I find myself in a new season. Silence.
If you know me personally, you know that silence is not my go-to. I believe sharing ideas, opinions and beliefs is important. The times I find myself speaking out the most are in defense of another--I am not usually ever the one to provoke an issue. Hannah in her flesh can however, flatten someone with the harsh truth in sharper words than a freshly-sharpened dagger. So to not do that is how we got our title for this post. I say none of this in arrogance, but rather in hopes of you understanding how "wild" this beast was and can be at times.
I've been provoked as of late, whether directly or indirectly. And I think I've forgotten what that's feels like: to be challenged spiritually and personally. I think it's fair to say we all have. I've forgotten though what it's like to be indirectly (and semi-directly) insulted by others. Maybe that's where the issue stems from. I can name two incidents recently where what I wanted to say was greatly different than what I actually said.
None of this is said for praise because I know it's not Hannah who has bit her tongue or paused between sentences. It's an incredible blessing to see first-hand how Holy Spirit has sat me down and waited for my personal tantrum to end to whisper how to proceed in the moment. This is also not to say that these situations have been handled perfectly...though I am quite shocked (pleased) at how they panned out.
I've been gifted with a quick tongue and an ability to articulate emotions better than most. **Notice I say "gifted"** Growing up, this gift sometimes got me in the middle of confrontations and heated back-and-forths. What I see now is the lack of grace in those moments. I think that's how much of the world operates these days: "defending" others really looks more like an "attack" on another.
In recent moments when I have wanted to shout something back, I have felt stirred to keep my mouth shut. To most, this seems inactive. To me, these are the most active moments of self-control I think I have ever accomplished. Those who are non-confrontational will tell me to say nothing because that's what they would do. Those who are confrontational encourage me to bark back. But God... God tells me to just sit down...and wait.
This goes for dating too. I have always been bold. I have never shied from being honest (early) about feelings. This season though, God's got me sitting. Waiting. Watching intently on how pieces move around me. Hannah strikes when the kettle's hot, confident in her feelings. God-fearing Hannah packed a book for her time sitting down. When I first started to realize that God wanted me to react this way, I found myself on the edge of my seat, anxiously heel-tapping the floor. I'd watch as friends pass by experiencing life events I assumed myself to be too. Now however, I find myself cozying up to the idea that I'm not getting up any time soon-- that I'd rather be watching than fixing what I put my hands on too early.
So that's what I find myself doing in this season. I have PLENTY to say. But God is showing me He needs no one to defend Him. He simply wants my obedience, even when it looks contrary to what the world expects of me. Sitting still never felt more exhausting in my life. The book of James towards the end of the Bible is one of my favorites for how blunt and steadfast he is in the message he's sharing. James 1:19 ESV states "Know this, my beloved brethren: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger".
A dear friend gave me a painted block of wood a handful of years ago that reads: "Lord, keep Your arm around my shoulder and Your hand over my mouth." This statement couldn't be more true today.
Stay salty & strong