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Seeking The Quiet

Days like these. This is what I live for. Bright sun shining, light breeze. A chance to take in God’s beauty surrounding me. And a chance to share that beauty with my children.

It is simplicity that allows us to partake.

Quiet. In this world we are so often told that quiet is un-sustaining. Calm, the opposite of success. This world tells us to run; race. Move up; compete. Listen; reply. But we cannot be constantly running and competing without getting burned out. We gain nothing from listening to reply, we need to hear.

But how can we truly open our hearts to others without hearing the longings of our own? And how can we hear with all of this noise?

At first, the noise is an utter comfort. We often fear what our heart may present. Will we discover the root of our anger? Will it divulge past issues that have boiled over and caused anguish in our current lives? Will we discover that we are actually incredibly unhappy with our career choice? I assure you I was here once as well. I was so scared of what I would find.

I had my music at full blast to drown out my thoughts. It was my constant companion. At the park, I missed out on the sound of water trickling over rocks and fallen limbs. I missed birds tweeting and squirrels chattering. I missed the thud of my feet hitting the earth. I missed opportunities to connect with other humans and create bonds because I used music to shield myself from the possibility of rejection. Unworthy. Never enough. I had a soundtrack to my life but had lost the song in my heart.

But practice helps quiet become second nature. And you know,... In the silence I have discovered fears. I have delved deep inside them and into their core. Past hurts. More pain. I wanted to turn away. This is why I avoided quiet after all. But I turned and I faced it. Tears came as vast as the sea. Prayers that God would relieve the discomfort and help me forget. He didn’t. I decided to face it all head on and I came out the other side stronger. Understanding. Acceptance. Truth. Strengths I never knew were there.

Three years on this journey seeking a simple life, and I can tell you that I am finally at a point where I thoroughly enjoy a quiet drive in which I am able to connect with my Maker. I now know the blessing in the silence. Not just because I am a SAHMomma with two rambunctious boys (though goodness knows the SAHM life makes me crave that silence and reflection when I am unable to use the restroom without companionship.)

Because I have spent time surrounded by the thoughts of the deep I am able to accept myself in ways I never thought I could. I have learned, and am still learning, to love new parts of myself. This has led me to be more understanding. More apt to give grace to others. More apt to give grace to myself. I am able to see that one person’s inexplicable ways are often, in truth, the desperate cry of their soul to be heard, acknowledged, and loved.

I no longer seek out another person’s flaws to feel worthy within my own. We all have things to work through. We are on a level playing field. In fact, it isn’t a playing field at all. We are made to build each other up. Support one another. Work together. We should advocate for all to know their own hearts so that they are able to share with others, shedding light where there is darkness.

I urge you to find the quiet if you have been avoiding it. You can handle it. Work through the darkness and come out with a heart full of love and strengths you can’t even imagine. Take time to sit and admire a blade of grass. Show your children the way the light shines even through the things that appear dense. Partake in the simple and quiet around you, and do it for all of us; we need you.

-Amanda Durham

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