Listening is not for wimps.

I ignore it on the days when I am afraid of what I will hear. Let’s stay active. Frazzled is better than fearful. At least that’s what I tell myself.

But I’m doing this blasted 31 days to hush. There is a responsibility to practice listening differently. I don’t have the luxury of ignoring the silence this month. I enter in.

road through cornfields

I hear fear. I don’t wear it well.

I hear shaky hands preparing a talk for girls and women at my own church this weekend. Shouldn’t I be over the anxiety by now? It isn’t stage fright like you might think. It is something else that I can’t fully put into words. I think about it for a beat or two and realize I feel okay with not fully understanding.

Thankfulness hides in there somewhere, too, whispering thoughts of gratitude for the opportunity. But today, this odd fear holds the microphone and won’t let go.

I spoke at my home church once before and came home sealed off, folded inward. I don’t want to do it that way again.

There is a sense that I’m being asked by God to give up my right to have it be different this time. You might feel out of control. Are you willing?

This is a needy place. I didn’t know it at the time, but four years ago this whole writing books and speaking in front of people thing started. It wasn’t really the plan. Not my plan, anyway.

Now, four years later, I can’t say that any more. This is so the plan. This is the story I’m writing. I want this. I come alive in this.

I’m learning hard lessons, mainly the one about believing that the fear would go away once I figure out what I’m doing.

Surprise! The fear doesn’t go away and I still don’t know what I’m doing.

But there is great hope, an underlying sense of purpose, a rightness about all this. There is a deeper knowing that I am not alone.

I’m not happy with this post, but I’m publishing anyway.

The quiet isn’t as quiet as I thought it would be.

Day three.

This is the third post in a series, 31 Days to Hush. Click here to see a list of all the posts, updated daily. If you would like to receive these quiet thoughts in your email inbox, subscribe now.