Growing in silence

It’s been a quiet year since graduating college. And if you told me in the months leading up to graduation what life would look like now, I don’t know that I would have believed you. It’s not because life is crazy, but because honestly, life has been status quo and at times mundane.

In college, my schedule was packed most of the time: classes, weekly meetings of different sorts, babysitting, event planning, group leading, spontaneous adventures and everyday living with people, etc. The funny thing is: none of that comes with you after graduation. I knew that. But now I’ve lived it too.

I started a new job, moved, and found a parish. But I’m not super busy anymore.

It’s weird.

As someone who was so used to being busy, it was and still is strange to come home from work and have nothing that absolutely must be done. It’s freeing in a way: I’ve read so much, explored creative things, gotten a bike, taken group exercise classes, killed some plants and kept others alive. But it’s also terrible. I feel a responsibility to spend my time well and give back to the world, which is easier said than done – because hello, where do you start?

When you graduate and are starting life all over again, having a world of possibilities is empowering but also frustrating. Yes, the sky’s the limit. But where do you start? I’ve tried out lots of things and have met great people since graduating. But it’s just different. And I haven’t found exactly the things to commit to yet.

I’m learning to be okay with that.

This is a time not everyone gets in their life, and really I am grateful to breath in the stillness of hikes and read and cook and work on myself. I count it as an accomplishment that I’ve grown comfortable being by myself (in a healthy way) and finding new things to try out. People say kids need to be bored to spark their creativity and imagination – is it true for adults too? Seems like it. I’ve been thinking and writing so many posts in my head to share. Maybe one day I’ll remember to!

My faith is so important to me, and the gospel from last Sunday had me thinking: it was the story of the seeds sown in different areas and how you need fertile ground for seeds to grow and thrive. Do I hear and understand God’s word and take action because of it? Do I nurture and prioritize the most important things in life? Yes, I know the power of God’s love at the capacity I can understand it right now. Have I let that soak into every part of me and radically change the way I live?

. . . a challenging question for us all to ask.

I have no idea what life will bring, but I do know the future is in the hands of a God who’s got my back.

There’s so much I could write and rage about, but really – what else matters? I mean, there’s a lot that matters and we can’t be apathetic. But this time is giving me space to read and learn and grow and seek and find what’s really most important in life. It’s been the perfect time to read Cardinal Sarah’s book The Power of Silence. He Says:

“Without noise, man is feverish, lost. Noise gives him security, like a drug on which he has become dependent. With its festive appearance, noise is a whirlwind that avoids facing itself. Agitation becomes a tranquilizer, a sedative, a morphine pump . . .this noise is a dangerous, deceptive, medicine, a diabolic lie that helps man avoid confronting himself”

Did you need a truth bomb? Because Cardinal Sarah has you covered. I want to come back to that thought and really challenge myself to use this time well: confronting what needs to be, giving how I can, working hard, and finding God in the stillness that can be so annoying.

Have you experienced a season of life like this? I’d love to hear about it!

To Life,

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9 thoughts on “Growing in silence”

  1. OK> Clearly the Holy Spirit wants me reading this book. I just DOWNLOADED It on my Kindle yesterday after seeing and hearing about it everywhere (talk about #TRuthBombs ha ha) … NOW I believe the message is, downloading wasn’t enough – GO READ!! Silence not my strong suit, and probably why I struggle so often to HEAR God in my life!! I am excited (and a little scared) to see what I will discover within that silence!!

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    1. It is such a good book. I highly recommend it! It’s one of those that you can read through just a paragraph at a time and have your mind blown. It’s challenging too – Card. Sarah is clear and full of truth and calls out so many things we struggle with and problems in our society. Excited for you to get started on it!

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  2. I relate well to this. I’ve been out of a college for a year now and there’s some thing in life where I don’t know where God is leading me. I know I need to trust Him, but some days I have trouble seeing where this all connects.

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    1. Amen! One of my favorite stories about Mother Teresa is when a man asked her to pray for him to have clarity about his future. Mother Teresa told him that’s not what he should pray for. He needed trust, not clarity, she said. It’s easier said than done, but I’m always reminded of that story when life seems uncertain! Thanks for stopping by.

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  3. This is a beautiful reflection and honestly the stage you’re in now, the unsure silent stage is not so different than my own. I’m a stay at home mom who became accustomed to 60+ hour work weeks and I was on the verge of mental breakdowns all the time. When I learned I was pregnant with my second child, I took a step back from work and even in a home with small children, the silence and waiting was killing me. I too, turned to the church to fill some of my time, I read spiritual books, wrote with a ministry in mind and at some point, I found my joy and my pace. I pray that easiness sweeps over your heart too. Good luck during your quiet time.

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  4. I love this reflection! I know just what you’re talking about. When my husband and I graduated college, I could not believe the stark contrast. I had a part-time job for a few months (then I got pregnant and stayed home), but even with that occupying some of my time, there was so much stillness and peace and silence. There were times where I’d feel intimidated as I looked at the new community we had moved into, wondering if we’d ever find our place. It takes time, and some good friendships develop slowly, but they are so worth it. And as much as I loved studying in college, I really love how after college, I could keep learning at my pace, of a variety of topics-reading a bunch of books, learning more about writing and blogging, that kind of thing.

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    1. Hi AnneMarie! So true. I absolutely love being able to read whatever interests me now. And it’s a strange thing to realize not all my time needs to or should be occupied. To me it feels like being lazy though. Really I know it’s part of any big transition, but it’s still super weird! Patience obviously isn’t my strong suit, but I appreciate hearing how you’ve built life slowly over time. I hope to make the best of this time now and slowly build and grow into the community I hope to have in the future. Thanks for stopping by!

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