Deep Within the Silence of Our Hearts

A woman told me the story of her mother, who found faith late in life. She had fallen away from God prior to becoming a mother and her children never saw her as a practicing person. Around the time this woman began having children of her own, her mother rediscovered her faith in a fervent way. No matter what trial befell her, she turned to God and leaned on her faith to see her through. She went from a woman intent on controlling every single factor of her life with an iron grip to someone willing to trust that God would take care of it and her as He saw fit.

I met this woman five minutes before she told me this story. I had no right to delve deeper into her personal family story – and yet I was transfixed by this last detail of her story: she relinquished control, fully. Like that. With a snap of the fingers, it seemed. And so, the words escaped my mouth before my mind realized what a prying question it was: What happened to enact this absolute turnaround?

The woman gave me an abbreviated, antiseptic version of her family’s history precipitating the change, which made both of us squirm a little, I think, sharing such personal details within minutes of meeting. But my burning desire to know trumped my sense of propriety because as far as I was concerned, this woman has achieved a miracle!

I’ve practiced my faith my entire life. There were times it was stronger, of course, but it’s always been there, God has always been there waiting for me. I say waiting because, increasingly, as I get older and more responsibility gets piled on or taken on, I whir into hyper-drive control mode. As much as I know slowing down and ‘letting go and letting God’ will make life a whole lot easier and enjoyable, I can’t. Can’t be done. Not gonna do it. I don’t think it’s a trust issue. I think it’s part of my perfectionism. No, I don’t think I can do things better than God; I just need to take my best crack at it or I think I’ve failed.

So, if I, as someone who considers herself a faithful lifetime follower of Christ and God, cannot relinquish control and this woman did so seemingly with the flip of a switch – what in God’s green earth is wrong with me? (Besides taking the name of the Lord in vain, of course)

How do I let the proverbial water roll off this duck’s back?

I wanted to hold this woman – or better yet, her mother – upside down and shake her till answers poured out her pockets. Alas, it wouldn’t work – never mind the lack of upper body strength and desire for assault charges – for I know the answer resides elsewhere. Somewhere deep inside the silence of my heart. That silence I haven’t been able to access in quite some time.

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4 Comments

  1. Jennifer, as I read this I felt compelled to share part of Is 30.15 with you: ‘in quietness and trust is your strength’. The quietness that resides within your heart, the silence. That is where your answers lie. x

    Reply
    • Jennifer Butler Basile

       /  October 25, 2013

      I know! Too bad I can’t access it!

      I will read that, though. Thank you!

      Reply
  2. This post is a wonderful reminder of Who is in charge. I have also had control/perfectionism issues. What helped me was being diagnosed with a terminal illness, and receiving the miracle of complete healing. I am “healthy as an ox”. Woot! I could not have done this alone, but only by the grace of God.
    I read a quote that stated, “Perfectionism is the lowest standard anyone could ever hope to achieve.” I pondered a few seconds, and got it! It is because as humans perfection is IMPOSSIBLE!
    Now, I don’t worry like I used to worry. I don’t fear anything. I KNOW who is driving this bus!
    Thank you for sharing!
    Also, I love Isaiah 30:15 shared by Sherri. So much wisdom in that book!

    Reply
    • Jennifer Butler Basile

       /  October 25, 2013

      What a wonderful response and story. I want to say I’m so glad for your journey – not the illness, of course, but the benefits that came from it. I have to ponder that quote – and Isaiah, too, apparently!

      Reply

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