I am just a face behind a screen. A voice that speaks with a hint of anonymity. You probably don’t know my story… a fragmented and beautiful and hard and grace filled story….the whole story of how I got to be who I am, where I am, with the voice that I have. And honestly I’m not here today to share that story with you… but I’m here to tell you that for the past two and a half years all I have prayed for is peace.
“God please, please make this life a little quieter.”
I have cried this prayer out, screamed it at the top of my lungs, whispered it under the cover of the night. I have been praying for peace for so long that it has taken me months to realize that God is giving it to me.
This new year has allowed me to look back and see that God is giving me the opportunity to have a little bit of quiet time before I jump into the world again. I have been given the time to just sit down and find Him, connect my heart with His. I get the time to re-focus my heart on His marvelous love, and the opportunity to share it with everyone around me.
Compared to the rest of my life, this past semester and hopefully this upcoming semester have been almost eerily quiet, but I think that’s because God is asking me to let Him fill this time.
And now He’s given me another year, another opportunity to make resolutions and changes. As well as the New Year, this week marks a new semester, another chance for me to fall down on my knees begging God to get me out of here, or fall down on my knees and praise Him for everything that He’s doing in my life. In this new year, this new semester, this blank slate, I think I’m going to choose to praise.
Aside from that, I can’t promise that I will be different. I can’t promise that all of the parts of my life that I want to get rid of will be gone. It would be nice if I could, but I can’t. I just can’t.
The only thing I can promise is the same thing I promise to myself everyday. I promise to live, for myself and for God.
I solemnly swear to myself and to every person who is reading this that I will spend each moment I am given living, not just being alive. I refuse to stand by and watch 2015 pass me by.
There will be moments in this new year that will tempt me to stop. There will be moments that will tempt us all to stop. But listen to me right now: don’t stop. Don’t you dare stop living.
This world is filled with pain, lies, and sadness. It is filled with things that are distinctly evil, things that are created to pull us away from the beautiful things. But the beautiful things far outnumber the evil. Don’t let yourself get distracted by the evil long enough to lose your grasp on all that is good. This year, choose to fight the bad with the good. Choose to live each day. And choose to not hold yourself to promises that will eventually mean nothing.
The world will try to get me to give up on what I am telling you. It will throw everything it can at me, but I’m not afraid.
Last semester was a different story… last semester I was so busy fighting my own self that I never got to look around and realize that life was o.k.
Life is o.k. Life is beautiful. Life is hard. Life can be noisy, but sometimes it can also be quiet. Use that time wisely. Be careful with your heart, but be careful not to hide it from those who most need to see it. These are the most important things I have learned so far in college… not algebra, not history. Those things come and go, but everything else is here for good.
So this semester… this year… this season of life… I’m taking the quiet time and using it for good. I’m seeing it as a blessing. The same thing goes for this new year… It is a blessing.
It doesn’t matter if the quiet goes away. Life is a blessing. It doesn’t matter what grades I might make this semester. Life is a blessing. It doesn’t matter what heart-wrenching things might get thrown my way. Life is blessing. I’ll breathe that phrase everyday until I begin to live, mean it, understand it. Life. Is. A. Blessing.
And yet, I’m still learning to find peace in this quiet, a lesson we all need to learn. We shouldn’t stress ourselves out about being quiet, and we shouldn’t doubt where we are in life. We may want to be somewhere else and every cell inside our bodies might crave another place, but we shouldn’t fill our time of quiet by wishing we were somewhere else. Society today has tried to teach us that quiet in unpopular and lonely, but it’s not. Everyone doesn’t have to live at full speed, and if we never slow down in life we will miss out on the most important parts. We can’t form a relationship with ourselves, with others, and most importantly with God. Take time and find yourself, find the reason behind the quiet. Alone doesn’t mean lonely. God can be found in the slack water and deep pools in life, the places where things slow down and you get the chance to admire all that’s around you while floating down.
So take this new year and use it. Live it. And don’t forget that every single moment you’re given is a gift. Every breath you take is not guaranteed, so make sure you’re using them in the best possible way. Give yourself the grace to have quiet moments. Give others grace. Love every person you come in contact with.
Life is a blessing, in the quiet and the loud. Use your time wisely.