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 church – one 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?
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.
"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.
"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?
"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!"