In my last post I shared with you a little bit of our story from this past season. In this post I want to share something the Lord did for me to help heal my mind from anxious, racing, irrational thoughts. There were times I felt like I was going crazy and even called my mom to ask her if it could be my hormones from having a baby 8 months earlier. I was trying to reach for something in the natural that could explain what I was experiencing. I even remember my husband coming home for lunch one day. He found me in the bed while the kids were by themselves. I wanted to escape the reeling reality going on within.
The Bible says that God "tests the mind and searches the heart" in Jeremiah 17:10. My mind was definitely being tested because what I heard God say was not making any sense. Although God was answering my prayers, it was completely opposite of what I thought was right. But my spirit knew, and I finally accepted what He was saying.
In October this last year, 18 months after the initial whirlwind swept through our home, God came through on my behalf in a powerful way to silence the anxious thoughts I couldn't control.
I was at a leadership retreat and we were writing encouraging words to each other. For some reason, though, I was extremely anxious and I felt like I was in a hurry. While others finished up, I sat down on the couch and tried to worship while the music played.
As I sat there, relieved to be done, wondering why I felt so anxious, this thought flashed through my mind,
"I made the turtles for a reason. Every creature under Heaven has a purpose to represent not only times and seasons but personalities and characteristics of myself. Did I not look at my creation and say, 'It is good?'"
I sat there looking at the words I wrote down in my journal and meditated on them. I hadn't quite cracked the code the Holy Spirit was trying to convey to me. Then I heard Him again.
"Some things I created as good are perverted to evil. Things that sting and kill."
I knew He was saying that at creation, animals and creatures were not threatening. Sin caused that character trait.
Suddenly, He put it all together for me.
"It's time to slow down (turtle). Rest and going slow has been perverted into something evil. It is not evil. Did I not create the Day of Rest and say, 'It is good?' Did I not create the season of rest and call it good? BE STILL."
I began to weep uncontrollably and I shared with the group what was going on.
Then, complete silence fell upon the entire group for what seemed like an eternity. All I could do was cry and stand in total awe of what God just spoke to me. I felt like God had spoken to me like He spoke to Job. A conversation. Not just thoughts or visions where I write stuff down and record it for another time but a 2-way conversation with a loving Father.
My mind stopped. The consuming anxiety stopped. Slowing down in the natural meant slowing down in my spirit and soul. The whirlwind of recurring thoughts seemed to cease and I could feel the shift wash over me.
God had already spoken to me that we would be in a season of rest in the fall. Here He was reiterating the importance of rest once again. When God says 'stop', there's a good reason for it. It's not wrong. Time away is good. Doing nothing is good.
Someone read Revelation 8 out loud (and was actually already planned that night as part of the retreat!) while we observed this silence and I continued to weep and pray.....
"When the Lamb broke open the seventh seal, heaven fell silent for about half an hour." - Revelation 8:1
I understood that silence and slowing down in my day to day life meant silence and peace in my mind. Which also meant I now carried that with me into my home, to my husband and children and everywhere I stepped foot.
I'm not going to pretend that I understand even some of Revelation. But this experience is something I've thought about over and over. How does it really apply to this verse? I cannot deny what happened and the fact that this verse was planned ahead of time was even more surreal!
While reading this verse in context, I believe it is really about the awe and majesty of God. To stand in silence of just how great He is because there are no words to describe how wonderful, powerful, and loving He is.
It also comes after the tribulation the saints endure. The verse before it says, "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes." The silence after the shaking reveals a loving God who heals every wound of His people. Through SILENCE. They stand in awe of what He has done for them.
Secondly, Heaven was silent for half an hour. The Greek words there are taken from root words that can mean an appointed time. The reason we fight from Victory is because many times we are simply waiting on the appointed time. God has already orchestrated the healing or the breakthrough. The battle is in the waiting process and staying faithful despite the time capsule we find ourselves stuck in. God, however, is outside of time, and has already planned your escape!
Thirdly, if even heaven observes silence, then we need to understand the importance of complete and total silence. That means intentionally setting aside time to turn off every distraction, including music, and listen for His voice. The healing voice, 'Jehovah Rapha'!
Lastly, there are many times that we feel like all of heaven is silent in our lives. We ask and wonder where God is and why we aren't hearing Him. If that's you, I want to encourage you! Your appointed time is coming. Stand in faith and keep doing what you are called to do.