So, last night I was having a particularly emotional night which, of course, inspired me to blog. I made a few notes on my phone about how I was feeling and what I was thinking and went to bed. This morning, I as I read over the notes I left myself, I just had to giggle. Not because my feelings last night were invalid, but because I was emotional and dare I say, a bit dramatic. I was stuck in that moment. Let me give you some context.
Riley and I had just went to go see the movie La La Land. It’s one of those movies that gets stuck in your head long after you watch it. It makes you reflect on your own life and past decisions. It was a great movie and well worth the money in my opinion. (I could be partially biased because I’m obsessed with Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone together.) Anyways, without giving too much away, this movie will be a hit with anyone who considers themselves a dreamer. I totally fall into that category so I was captured by this story long after we got home from the theater.
I began reflecting on my current situation and life circumstances and couldn’t get myself to fall asleep. This added to my frustration you see, because I have a strict 9 p.m. bedtime to get my full eight hours of sleep per night. Ask my husband, it’s a thing. Anyways, after getting tired of only listening to the voices in my own head, I decide to text Riley. Because that’s what every person does who is already in bed and her husband is down stairs.
My text went something like this, “I’m frustrated with this season of life. I’m not happy at work and I’m tired of feeling like my life has no purpose.”
**Keep in mind, at this point, it was well past 9 p.m. and I had already been wallowing in self-pity for a good 20 minutes. This is a dangerous and fragile place to be, why don’t we make it a little more interesting and randomly text our husband about our most tender thoughts and feelings.**
I hope you can sense my sarcasm. However, I am so happy to say that my husband handled it like a champ. We had a short conversation about some of the things that are less than ideal in both of our work environments currently and just when I was tempted to take my complaining to the next level, my husband sent me something that stopped me in my tracks.
So, the picture you see is actually the end product. But, if you have the new iPhone update you’ll know that this was a hand written message and you can watch it being written when you click on it. It might sound kind of funny to you, but this simple message was like water to my soul last night. He didn’t need to explain anything to me, he knew I would know what He meant.
I recently got ‘Be Still’ tattooed on my wrist as a constant reminder to turn my eyes to Jesus. As you can tell, sometimes I need a little more than a tattoo reminder to help get me through tough moments. (Still love it though)
“Be Still” represents two verses.
Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still. Exodus 14:14
Riley was able to stop my downward spiral with two simple words. Be still. He didn’t have to give me a solution to my problem. He didn’t have to tell me, ‘this is just a season.’ He didn’t have to reassure me that I would get through it. And honestly, I’m so glad he didn’t.
He didn’t try to be my savior in that moment. He pointed me to my Savior.
I know it’s a typical joke to say that men just want to fix everything. But, I want to challenge that idea and say while men want to fix everything, women just want to give advice towards everything. Listen, I am so guilty of this it’s not even funny. So many times when I have a friend that comes to me with a struggle or a frustration or worry, I am so dang quick to throw out an encouraging word. “Oh girl, you have so much to be thankful for. You know that this will be over soon.”
Friends, I want to encourage you today. If you have someone in your life who is frustrated or dealing with a tough situation, or just seems a little down in the dumps. Could you sit with them there? Maybe it doesn’t look like a big deal to you, maybe you think they’re being a little dramatic and they’ve actually got so much going for them. But honestly, them coming to you about this issue was probably not easy. They probably aren’t looking for you to solve all of their problems. Actually, I can pretty much guarantee you that they aren’t. They are looking to you to be heard. I want to challenge you to just take an extra moment to be with them in whatever they’re feeling. Sit in the frustration. Don’t dismiss their hurt. Don’t dismiss their disappointment. I will even go as far to say, don’t tell them it’s going to be okay.
Let your presence alone comfort them. Don’t share a Bible verse as to why they shouldn’t worry or why they shouldn’t be feeling the way they’re feeling. Take an extra moment to shut your mouth.
And you might say, well, I thought you just said that Riley told you to be still. Well, he did. He told me to do nothing. He told me to let God handle it. He told me without so many words, God is still God and will always be God no matter what you do or don’t do or haven’t done or decide to do. I’m not sure that he even realizes that he said all that by saying ‘be still.’ Ha, but, that’s what I heard.
Friends, the point is this. There is a time and place for encouragement and celebration and picking a friend up off of the ground. But there is also a time for meeting that friend right where they are, without judgement or smiles or words of encouragement. Can you do the hard thing and just be still? Can you gather the self-control it takes to not give your opinion right away? I think we’ll be surprised at the healing that takes place in the moments that we let our disappointment just hangout for a bit.
The mood that I was in last night could have very well transferred over into today if Riley would have tried a different approach with me. The night could have ended in resentment. Of course he would have meant well if he would have offered words of advice or encouragement, but my heart wasn’t ready to receive it yet. He allowed me time to be frustrated and he allowed me time to be still.
Be encouraged friends.