Carrying Stillness :: When It Might Have to Do With Opening a Clenched Fist


Let go and … open?

It’s no secret I’m struggling with this turn in my journey. Every day, I’m thinking of what used to be and running scenarios in my mind for how to possibly create a return to it, then wondering if that response is not what God wants from me at all. 

And then last Thursday night happened. 

As I shared with my Sunday Quiet subscribers this past Sunday:

I shared a moment with God in prayer where I believed to have heard him say he’s going to take from me one of the most precious aspects of my life. A piece I cannot imagine ever living without.

Now, I may have heard God wrong. It’s happened before. But the impression was so clear, and it was so very much like what I’ve learned God’s voice sounds like in my life.

And it shook me. Really, really bad.

I’m still shaken by it.

I don’t know how to talk to God about what happened that night. I feel resistant to even a conversation with him about it. The times I’ve tried to pray, it’s felt like staring at a blank wall. All I’ve been able to muster so far is, “Why would you say that to me?” — without being able to wait and hear the answer. 

Kirk’s been encouraging me to ask God to confirm — or deny — if I heard him right. But I don’t feel able to even do that. The truth is, I don’t feel ready to hear the answer. If he says yes, then my world begins to shatter. If he says no, then my sense of surety in knowing his voice in my life goes suspect. 

I don’t know quite what to do with all this yet. I’m in a bit of a holding pattern with him, I guess.

It’s Tuesday now, and I still haven’t been able to go directly into a listening posture of prayer with God concerning this thing that happened last Thursday night. All I’ve been able to muster — still — is telling him how flabbergasted I am at what I heard and that I really don’t know why he’d tell me what he did, if, indeed, he told me what I think he did.

But there have been a few moments of silence. 

Like the silent spaces in the contemplative service at my church this past Sunday evening. And the 20 minutes of silence I entered into at the centering prayer group offered at my church on Monday morning. And the invitation to sit with God’s presence for a few quiet moments at the end of the weekly lectio recording included with this week’s Sunday Quiet letter. 

In those quiet moments, I began to see the potential synchronicity.

In a place where God is asking me to let go of an existence of quiet spaciousness and in a moment where I may have heard him say he’s planning to take away the most precious component of my life, my response is the same: to hold both with clenched fists.

I tell him no. Move to protect them both. Pull both of them closer and tell God he can’t have either one. Tell him they’re both mine. That he needs to fall in line and leave them be.

Maybe what he wants is for me to extend my hand and open my clenched fist.

The question is: Will I?