There’s been a fair amount of noise in my world lately. Noisy bars, trivia games, conversations, media updates, Netflix marathons – it’s been beautiful. Beautiful, noisy distraction.
I acknowledge that they’re distractions. And for me distractions are sometimes necessary.
See, I’m fairly cerebral. I start to think and continue to think and keep on thinking until I desperately need pause.
I feel that’s what these first two months of the year have been for me. I have filled them with noise in order to drown out the fullness of silence that falls when I’m still.
When I’m still I feel the full weight of loneliness in my world; and much like many things in life, there are levels to this. There’s a sense of loneliness that comes with the temporary absence of certain people in my world and their presences are missed. There are people with whom I have history or deep relationships with who, for various reasons, cannot be present in my world right now. When I think about them, I shed my tears, say my prayers over them but ultimately understand that seasons of pause are sometimes needed in relational spaces so that people can be who they need to be to one another.
The other sort of loneliness is one I ‘ve spoken to before, the one that comes with lack of a companion. I have a wonderful group of friends and a family that loves me but this is different than the love you hope to build with a partner. There came a time where I realized that I was cooking for one and wanted to share instead of rejoicing in delicious leftovers. Or that I realized that the other side of my bed is cold and there is no one to share ideas or vision or fears with when they take hold of me in those hours you only call folks at for emergencies. I see so many friends getting married and having little ones and while I appreciate some facets of my singleness, I do wonder when I get to enter into the relationship with the one who I will call my beloved. The absence of such a person creates a silence that is, at times, deafening and you break it up in whatever ways you can.
My mind also shifts to consideration of calling when I am still. I sit and pray and end up in tears because I feel impulses and leading in directions of which I am both incredibly sure and unsure of at the same time. There’s one part of my vision that I’ve dreamed of for years and when I close my eyes, I see myself functioning in that vocational world. But there is this other impulse that sparks fires in me and when I begin to speak to things in this space other things fade away and I start to preach. I honest to goodness start sounding like a preacher and sometimes I’m shocked because I can see the fervor in my positioning here. And when it’s silent, when it’s too quiet, I mull over the tension I feel between these two things.
So I’ve filled this space with going to parties and drinking, being around people, talking to men I KNOW are not options for me, watching entire seasons of television, obsessively reading Buzzfeed articles…basically finding any sort of visual and audio noise that helped to fill those empty spaces, even if only in the most temporary of ways.
In the same way that I acknowledge these things have been distractions, I can also share that I’m not good with quiet. I know there are a lot of things that are in process for me and that God very likely has drawn me into spaces where not only is there a sense of quiet, I am now profoundly aware of its presence. I don’t think I’ve been ready to confront that reality. I suppose that too is a part of journey – being able to say that I see a need for something but am not yet ready to walk down that road.
There are things that I’m working on and towards that are going to require that I stop getting distracted and start walking down certain paths. I suppose making room for the noise is part of my way of coping until I’m ready to enter that level of silent space that is only broken by the sound of intercession and prayer.