Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Just Be Still

Ever since I was a little girl, I've always hated being alone. There's something about the stillness and utter silence of being completely alone that gets under my skin. My imagination gets the best of me and usually, as crazy as it seems, if I'm alone for too long I end up either crying like a baby over something ridiculous I've fabricated in my mind because I've had the time to over think a situation that's most likely not nearly as bad as I've made it out to be in my mind or hiding under the covers, terrified like a little girl scared of monsters under her bed.

Well, this year, I've been forced to be alone a lot.

I used to go to my grandma's house, about 20 minutes away, a few nights a week, which allowed me a comfortable place to do my laundry, the luxury of a bubble bath instead of a dorm shower, usually a home-cooked meal, and some quality time with my grandma. However, she's been staying with my aunt in Charlotte for the last few months, so my little home-away-from-home just hasn't been an option when I just needed to get away.

Another thing is that I don't exactly live with my best friend anymore. After two crazy room mate experiences freshman year, I got to live with one of my best friends my sophomore year, then had to subject myself again to the random room mate assignment this year because all my friends live off campus. The whole idea of living with a complete stranger through random room mate assignments has always baffled me. I mean, we've all heard the horror stories of terribly matched room mates, and I've had a few horror stories of my own in my three years at Appalachian, but this year my room mate and I don't really see each other except in passing. It could be MUCH worse (trust me, I know from experience freshman year) but since my friends live off campus and I'm on campus, I've spent probably double the time alone this year as I did last year.

And yet another reason I've been forced to be alone more than ever this year is that my boyfriend is growing up without me, as I have told him more than once. After graduating last May, he moved home to Hickory and is teaching 6th grade (God bless him) there. When he was in Boone we spent a lot of time together and I'm surprised looking back at how much we took that precious time for granted. I think back to the days it was raining so he would pick me up from class or the times he would surprise me with a picnic and take me hiking on the parkway... That's kind of hard to do when he's an hour away at a grown-up job.

So, here I am- hating being alone- but being alone more than I ever have before. The question is WHY? Well, in my utterly deafening alone-ness (you've never heard anything as loud as your own thoughts in the midst of silence) I have had plenty of time to ponder this frustrating question. Have you ever thought that maybe, just maybe, God wants you to learn how to be alone so that you can focus on Him? We live in a world that every second of every minute of every hour of every day is totally and completely planned out or consumed with school, work, events, meetings, or the usage of some type of social media. We're bombarded with the glorification of the word "busy" and made to believe that we aren't worthy unless we're constantly overwhelmed with things to do and people to see. Why do we do this to ourselves? I truly believe that because the Lord wants us to have a full, abundant life, He wants us to slow down, to take the time to enjoy the little things in life, and to learn to be alone where we can truly hear His voice.

It's so easy to forget that prayer isn't just about talking to Him... it's about being quiet and listening to what He has to say to us. For years I've got so frustrated at times that I couldn't hear His voice and I didn't know why. How could I hear His voice when I never gave Him the chance to speak? If you're like me and you're going through something that may be out of your comfort zone or something that's frustrating for you, consider what the Lord may be trying to do in your life through it. His plan is always better than our plan, and He promises to work all things together for good (Romans 8:28). Sometimes, you just need to learn to trust Him and be still.

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