“Without solitude it is impossible to have a spiritual life.”- Henri Nowen
“In solitude we give God our full awareness. In silence we withdraw ourselves from the noise and activity both outside and inside of us.” Ruth Haley Barton
Practicing. I am practicing silence and solitude. This is not something I have mastered. I am practicing silence and solitude in order to create space to be in the presence of God.
Let me tell you a little bit about myself. I am a doer and I love to talk.
I am on the move. Growing up my family would say, “just sit still!” Did they even know how hard that was and still is for me?!
Talking. Oh man, this got me into so much trouble in school.
My relationship with God looked the same. I was constantly doing things for Him instead of being with Him. I loved to talk to God. Did you catch that? To God. Listen, there is nothing wrong with talking to God, He wants us to come to Him. He tells us this in His Word. But my coming into the presence of God was just a lot of talking on my end.
Recently, the Lord spoke to me and said, “I want you to practice listening to Me.” Honestly, this sounded scary and torturous. I began to ask God, “why do I run away from silence and solitude?” He kindly revealed two things to me. One, I am afraid of what He may say or ask me to do. Two, I was believing the lie that He doesn't really see or care for me. You see, I am a fitness teacher, Gospel preacher. I absolutely love sharing with others about how much God loves them and who they are in Him. However, the lie I was holding onto was that these truths were for them and not for me. There are so many people in this world, why would He care and know me?
During a cool down in one of my classes, we practiced silence and solitude. I will never forget this moment when God spoke to me so clearly on that yoga mat. I felt like I was the only person in the room and I saw Him looking at me. Just me. No one else was around. He was looking at me with such joy and excitement. He said, “I love how I created you. You, my daughter, are full of joy, energy and passion. It excites me to watch you love Me and love my people. You bring me joy!”
I couldn’t stop smiling. It was an intimate moment with my Heavenly Father, that wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t create space to be still and silent. Now, it is my get to. I get to sit in the presence of God.
I encourage you to create space today, even if it’s only 5 minutes, space to sit in the presence of God. Find a quiet space, be still and let your Father love on you.
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8a