Whispers in the Silence ...
As I stood in the silence, architecture surrounding me, it took my breath away. This calm by the structures, so great, were overwhelming, yet I knew, without a doubt what God has been pressing me toward was much greater. There have been struggles. Tears. Stripping away of what I once knew, thought I knew, or thought I needed. Just three years ago, I was called to a place of unfamiliarity, knowing very well He was preparing me to walk into hardship, trial, & a pruning of things in life I didn't know had been gripping me… holding me down. It has been a refining three years ( 7 years to be exact, but that’s for another story;) ). I left family, dear friends, & my home town that I never had expected or dreamed of would leave. I even joked as a kid that I’d live there forever. I loved my home. I had it all. But through a series of things… it was evident my time in a place called home was up. That leap of faith to spread my wings, & trust what He had for me was better than my own… to surrender… was the most difficult thing I've ever done. Comfort wasn't for me any longer...
That final year being in Flagstaff, AZ, I created Elegant Edge. In a time my whole life was being flipped upside down, creativity seemed in full fruition… In all the unknowns & fears, I knew at least one thing, which was my identity in God & that He was speaking to my heart… I knew this was my calling to help people in ways I intimately saw God… to worship Him through fitness, skating, dance, food, & a healthy lifestyle. I had a strong desire to come alongside women through life's struggles, body image issues, poor relationships with food, to grow in a faith bigger than all of that. I saw beauty in refinement & the mess, not something “normal” to most…The refinery of the heart, mind, body, soul… it’s a beautiful process of becoming our best self… so I started to write. To just open my hands & prepare to share in the avenues I’ve so greatly been blessed in… I know I've been labeled as a Fitness Professional, Coach & Trainer, but my label lies in the One who holds my heart.
Now fastforward back to the grand arcitechture displayed around me at this summer’s photoshoot & time writing this blog… As I stood there in the chill of the architecture, whispers in the silence came over me. Be still, Rachel. Be still & know. I've had a long & humbling journey to get to this time in space. This moment of whispers in the silence I just looked up… Stopped in my tracks. Writing about this blog sitting in a coffeeshop (shout out to Berdena's on 5th!) I start to tear up. I had no clue what I was going to write about these pictures. But as the title, WHISPERS IN THE SILENCE pops up in my head, I search the internet & sure enough whispers in the silence is in 1 Kings 19:11-13. It says:
"After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper."
I have chills. When looking further into this passage, 1 Kings 19:11-13 is about Elijah. He had just won a huge battle for the Lord against the prophets of Baal. He had been put on death sentence for the following day, & even with this win, he was to die the next day by the hand of the powerful queen. He cried out to God, feeling completely alone in desiring the Lord. God's response? It's incredible...
The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” - 1 Kings 19:11-13
He called Elijah to go. Go! Stop moping. Stand on the mountain expectant for His presence to pass by. Wind, earthquake, & fire came, yet the Lord wasn’t in the midst of any of that. He was in the whispers of silence. The stillness. We are called to be still & know that He is God. To meet with Him & be in His presence.
Delving deeper as we look at verse 13, God asks Elijah what he’s doing there. But what Elijah didn’t realize was that it was a rhetorical question. Standing on top on mount Sinai was the very place God proclaimed & revealed to Moses the name of God, YHVH (Exodus 34:5-7). In the revelation of God’s name, YHVH to Moses it is translated & repeated as the Lord, the Lord, signifying His way as primarily one of compassion, not of condemnation like what Elijah was expressing toward the people of Israel who had turned from Him. Compassion characteristics mentioned where “merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in love.”
God’s way is not primarily that of power, destruction, or force - "the Lord was not in the wind…the Lord was not in the earthquake…the Lord was not in the fire". Reality was that God was & is found in the stillness. God’s way is primarily that of compassion, forgiveness and understanding that quietly speaks to us, gently, right where we are. In the story told with Elijah, he insisted upon his own way of zealotry. God tells Elijah to go on his "way", which can be understood, metaphorically, to mean that God, whose way is primarily one of compassion, understanding & mercy, not compelling us by force - allows Elijah to pursue his own way of zealotry and anger, even if it wasn’t His call for him. We have a choice to choose His way, or our own.
With the rush of everything in my life, letting go of a highly respected corporate job, & going fully on my own, moving into a new place, & not quite sure what to expect, God has been calling me so much to rest. To be still in Him. To not be afraid of what’s around me but to fix my eyes on the One that gives me true joy, peace & assurance that He is in control, & that His love surpasses anything in this world. Fastforward to this year, 2018, terrain continues to change, but He remains ever faithful & true.
We each have the opportunity to meet with Him in the whispers of the silence each and every day. To choose Him. His ways. To be with Him in His divine presence no matter what we’ve done, where we are at. To simply come to the alter. I usually have much to say haha, but when speaking words to describe Him, I can’t help but fall on my knees in awe & wonder. In silence. That love that pours down I won’t ever fully understand, but I choose to come to Him. Be still. Earlier as I wrote, I said comfort was no longer for me… I was so wrong. He’s been with me all along. As I’ve jumped into where He’s lead me, I’ve been consumed this week with His name as the Comforter. He is the Comforter of my heart, mind, soul.
John 14:25-27 says, “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
The rest I have been given as I come is a rest, comfort & assurance full of hope & joy & life free. In the rush of whatever season, I pray we can all find true rest in God, be still & know that He is. He sees you, loves you, & whispers in the silence to draw nearer.
Dress: Discount Dance Supply