Quiet isn’t a word that is traditionally used to describe me. Gregarious. Boisterous. Loud. They are adjectives that have been applied in one way or another (and aptly so) through my life. I’ve got a big personality and a sharp tongue. I know that, and I embrace it, for the most part.
My lack of quiet (and my verbosity) has garnered me trouble in some corners, friends in others. It’s exposed a mean streak. It’s also provided moments of grace, apology, and saved my bacon in my career a time or two.
Working in ministry, where the example that was consistently shoved in my face is that women should be, have to be, will be quiet in the church has prodded some of the above. Early on, I learned that trying to fit into a mold only made me miserable. It wasn’t fun for others around me either.
So why, in an age where women are garnering power with their voices, would I choose the word ‘quiet’ for 2018?
I’m glad you asked.
While there hasn’t been any significant modification to my personality, I have realized over the last year or two that my mind is incredibly loud. That inner voice that shades my conversation and my perception of life is like a magpie. Squak. Squeal. Yap. It’s unending.
I wrote last week that fear really tried to have its way with me, but in the quiet of my spirit, Truth spoke. Eventually, I listened. I say eventually because Truth, Jesus Himself, had quite the competition with my mind. My heart. There was no quiet within me. The louder my inner voice became, the harder it was for me to see reality around me. There was no retreat or silence. Alone with my thoughts, they began to rule me. That voice, that compulsion distorted my every interaction.
It was only through fighting with fear and determining to overcome, I started to see the impact of the lack of quiet within me. I searched Scripture and a verse that is familiar to me continued to come to mind.
For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel,
“In returning and rest you shall be saved;
in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”
But you were unwilling… Isaiah 30:15
In shutting myself up, clearing myself and fixing my inner eyes, ears, heart on Jesus, I will learn the truth of Scripture. I will surrender to trust. I will know Him.
In quietness, I will be better able to discern the leading of Jesus and His word. I will be armed to fight against every high thought that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.
In silencing my inner tongue, I will learn how to commune, rest, repent, and be saved.
In quietness, I will overcome myself and know He whom my soul loves in new and precious ways. In girding my mind and warring against all that comes against Truth, I will stand.
I know that Jesus has already planted the seeds of this in my heart and soul. I want to be faithful to cultivate this quietness in time alone with Him and when I’m in a crowd. This inner loudness rules that with such severity will not rule any longer.
My forehead is set. I am determined.