Despite the fact that I have had much to write, my journal has collected more dust than I wish to admit. The truth is, the very words in my heart are ones I am not ready to read myself. I would rather run from my thoughts. So I’ve stuffed and studied and launched myself into whatever would let me escape.
It is so much easier to stuff than to process. It is so much easier to say you’re ok than to admit that you are struggling. It is easier to leave your journal full of blank pages than to face your fears.
But I am here to say, that is not the way forward. That is not the way to find true peace or contentment.
The rush of adrenaline in busying ourselves may last for a week or two, but those feelings will fade. Building walls out of our circumstances may appear to be a good idea, but they are only a temporary refuge. When those walls crumble, we will be left without shelter from the most dangerous of storms–the ones that rage within our hearts.
Busyness can not be our hiding place. Neither can we hide or wait for the storm to pass. The truth is, we must do the harder task of slowing our hearts down to meet the pace of our Savior, who calls us to rest in his presence, to take his yoke, for he is gentle and lowly in heart, and there we will find rest for our souls (Matthew 11:28-30). A rest that comes through casting ourselves upon our Savior.
…casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.1 Peter 5:7
Busy can be good, and even necessary, but busy hearts will forever be restless. To truly find peace, we must look hard at what hurts and let Jesus calm our storms.
These words are hard for me to write. Even as I type, my mind wants to jump topics. To find a task that does not require mental energy.
Because it does take work. Embarking on “the process” is not passive. Healing, resting, admitting–they are hard.
Whether by cowering alone in a hopeless corner, or unleashing your pent-up feelings on others, maybe you also have ignored what hurts. Maybe you have pushed away your fears or harbored them in your heart, refusing to address the cause. And maybe you feel empty.
I know I have. Because that is what happens when we ignore the work of processing.
To make progress, we must process.
In order for Jesus to calm our storms, we must recognize when we are in one.
In that place of recognition, we choose to exchange our unstable walls for a safer refuge. A refuge that can not be shaken when the storms come. A safe place where we can truly heal. Doing so is not easy, but his peace is worth the effort.