I’ve spent most of my adult life hating silence—and didn’t know it. It was a major blind spot. I always dismissed my desire to be with people and avoid being alone as being an extrovert and loving people. I excused my talkative nature to my heightened relational instincts. These qualities also seemed to help my interactions with people as a pastor, so I thought nothing more of it. It wasn’t until I began my own counseling journey out of a personal crisis where I was confronted with this long-held deception in my life.
My counselor observed some behavior in my life that went unnoticed by most, but became flags of concern for him. He saw that I ran from being alone. He realized I was uncomfortable in silence and didn’t know what to do with it. He experienced the way I often dominated conversations with my words. This also exposed my terrible listening skills, which he was wise and winsome enough to connect to my silence issues. So, he began to press me in this area and it was difficult. In fact, it led to an implosion of my soul and began the process of healing it desperately needed.
It was through this journey that I learned if my emotions are the gateway to my soul, then it is silence that exposes the soul. I was not ready to face the ugly things that got exposed. But God in his amazing grace met me in a sweet, powerful way and began a healing journey that has brought a consistent peace in my soul. It was through silence in a quiet place, meditating on truth, and prayerfully asking the Lord’s help that I experienced this deeper level of God’s grace and presence within my soul. It is the same place that every pastor must expose and reach with the power of God’s grace for us to experience his love deeply and, as a result, have a long ministry.
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