Also known as: Keeping it quiet
This is no secret: I am talkative.
People often hear me before they see me. I laugh out loud. I talk too much, I talk too often. I don’t know how to ask questions. I am loud, hardly demure, and practically all of my friends know some kind of story about me, and there’s always some kind of anecdote that I can share in the past twenty-six years of my life.
I talk. And as expected, this gets me in trouble.
Not trouble trouble, but enough trouble to make me regret talking in the first place. Enough trouble to make me wish that I was not the talkative type, that I had learned to shut up, that I was demure, that I will probably make all my friends tired of me soon enough because I can’t seem to control my need to talk and need to tell stories1.
Of course, talking is a way to vent. And there is really nothing like good conversations with good friends…but do I really, honestly have to always have a story to tell? Do I always have to talk about something, to tell someone about every single detail that is happening in my life?
Why can’t I keep anything to myself for a change?
So just recently, there were some things and happenings in my life that proved yet again that my talking led to the disturbance of my own peace. Maybe it’s because my talking leads to people offering opinions (unavoidable) which I truly honor and am grateful for, but I also feel like I should heed these advice because they were given with the best intentions. But a part of me doesn’t feel like doing it, because in my heart of hearts, I know that it shouldn’t be a factor in any decision or move I make.
Okay, I’m talking in codes here, but let me summarize it: my talking too much leads to people also talking and it makes me feel upset, like I should do something, like if I don’t do anything, I will lose it all.
It’s hard because I’m really, really trying to listen to what God wants me to do, to listen and follow His will. I’m really, really trying, but I have a very strong feeling that the person hindering Him the most is me.
It’s kind of sad when you get to a realization like that, when you know that the entire mess you are in is really your fault. My tendency to fix things and clean things up make me even more jittery, until I took a deep breath and told myself to just stop.
Stop and enter the silence.
I read this verse in an article a few months ago, and I remember not being able to relate much to it before, but I took note of it. Perhaps the reason I took note of it then was because I would need it now? (Emphasis mine)
God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks. It’s a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from God. It’s a good thing when you’re young to stick it out through the hard times. When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions: Wait for hope to appear.
(Lamentations 3:25-29, The Message)
That’s the thing. I hardly enter the silence. I like talking, I like conversing with people, but sometimes, when life gets hard and heavy to take, what else can I do but enter the silence?
It’s hard. Especially for a person like me. But sometimes, when your heart is about to burst, when you’re so scared that you can hardly move, when there are too many voices in your head that tells you what to do next and makes you want to do the first seemingly reasonable thing to do from them, it’s time to stop. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions.
It’s hard for someone like me.
But not impossible.
So if you’re in the same boat, hold on. Stop talking. Still your heart, pray for peace, and enter the silence. In this silence, you will hear the only voice that matters, the One who can and definitely will send hope.
- Note that this is different from gossiping — I talk about too many things about myself, not necessarily about other people [↩]