My friend Amanda and I are doing the “30 Days of Wonder” challenge in the back of Margaret Feinberg’s book Wonderstruck. Today’s topic was Stillness. The idea was to get still and…
“Allow yourself to be fully present in the moment–aware of your hands, your feet, your spine, every aspect of your body’s position. In this place of pausing, talk to God. Tell him what’s really on your heart and mind. Share with him things you’ve been afraid to say aloud. Give yourself wholly and fully to God in prayer and experience the wonder.”
So I did. Because…well…I’ve become pretty excellent at stillness and getting quiet before the Creator of the Universe for a few minutes a day. I didn’t think much about it being any different than any other day. Anyone who knows me well also knows that I’m not the kind to hold back on God and I mostly let fly with what I’m thinking. But I thought “Hmmmm…what have I not said because I’m afraid to say it aloud.”
From somewhere..deep called to deep…floodgates opened…and I said some things that needed saying.
I shared old hurts that I haven’t been able to let go of even though I really want to. I shared pain that I thought I’d been dealing with pretty well. I gave God a dream that I’d thus far been unwilling to turn loose of. I told God that I couldn’t pretend that I love or understand where she has brought me to. And I said aloud the things I am most afraid of.
And I whispered a “thank you” for all of it. Every bit of that hurt, fear, lost hope, and honesty has and is growing me. I am who I am because of it. I am becoming who I am becoming because of it. And oddly enough…in speaking it all I didn’t suddenly fall into a depression or feel like I wasn’t honoring of my attempts to live more positively and speak good things into my life.
Instead God said “Will you give it all back to me now? I’d be happy to hold on to it.”
And so I wrote each thing out and then lit each paper on fire…a smoke offering…sweet incense…the smell of hurt, regret, loss and hope mingled as they released to the heavens.
In the place where I used to keep those things, I now have a hole. A space. Some room.
God has asked me to really FEEL the empty space for a little while. To hear the hollowness of the empty spots. To wander around in that open and drafty room.
I think the Divine wants to fill this tabernacle…this Holy of Holies…with different shaped things. Things made of lighter and more flexible materials.
Accept my prayer as incense offered to you, and my upraised hands as an evening offering–Psalm 141:2