Testimony Tuesday: Keeping Still

The Lord will fight for you,
and you have only to keep still.

– Exodus 14:14

Keeping still.

It’s never been my strongest attribute.

I fidget, constantly. I play with my hair, gnaw at my nails, tap my foot. I do almost anything to keep from keeping still, actually.

And yet, in the grander scheme of things, it has so seemed like that’s exactly what the Lord is asking me to do right now. Keep still, He whispers to me. I feel called to keep still in life, in location, in all of it.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t see this as a bad thing. In fact, I’m fairly certain that this is the most still I’ve felt in ages… perhaps my entire life, though I only have twenty-three years to base that judgement off of.

I feel like your twenties are such an uncertain, ever changing age. Perhaps we don’t all face the hostilities of Moses and his people as they fled from Egypt, but we can all learn from it. I feel like there’s some sort of metaphor there…

As if, in our twenties, we are inclined, even tempted, to flee from our childhoods, and whatever we may associate with it. For some, that’s a town, or a mindset, or a relationship. But the Lord, ever so gently, so wisely, is urging us to keep still. Don’t be rash. Pray. Trust.

He will continue to fight for us, for the life He knows we ought to live.

I know the conflicted feeling so well – the feeling of wanting to go one way, but feeling as if you should go another. It’s in that conflict that I hear the Lord. He is the one on my heart telling me what I should do, and right now, I’m in a season on stillness. And even though I might have friends galavanting across foreign countries, or whisking away into the wilderness, or jumping head-first into some other terrifying, thrilling thing… the Lord is calling me to keep still.

To stay put.

To listen.

To trust.

And you know what?

That is perfectly okay. 

I resign myself to it, to His will, to listening, and to obeying. I resign myself to keeping still.

For all I know, stillness may end up being the best gift He’s ever given me.

Testimony Tuesday: Spiritual vs. Social

Okay, guys, I’ve got a confession to make: I’m terrible at making plans.

Well, that’s not entirely true. I’m terrible at keeping plans, and I know this. I get very ambitious with my social schedule, but when the time comes, I look at the three nights in a row that I’ve got things planned, and I ache for a bit of a reprieve in the middle.

Sometimes, I’ll admit, this also extends to church activities. Most recently, I’ve fallen out of the habit of attending my small group, which is rather upsetting to me because they are a wonderful group of some of the kindest, most God-seeking, God-loving people with the biggest hearts. I admit that my lack of attendance has nothing to do with them, and honestly nothing to do with my proclaimed “busyness,” but rather to do with a lack of prioritization.

However, it’s not necessarily that I don’t feel as if I am not prioritizing God. Most of the time, when I skip group (or, let’s be honest, “since I stopped attending it” is the more accurate way to say it), I’ve spent those evenings in solitude with the Lord. And I love that. I love diving into his Word and taking to my journal to decipher and pray and understand.

Now I now – I know – that there is a distinct call for community. Community is such a key part of our relationship with God, and I get that.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light,
we have fellowship with one another,
and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

– 1 John 1:7

For where two or three are gathered in my name,
there am I among them.
– Matthew 18:2

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
– Galatians 6:2

But it seems that this calling is where I struggle most. I always seem to be fighting an internal battle over whether my obligation to small group, and other such community groups, feels like a social obligation or a spiritual one. And, quite frankly, sometimes it feels like the former, where I know that it should feel much more like the latter.

And, okay. Perhaps I’m just making excuses. It’s not exactly like when I was 12, and church consisted of being there 8 hours a day on Sundays, from my 8 am choir practice through my 5 pm Christmas play rehearsal. That was certainly more social.

Maybe this is just a crutch I’m falling back on to justify my lack of prioritizing community.

I can’t imagine I am the only one who feels this way, but it’s just such a hard line for me to draw. Where do you find that balance between feeling like you have to be somewhere for the sake of appearances, and feeling like you have to be there for the sake of your soul? Is this just another one of those tests, where the Lord is asking to see how much effort I am willing to put forth for His glory? Or is my hesitation about all of this genuinely stemming from a well-intended, but conflicted place?

I’m full of questions today, and I can only keep praying, praying, praying that the Lord will guide me towards a resolution.

Amen.