asurprisecalling

Following our calling to the Dominican Republic

That time when God said, “Be still and shut up”….

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IMG_8008I’m not sure if anyone has noticed, but I have been very quiet lately.  No Facebook, no Instagram, and no blog posts.

“Be still and know that I am God”  Psalm 46:10

For quite some time now, I have been vaguely hearing God ask me to “Be Still”.  In fact, we ask our mission teams to come up with one word that describes their trip, or a word that God is speaking to them.  With the last two teams, my word has been “Still”.  I wasn’t exactly sure what He meant because I couldn’t quite hear Him over all of the hullabaloo of my world.  Yes, my current culture is much, much louder than my passport culture.  However, that wasn’t the noise that was preventing me from hearing His voice.  It was too much scrolling, not enough quietude…too much talking, not enough listening…too much doing, not enough being.

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For many years, I have been wanting to do a silent retreat.  I have asked numerous friends to do one with me.  Each time, my lady friends laugh and say, “I don’t think that I could be quiet for that long.”  It’s true…when women get together, we just want to talk and talk, and then talk some more.  It’s one of our favorite things.  We have a love for words that men just can’t seem to understand.

I mentioned all of this to my best missionary friend here, and she thought that it was a fabulous idea.  She had been hearing God telling her to “Be Still” also.  So, we marked a weekend off on our calendars, made a plan, and met up for this interestingly, strange weekend of quiet.  To prepare for that weekend, I decided that it would be good to cut off social media to begin to quiet my mind.

Also, in complete transparency, we decided on 24 hours of silence.  I mean, we were at the beach without husbands, kids, or ministry pulling on us.  We couldn’t NOT talk at all…

We met on Friday at our little resort around lunchtime.  During lunch, we came up with our rules and schedule.  After lunch, there was no talking until lunchtime the next day.IMG_8010

During this time, we could pray and journal.  We agreed to no music (because that was more noise) and no books (because that was still words).  We stayed in the same room, and went for a walk early Saturday morning.  We ate dinner and breakfast together, and even sat beside each other in our lounge chairs on the beach.  ALL of this was done without talking.  FYI, eating with someone without talking is very difficult and awkward!

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We were both happily surprised at all that we were able to experience with God.  Once we cut out all of the distractions and commotion and sat quietly with Him, God spoke into our hearts.  In that short 24 hours period, He healed some wounds, spoke many truths, and showed us how He was molding us closer to His image.  Life is not perfect, and neither are we!  I am so thankful for that truth.  God loves His broken people because they know that they need Him.  I am thankful to be one of those broken people!

He showed me how He has provided for us here in the DR in so many ways. One of those ways was simply being able to go away with a friend that loves God, lives and understands this crazy life we are living, and loves so many of the things that I love. This friendship is so special to me.  I am in complete awe that God cares so much for me that He would send me a friend here in the DR to love.  That seems like such a minute detail in His grande plan. It was important to Him because it was important to me. I fell more in love with Him that weekend!IMG_7993IMG_7994After sitting in silence and coming back together to share what God had spoken to us, we did a craft.  Then we just filled the rest of the time with words.  Neither of us was ready for our time to come to an end, but life was calling.

I still haven’t ventured back into the Facebook or Instagram world yet.  I am sure that I will eventually because I miss seeing all of the people that I love.  I just don’t feel like it’s time yet.

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 Could you do a silent retreat?  We are considering doing another one in the Spring.  If you are interested in attending, let me know!


6 thoughts on “That time when God said, “Be still and shut up”….

  1. I’m so glad you found someone to do this with. i know it was something you’d been wanting to do for some time. Thank you for praying for me during that time. Hearing those words from you touched me deeply. If I can ask a favor?…Keep praying – we need it. Your writing style is beautiful. I enjoy reading all of your blog posts. P.S. You look ADORABLE holding your craft! 🙂

  2. Hi Tamara! We met at Jodi’s fall party last year and I loved you right away. I’m so excited you have a blog because blogs are one of my favorite things. I’ve done a couple semi silent retreats over the past couple of years. Well, there’s a lot of TV and reading but not very much talking. Last winter I sat down with myself and with God and figured a whole relationship out while on a solo trip to Jarabacoa Hostel. I think it’d be a good challenge for me to cut out TV and music and books! That would require a lot of self control. God’s been prompting me lately to stop the scrolling So much of my life is spent on my dang iPod scrolling through various social medias. Luckily God (and whoever’s in charge of our power) has scheduled two hours each afternoon with no power so I can do some being still and some resting. Also just this weekend I decided with a friend that I am not going to get on any social media in the morning before school. It’s nice to set boundaries for myself.

    • Suzanne, thank you so much for your kind words. Yes, silent time is so hard to find in this country…and probably in most people’s lives. Jodi and I are probably going to do another one in the Spring. You should join us!

  3. Good afternoon! I am also a missionary in the Dominican. I love this post! I find myself coming back to it to re-read every so often. If you do decide to do another silent retreat this summer, please let me know. I would love to participate. 🙂

    Peace,
    Jessica

    PS. Was the hotel that you stayed at Playa Esmeralda? That is our absolute favorite relaxation place! Many good times on that piece of beach with our family. 🙂

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