“In the silence of the heart You speak
In the silence of the heart You speak
And it is there that I will know You
And You will know me
In the silence of the heart
You speak, You speak.”
The lyrics of Audrey Assad I often sing, and the advice I frequently give the people around me when they are faced with spiritual adversity. I have known for a while now that one of the best ways I can hear God’s voice is in the silence – yet it was still an overwhelming surprise last week when I choose, for the first time in my life to have an extended period of ‘introvert time.’ Time where I was all alone, in a house for SIX hours, with nothing on my to do list but pray & rest. I’m sure all the extroverts out there can understand how boring this sounded to me, but I was sure it was something I needed.
My life is busy, I am constantly surrounded by people; most days the only chance I get to be alone, with God is my one hour of personal prayer. Between my desire to be around people constantly, the endless to do list going on in my head (productive day equals good day in my brain) and the internal pressure I put on myself to be the perfect Catholic – there is just no room for silence. Or at least that’s what I tell myself. Yet as I get busier and busier, the yearning in my heart for God continues to grow louder and louder. I know that my short daily personal prayer is not enough for Him – God is calling out for me to choose Him; over my work, even though it’s youth ministry, over my relationships, over everything. He wants to be at the top of my priority list.
So I found myself hidden away in an empty house, choosing Him. Forcing myself into a silence that would clear out the thoughts in my hectic brain, and uncover God’s voice that was waiting so patiently to be heard. Sitting in the middle of the bedroom floor I started painting my nails, and my brain, in its desire for multi-tasking and busyness started searching for things to do. It took all my self-control to prevent myself from putting on a movie, or searching for some new music to listen to as I completed this mindless task. Instead I just let my thoughts flow and slowly my thoughts started transforming to heavenly words and wisdom.
I heard God calling out to me through my conscience; I could no longer ignore the little voice in my head telling me that some of my decisions were selfish and greedy, that I needed more humility and trust. God showed me the ‘weeds’ in my life where I was weak, where I needed to push myself and grow. And He uncovered the ‘wheat,’ the joy, gifts, the light that he has allowed to dwell within me. His voice had never been clearer to me. He gradually worked through all the thoughts that had been playing in mind for weeks, and spoke his words of truth into each of them.
And all this happened in the time it took me to do my nails, less than hour. I’m not exactly sure where my other five ‘introvert’ hours went that day - between social media, calling home, getting distracted by scrabble magnets on a fridge and YouTube ,they disappeared very quickly (I know some of these activities aren’t exactly what you’d classify under things to do during ‘introvert time’ but I was doing my best!). At the end of the day I returned to my hectic schedule a better version of myself - challenged, transformed and holding a profound experience of God's love that I couldn't wait to share with my friends.
Looking at my finger nails now, the nail polish as it slowly chips away each day is a reminder of the constant need for silence in my life, to choose Him above all else. It tells me to make time for my creator, my father, my greatest friend, because He is the only one who will truly satisfy my soul.
This reflection was written by Karen, she enjoys sharing the aussie culture with her international team mates, peanut butter & banana porridge, going on coffee dates as often as possible and finding inspiration on Pinterest. She always smiles with her eyes closed and is currently learning the art of being patient whilst her nail polish dry.