Silence was a thorn in my side as a teenager. As I pushed through a season of depression, the hole I felt in the quiet times left a wound of fear that was all-encompassing and hard to express.
I had friends that couldn’t fill the emptiness and a co-dependent relationship that amplified my need for someone to always be near. The emotional and verbal abuse dragged me down into a void that suffocated my teenaged years with grief over the loneliness that was ever-present outside my door.
I fought so hard to get away from the silence. In it I cried and mourned and dreaded life. I wanted constant action and a filled schedule. When I saw it lurking in the halls of my mind, I screamed and ran as fast as I could, before it drowned me into thinking that I was nothing. Silence was the enemy of my mind.
Today I stand on the other side of that door. I am looking for silence daily. Is it in the bathroom with the door locked so that tiny hands can’t open up? Can it be hiding in my car with the music blazing and the windows rolled up? Does it stand on a mountain top speaking to me through the mighty winds? Is it under my pillow that is thrown over my head in the early morning hours? My head is not silent, my actions are many, and words are constantly bombarding me. Silence is eluding me.
I still fear loneliness and I sometimes want to break silence with senseless television viewing, but the Lord is calling me into my new season by inviting me into His presence with a quiet heart. He calms my thoughts and He relaxes my soul. He nurtures my needs and reminds me that I need to intentionally be looking for a time to shut the world off, and to open my time to Him.
Scripture reminds us to dim down the world and turn to truth.
John 14:27 MSG
I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left – feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught.
After a time of living a distraught life, I realize that this is part of my story, it is what has led me to this place in time. I can share and spread hope while seeing a way to quiet my soul. I have been afraid for so long. Loneliness needs not to take hold. The Lord is always there. He is there in the silence, as well as in the busy.
8 thoughts on “The Fear of Silence”
Well written. I could feel what you felt, and I can relate.
Thank you for boldly sharing what many don’t understand well. I went through a phase similar to this in my 20’s but it was because I was walking so far from Jesus, I forgot i’d once loved him. I am grateful to hear you are patient in your waiting because you know He is working. Don’t give up, Maryann Lorts because learning to take the silence as captive as your thoughts is key and God will lead you to a place that is good for you! He will fill that void with what is truly missing – healing! BTW, what a lovely blog – I’ll be reading more about who you are and the ministry! Be blessed dear sister and allow Him to bless the silent moments with his still small voice of LOVE!
Thanks for your honesty in this post. I realized recently that in the silence, I push away feelings of loneliness without admitting them, because “I’m not supposed to feel lonely”. But after watching a video about the importance of accepting and acknowledging every feeling, I think I”m learning that God wants me to acknowledge the feelings to him and admit them so he can fill the empty spaces. I believe we will both continue to learn how to find Him in the silence.
I am so glad that we can relate. I don’t find a lot of transparency on this topic. Only recently I have been able to speak about this out loud and it’s quite freeing. The Lord knows what we need and when we need it. I really need to cling to that truth.
A poignant, lovely post. #14 at Kate’s today.
I loved the way you described your search for silence!
When I was young it was something I actively sought; home life was dreadful,and I could not tolerate the to-and-fro-ing of my peers, so I’d light out for the hills at every opportunity, trying to find the pot of gold at the end of every rainbow I saw.
And the riches were the gifts of silence.
I am glad this was the prompt today. It brought this topic a bit more to the surface and admit my struggle out loud.
There was a lot of pausing places in my childhood where there was nothing planned, just a lot of empty time to fill. I’ve often thought with my boys that it’s important to teach them how to be comfortable in the quiet and empty places so that they won’t fill it up with unhealthy things. Your post shows it’s not always easy to do – but I’m so glad you are finding the pausing, quiet places can be restorative places:)