Once upon a time I hated silence. The stillness of it was very uneasy. The eeriness that surrounded it was highly unnerving. I couldn’t stand the inexistence of vibrations that caused audible mechanical waves. No doof doof, chitter chatter or tweets…nothing. I couldn’t deal with how deafening it was. My sanity was often tested in moments of complete and utter silence; where the sound of a pin dropping feels magnified. But most of all, I could not (and I did not want to) cope with the truth that lingered in the midst of it. It’s a piercing kind of truth that makes you focus into it whether you like it or not.
God being God, led me to countless moments of such silence. Last year September, I was separated from my daily routine, my ordinary surroundings, my comfort people. After completing my degree in June, I lingered in Port Elizabeth trying to find employment opportunities. I was rushed, would’ve accepted anything really. In moments of great panic, I’d be cluttered with familiar noise; the voices of everyone besides the one that matters. Beginning August, God rocked me ‘til I was still and it was in that stillness when I found the overwhelming peace of what was to happen. When the time came for me to leave, there were no tears, only a smile that I could not understand.
When I got home, God was amazing enough to confirm words that He had given me. I felt a sense of relief but somehow, I knew that there was very little chance of me going back to PE. With each passing day, that thought started becoming more and more of a reality. All of a sudden, I had to start over again. Even though home was the same, everything else was different. People who, when I left, were proper rebels had found the redemptive fingerprint of God and were new creatures. While this was awesome, it meant compounded change that I had to adjust to. The noise started again.
“Your friends in PE aren’t lost without you. After a week everything will resume as normal.”
“You don’t really belong anywhere here…no one understands the language you’ve taken time to learn.”
“You won’t find what you’re looking for. Why are you still with this God? If He loved you, wouldn’t He have given you a job in PE already?”
I developed frustration, waking up every morning and having to think about how I’m going to spend my day. The noise got louder and louder. Everyday seemed to go by very fast but I had very little to show for them. But because God is a God that cares for us, the noise stopped escalating and started to mellow down. It was then when I would find myself looking forward to go to Wednesday prayers and Thursday cell meetings and Sunday church services. All I wanted was to be in His presence. And it was in His presence where I found answers to my life’s essay questions. It was in His presence where I found the truth about myself. It was in His presence where I was moulded; reshaped, redefined, refreshed. It was in His presence where I found understanding. I was led into silence. I was led into stillness.
I praise God for being an ever present help in times of trouble. There is nothing in and about our lives that He doesn’t see. When the devil was trying to cloud my faith with his lies those months ago, God was there, watching. He allowed it to happen so I can also stand and proclaim Him as a God who hears our cries; you know those cries in the middle of the night when everyone is asleep and He is your only source of comfort. I bless God for those moments. I love the silence now.