My name is Autumn Buzzell and I live and work in Ghana, West Africa with City of Refuge Ministries. Here, I run our school, Faith Roots International Academy, and get to be a part in rescuing and the healing of children who have been trafficked into the fishing trade, orphaned, abandoned, and those who just need a little extra loving. What an amazing gift this life is!

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Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Quiet


I've found that I am incredibly comfortable with noise.

I live in an apartment by myself, but you will find that it is rarely quiet.  The background noise of the television.  The latest tunes blaring on my radio.  My phone frequently in my hand--instagram, facebook, gmail, youtube...all readily accessible at the touch of my fingers.

I've been reading this amazing book, Sacred Rhythms by Ruth Haley Barton, a book that I read almost two years ago, but am now reading in community with my friends here.  I feel the call for depth in Ruth's words.  I sense the longing for more.  I want to be willing to turn off the noise and really begin to listen.

Lately, I've been feeling the call to a place of quiet.  Time away from everything that fills me with the noise that I am so comfortable with.

To be honest, I get anxious about even considering what turning off the noise might mean.

It means I might have to face what is really going on in me.

And I might not like what I see.

Or perhaps I will be challenged beyond what I know and am comfortable with...to stretch my boundaries once again.  Oh God, can't I just stay in my comfortable noise-filled space for now?

I don't want to be stretched.

But, yet, I also have this feeling like I can't stay in this noisy place much longer without some repercussions.  The noise drains away the motivation to engage, to inspire, to create, to relate to others well.  The noise takes over the ability to hear, to listen, to be filled.

The quiet...well...it has its own set of fears that go along with it...but I'm beginning to wonder if quiet is the answer.

A few weeks back, Stacy, Miriah, and I sat in a place of silence and I realized my mind couldn't shut off.  For five whole minutes of silence, it didn't stop, it didn't focus, it didn't slow down.  I was frustrated at the overwhelming speed of my thoughts.  The hundreds of things that I needed to get done in the week ahead.  The new song I was listening to just before blasted its lyrics into my consciousness.  There was no peace.  There was only confusion, unrest, and busyness.

I realized then that the noise had taken over.

And it was consuming the places of quiet that were provided for God to speak.  I couldn't hear because my mind was simply recalling the noise.

So, quiet must be a practice.  A continual practice.

I need less noise.  I need more quiet.

I need to practice this silence.

Because I need that ability to hear, to listen, to be filled to be restored.  I need the motivation to engage, to inspire, to create, and to relate to others well.

I am beginning to see that space for silence creates opportunities for me to not just connect to God, but to feel more "me" again.  It clears the noise and allows for my true self to be made known.

Scary as the silence may be, I'm finding that the noise is even scarier...it's trickier.  It pretends to fill, but can only go so far.

Facing myself, and God, in the silence, is where I am most whole.

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