting for flights, waiting for opportunities, waiting it seems is how our time is spent. The last two years as I have been a mom, I have realized that large amounts of my day is spent waiting, in doctor offices, waiting rooms, in the car, and public restrooms.
I HATE waiting. My philosophy for most of my 20's was be five minutes late just so I don’t have to wait. The thought of being somewhere early where I have to then wait is stressful to me. Instead I would rather spend time getting those dishes washed or that laundry started and be a tad late than to somewhere early, only to wait. I have worked really hard at rewiring my brain and am actively trying to be five minutes early everywhere I go, with kids means I will show up on time.
My childhood bedroom, has the words written over the door BE STILL, a skill I have been trying to learn my whole life. I have created this false illusion I am a duck, beautiful and calm on top of the water, just floating, but just below the surface I am paddling like crazy. A false sense of stillness, is the reality we often find ourselves in.
Our culture has trained us to utter empty "goods" and "greats" in social encounters, the reality behind our “goods” is a bunch of heartache, questions, fears and insecurities. On the outside I am “fine” yet just below what everyone can see, is chaos, all hands on deck, this ship is sinking. What exactly does it mean to be still? For so long, I thought it meant I had to have it all settled, figured out and squared away, that being still meant the questions stopped and the peace flowed with a smile.
About a year ago, I got tattooed on my forearm “even so, it is well with my soul.” My mantra and representation of 2015, it was what I used to cope with the ache of foster care, the reality of losing loved ones and the struggle of reconciling God’s goodness and brokenness of this world. Even when things didn’t make sense, I could still utter it was well with my soul in the stillness of night.
I learned that the ache was still there, the tears still came, the questions and fears still swirled but I realized beyond all of that, was hope. It was down there, deep down, but it was there and it made me smile. Being still is not a physical response or that I have everything figured out. Being still is the practice of finding peace in the midst of the storm, in the midst of the questions, when the fears overwhelm and the waves crash against us.
Our hearts will always ache, we live in a broken world, filled with heartache, I am not sure I want to live a life where the pain stops. The ache reminds me that I am alive and loving well, it motivates my passions and directs my steps. I think I have been thinking about it all wrong, I have struggled in the wait of it all. Desiring to arrive, desiring to check it off my list, to move past. I need to just be, be in it, be present, it is in the midst I find the stillness.