learning in solitude

Thursday, July 23, 2015

I've been in such a long season (at least it feels long) of holding things tight to my chest, of feeling like I have no safe and secure place to lay it all out there. Every time I speak, I hear the hesitation. The carefully masked words. The vague answers. It's not really who I want to be. It's not really who I am deep inside, but for some reason, there is still something there holding me back. For what? For comfort? For safety? For pride? 

Simultaneously, I feel myself living in greater vulnerability in my alone times. My conversations with God have never been deeper and more fulfilling. Never more honest. Never more demonstrative. It's a weird dichotomy. Perhaps it's the ebb and flow of life - greater vulnerability in one place while drawing back in another. I find myself weeping alone much more often than I cry in public nowadays.

This season of solitude is drawing me deeper, for sure. I've been learning in some very precious ways throughout the past six months that God loves me. Intimately. Deeply. Passionately. It's hard for me to rest in that. I'm a helper, by nature, and sometimes, ok, often, I take my internal value from that instead of from who God made me to be. To BE, not to DO. I search for value outside myself which sets me up for catastrophic failures. Like cake throwing

Then, in my quietness, I read these words, and my soul resonates with the truth of them:
"In solitude we can slowly unmask the illusion of our possessiveness and discover in the center of our own self that we are not what we can conquer, but what is given to us.  In solitude we can listen to the voice of Him who spoke to us before we could speak a word, who healed us before we could make any gesture to help, who set us free long before we could free others, and who loved us long before we could give love to anyone. It is in this solitude that we discover that being is more important than having, and that we are worth more than the result of our efforts. In solitude we discover that our life is not a possession to be defended, but a gift to be shared. It's there we recognize that the healing words we speak are not just our own, but are given to us; that the love we can express is part of a greater love; and that the new life we bring forth is not a property to cling to, but a gift to be received. In solitude we become aware that our worth is not the same as our usefulness..."
Henri Nouwen

My worth. My life. It's a gift I have received. It's a gift to be shared with others, and when I rest in the love of the One who knows me best, that's when the words flow freely. That's when the love inside of me wells up to those around me. No more throwing cake. I am set free.

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