Monday, July 30, 2012


Yes, I am.

And I am quite skilled in the art of turtling.


Let me define this word using Sharon's English-to-Sharon Dictionary:

Turtling:  withdrawing into oneself; hiding in one's shell; refusing to poke one's head out and see how the rest of the world is doing

So, that would be me – turtling.

I am midway through my fourth week up here in the mountains (though I'm counting it as the third week – because the second week I was back in familiar territory with my family and friends)…

And no, I'm not having a spiritual tantrum anymore.

But I still haven't quite *mounted up on wings like an eagle* yet…

I've been feeling very isolated and lonely the last few days.  The wrestling Jacob and running Jonah have been replaced with the weeping Jeremiah.

Our house is beautiful – but remote and secluded.

And the last few days I've felt a bit like I'm living on a very small island. Not only am I feeling like a castaway – I'm feeling cast away.

Yes, another shade of self-pity from me.

I have wondered why God has chosen to remove me from all things familiar. I have wondered why He seems to have taken so many of the things that I was involved in down the mountain, and ground them to a screeching halt.

I wonder why my writing voice has dried up.

I wonder why He seems so far away.

Yes, it's true – I do have people that I could talk to about these feelings.  But when I choose to "turtle" – I usually disappear off the map.  

I hate to bother people when I feel like this – but I also don't bother people because I'm too busy getting all hot and bothered about the fact that no one seems to be bothering about me.

(What is it about this move that has turned me into a two-year-old???)

But God still speaks to toddlers…

Last week "The Hub" and I decided to forge ahead with some of the things we need to do to complete (start) the kitchen remodel up here.  Of course, we had to drive more than an hour to get to the towns that have the showrooms we wanted to visit - (unnecessary whine).

On that drive, we happened to pass a churchone of those little churches that has a marquee out front.  This is what it said:

"God loves you when no one cares!"


(Why does God take the time to speak just to me?  ☺)

It got me thinking.

I know that God wants me up here.  So, what is He trying to tell me up here in these beginning weeks of emotional turmoil?

Three things.

One, He seems to be repeating the same thing He's been saying to me for well over a year…

"Sharon, is it really just Me?"

He is whittling me, pruning me, lopping off all those things in my life that make me feel secure.  He's honing my focus.  He is testing my heart to see how much I really put Him first in my life.

God wants me to learn something in this solitude and stillness.  He wants me to concentrate on HIS voice.

Evidently, I'm not a very good listener.

Second, He wants me to know how much HE loves me.  

Not how much my friends love me, how much my family loves me, how much my husband loves me.  He wants me to delve deeper into HIS heart, and see what HIS perfect love feels like.

"Sharon, is My love enough?"

And third, He wants me to ask myself this very important question:

"Sharon, do you love Me more than My purpose for you?"

It's a big question – I'm gonna have to ponder that one for a while.  My immediate answer is yes.  My desired answer is yes.  My truthful answer is…yes, but do I truly act as if that's true?

Because if I did, I think I would realize that His purpose right now is for me to love Him, just Him, and to listen for Him in the stillness and solitude of this mountain.

Case in point – this was our dialogue this morning as I did my daily Bible reading:

Lord, I'm questioning – why have You brought me here?

"Does a clay pot argue with its maker?  Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying, 'Stop, you're doing it wrong!'…This is what the LORD says…your Creator: 'Do you question what I do for my children?  Do you give me orders about the work of my hands?'" (Isaiah 45:9, 11)

But Lord, I feel like no one cares.

He continues:

"Listen to me…I have cared for you since before you were born.  Yes, I carried you before you were born.  I will be your God throughout your lifetime…I made you, and I will care for you.  I will carry you along and save you."  (Isaiah 46:3-4)

Yes, but I'm afraid that I've lost my purpose.

He speaks:

"Do not tremble; do not be afraid.  Did I not proclaim my purposes for you long ago?...Pay attention…for you are my servant…I, the LORD, made you, and I will not forget you…I would not have told [you] to seek me if I could not be found."  
(Isaiah 44:6-8/Isaiah 44:21/Isaiah 45:19)

OK, Lord – so why the big old PAUSE in my life right now?

He answers:

"I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness – secret riches.  I will do this so YOU MAY KNOW that I am the LORD…the one who calls you by name."  (Isaiah 45:3)

I am silenced.

For I am deeply loved – and not forgotten – by the King Himself.

The King who desires to reveal Himself to me.

If you recall, a turtle once beat a hare in a race – 

(Of course, I'm thinking he had to take his head out of the shell to see where he was going…)

Slow and steady – that's the secret.

Slow and steady is what the Lord is calling me to experience – and I can only find the secret to that sort of race in a still and quiet heart.

Lord, help me find You as I seek…

"For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven…There is a time to be quiet…"  (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7)

"Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved.  In quietness and confidence is your strength."  (Isaiah 30:15)

What do you think God might want to say to you in a quiet moment alone?

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. Love and prayers sweet friend.

  2. Oh Sharon, it seems you and I have much in common. Meet your fellow "turtle". :)

    Five years ago, my husband and I moved to unfamiliar territory and I found myself, like you, uprooted from friends and the comfort of my surroundings. Even though I knew in my head that God had a reason and a plan, my heart was confused and I did a lot of whining. But in this season, I have learned that God is faithful. Needless to say, this post hit a nerve and this verse in particular jumped out at me:

    "I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness – secret riches. I will do this so YOU MAY KNOW that I am the LORD…the one who calls you by name." (Isaiah 45:3)

    Thank you for this post. Thank you for allowing yourself to be vulnerable enough to write it. God bless you as you seek Him in the quiet places.

  3. Hi Sharon,

    I echo the last sentence from Angel, thank you.

    Your post says a lot, much of which, as usual I can relate to.

    I find myself continuously questioning the Lord's timing at the moment, I repent and then do it all over again.

    I think, well I know, that He is saying to me, amongst other things, Trust and Obey.

    My thoughts and prayers have been with you and will continue to be.

    Take Care, God Bless - Hugs Nita

  4. The question that stood out most to me was do you love God more than God's purpose for you. Now that's real food for thought.

  5. Great post...can so relate...been there and in some areas still there and the truth is will probably be there again. You have voiced this season well.

  6. You may be a tempporary 'turtle', but you are a turtle with a gift of words! I just so relate to your writing, it always strikes a chord with me. I pray that the purposes of this time and this place will be so special that you will look back on the turtle days and laugh out loud! :)

  7. Debbie Fix-It just wanted to jump in a car and head to the mountains in the beginning of this. (Note that I didn't say "fly on those wings of eagles". As I read it, the sadness in my heart (and there is sadness) lifted some as I could see the beautiful things He is still showing you, even when you think you are turtled away in the shell.

    I was very convicted and then scripturally comforted by the part about His purpose.

    You were on my heart a lot today. I didn't even know you had given us an update until tonight.

  8. TRUST ME. (o: I will continue to pray for are not alone.

  9. Awwww Sharon... and here I thought you were a F.R.O.G. not a turtle! You are deeply missed, on my heart so much and definitely in my prayers. I have been so moved as you share your heart in this move and many times I have wanted to write but as you are finding out, it is not always easy without internet available at your touch, nor when your heart is heavy.

    Once again, this is such a beautifully written word of God speaking to you and through you. I'd love to be able to climb your mountain just to give you a hug but I know that the Mountain Mover has gone before you, with you and will continue to help you with all your mixed emotions and waiting. What a beautiful finish, with knowing that a turtle did win this race.

    I've had many quiet moments alone... they seemed like endless moments waiting to hear,
    "God, are you there, it's me Margaret?" (remember this book?)... well, today I'm out of my hibernation as you venture out of your shell and share... I just had to come and tell you:
    I miss you! I love you! and I know God does too or first and ever so much more. I love how you found the answers to your personal questions in your Isaiah reading. You are not a castaway alone on a mountain... a Jonah, Jacob, Job or Jeremiah (but I'm sure that they all have had something to say to your circumstances)... you are Sharon... daughter of the King, treasured writer and friend, sister in Christ, strong in the Lord and the power of His might and you will rise up on eagles' wings and face this mountain recluse as a rich time in God's Presence, closer to Him... the heights of your CLIMB, "with hind's feet to walk upon those high places," (Habakkuk 3:19)those rocky places, those lonely places, those beautiful views, those quiet times, those difficult places between a rock and a hard place, to lead you on a journey filled with purpose and delight in His heart, your heart and your dear husband. Hold on! Keep the faith!Keep climbing and journaling your faith filled moments with such honesty and a new sense of who you are and who He is... together you will make it! Sorry the road looks so rough right now and the fog seems so thick. Maybe it's just the silver lined clouds showing you His glory!

    You are a treasure and He has called you by name! Beloved Shari... trust Him!

    Love always, thinking of you sending you a hug and many prayers,

  10. Hi my nountaintop friend!

    Been checking in on you in a "lurking" manner and noticed that you're not regularly posting as before - due, I suspect, to your lack of hook-up. So far removed.

    I haven't been posting, either - not quite so regularly - because I'm TOO hooked-up - connected - in the middle of a whole lot of busy and wishing I had the hours alone in a beautiful house in the mountains without any deadlines looming or busy beckoning. Reading, writing, and being creative in DIY whatnots for the simple love of it - and not because I HAVE to.

    Yet, I know your pain to a point. Being a former Navy wife and living so many years so far removed from familiar - then - after two years being far removed from familiar again - and again.

    I clung to God - Who never left me and was my ever familiar friend and comfort in foreign territories. He makes all things familiar again - and again - and again.

    I pray you enjoy your forced hiatus. Something greater than a turtle's head will come out of this shell - and you will bask in newness of joy and purpose as never before.

    AND - you best be blogging about it all, sister!

    Love you!

  11. So timely and so true. I've done a little bit of "turtling" myself over the past two weeks. I call it "disappearing", but it's basically the same thing - and it's not good for me! Thank you for this post - it was absolutely what I needed to hear tonight :)

    God bless!

  12. Sharon, see my comment on your post at the end of June. That sort of answers this question. But there are two Scriptures here that you have quoted that are important to me now. Isaiah 30:15 served me like a Rock when I went through that huge trial in 1985. The NIV says: "In repentance and rest is your salvation; in quietness and trust is your strength." And the Lord has brought it back to me again now as I go through this trial, this unknown, this change in my youngest's life and thus mine. I will be strong in Him and capable of handling whatever He allows into my life if I am quiet--"Be still and know that I am God."
    Then Isaiah 46:3-4 comforted me as I read it here today. He will carry me along. Like a trampled upon victim, I am draped out across his open arms--and He carries me.

    These Scriptures are treasures He has given you. And, you still have us who miss you very much. But you must be about Your Father's business--spending time with Him. He will draw you out of your shell at the proper time. And even turtles come out for food and water--at least our desert tortoise does :)

    If you have a chance, order the Bible Study by James MacDonald--"Always True"-God's Promises when Life is Hard. Dig in--there's a lot of Scripture treasures to be found there. And if your internet is working, you can download the weekly video for $5 from Lifeway Curriculum.
    And I echo Peggy's sentiments!


"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)