Have you ever been shushed? Me too. As a kid, the only time I ever remember being punished by a teacher was for being a tattle-tale.  Needless to say, my bossy, know-it-all self was shushed a lot . . .

There are times for silence, but sometimes the process is unfair and hurtful. As I mentioned a few weeks ago in Multitasking? Or Not Connecting?, one of my drive-thru pet peeves is when people won’t get off their cell phones.  What’s worse is when people have the audacity to shush me when I’m taking their order or handing them their food.  My counseling professors would be quick to tell me I need to examine those emotions and see why their behavior bothers me so much.  I would agree, examining those emotions is the way to emotional health, but in my flesh I really would just like to yell the person’s order back to them or toss the person’s phone in the trash when they shush me.  (Thankfully, my co-workers spur me on to just kill our guests with kindness in these situations; otherwise, I’m sure my flesh would break me at some point.)

I’d love to say that the times I’m shushed now are all injustices and the shusher is always the one at fault, but that would be a lie. There are times I need to be silenced.  The problem is that silencing still hurts.  I immediately feel indignant and defensive.  Protests immediately start to flow from my heart and my mind.

I’m grateful that God doesn’t shush me. This in itself shows how patient and merciful He is.  Honestly, I couldn’t stand to listen to my countless complaints.  I don’t know how He listens to everyone’s complaints—and cares! But He does.  In fact, He even asks us to talk to Him about everything.  He encourages the questions and the doubts and the hurts to come to Him.  Even though God doesn’t shush us (not like the world does), I do think that God uses pieces of a silencing process.  I think there are times when I really can’t do anything to fix a situation, I can’t speak my peace, and God uses that to help me trust Him more.  He’s up for listening to me, but my own powerlessness in situations seems to be an important part of my own growth.  After all, He can take care of it, right? So in these times where I just can’t do anything—with actions or words—I get to trust Him more.  I also think after I bring my hurts to God that sometimes (okay, a lot of the time) God calls me out for my sin in those moments.  It may not be my sin that caused the situation (though sometimes it certainly is), but chances are I’ve responded with some sort of sin.

How has God silenced you lately? What is God whispering to you in the silence?


Anyone that’s worked at a restaurant knows what it’s like to count down the minutes to the end of a shift.  It’s true, I’ve had some absolutely grueling last minutes in an office, but it just isn’t the same as those last few minutes of being on my feet, longing for a sip of cold water.  A few weeks ago, the thing that was getting me through my third day with a 9-hour shift (measly compared to some, but a lot for me) and my third 12-hour work day (I keep thinking maybe I’ll only have 1 job soon…) was this soda my boss gave me for employee appreciation day.  I don’t normally drink soda, but I was so excited about this soda.  It wasn’t just any soda, it was a glass bottle of pineapple soda.  (To those who somehow missed the memo, I love pineapple anything.)

The problem with this bottle of soda was that it had a lid requiring a bottle opener.  Being at a restaurant with the most sober group of co-workers imaginable, we were unable to open our soda gifts during work (there was not a bottle opener anywhere).  This made the build up for our sodas even more intense.  Truly, all I thought about the last four or so hours of my shift was taking a sip of that nice, cold pineapple soda.

I got my hopes up for something amazing.

Then finally my shift ended.  I drove home with my treasured soda nestled nicely in my cup holder.  I got to my door and as I turned to unlock the notoriously stubborn deadbolt, the soda fell from my hands.

In an instant, my soda was in a million pieces on my front porch and my hopes of an after work treat were shattered.

I’d love to tell you I handled this like a mature adult, but that would be a lie.  I stormed inside, took out my frustrations on my mom, cleaned up the glass, and pouted.  Yes, pouted.  Like a 4-year-old.

After a few tears, an apology, and more than a few pieces of chocolate, I started thinking about how often my hopes seem to end up like the pineapple soda on the front porch.  Frankly, I felt hurt.  Yes, it started with the ridiculous question, “Why God did you let me hope for that pineapple soda and take it away?  Can I not just have one joy in life?” But it ended with about a thousand other “whys” about areas where my life doesn’t feel fair and hopes seem shattered.

A few weeks ago I wrote a post called Dare to Hope.  I wrote about how inhibited I am by lack of hope.  I imagine there were (and are) others that struggle with those same inhibitions.  In that blog I mentioned that hope isn’t easy.  Disappointments are truly what drive my inhibitions, my lack of hope.  How many more shattered sodas can a girl take?!

In my flesh, I’m clearly unable to handle one shattered pineapple soda.  (Exhibit A: My 27-year-old pouting.)  In faith, I think the shattered hopes are often things that draw us to Jesus though.  Those broken pieces are where His love often seems to shine the brightest, and our cold hearts are forced to feel the warmth of His comfort.

I don’t think shattered hopes were part of God’s original plan.  I don’t think God designed the Garden of Eden to include heartbreak and tragedy.  I do, however, think there are times when God uses hope–even hope that ends in disappointment–to draw us to Him.

What I love about hope is the mysterious, but beautiful truth found in Romans 5:3-5 (ESV):

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Even in the midst of our sufferings and shattered dreams, God promises that hope will not put us to shame.  Take time to clean up after the shattered sodas.  But then keep hoping, friend!

The Chase

Growing up, my sister loved nothing more than a good chase. Tag of any kind was her absolute favorite game. She was fast, so it was no surprise that she never grew weary of the chase. I, however, was not, so I was inevitably the one chasing instead of being chased. There were countless times where tag ended in me being frustrated. (Except in the pool, then we were more equally suited.)

Maybe you were also the one chasing. You know how it feels to long to be able to just touch the sleeve of the person you were pursuing.

Being in a waiting season feels a bit like one of these unequally matched games of tag. There are so many longings that are just out of reach, and so many times I just want to throw my hands up and ask to play a new game. It’s easy to be out of breath, out of tricks, and out of hope.

Yet, even a pudgy girl chasing her beanpole sister can sometimes feel enough desire to drive a quick-paced chase on occasion.

For me, that chase has recently been toward Jesus. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not always chasing Jesus. My quiet times exist, but they’re often rushed and in a rut. But in a waiting season, there are times that motivate a chase. In this wait and others like it, I’ve literally ran to spend time with Jesus. I remember one occasion running with my Bible to get to a park bench and finally meet with Him.

I also remember times when I’ve so deeply desired to meet with Him, but every attempt has been squelched by some distraction. That can feel more like chasing my sister did.

Maybe you’re in a waiting season too. (After all, most seasons do have some element of waiting.) May I encourage you that the God of the Bible is worth the wait, is worth the chase, and makes Himself accessible to us.

One of my favorite accounts in the Bible is Luke 8:43-48 (HCSB),

43 A woman suffering from bleeding for 12 years,who had spent all she had on doctors yet could not be healed by any, 44 approached from behind and touched the tassel of His robe. Instantly her bleeding stopped.

45 “Who touched Me?” Jesus asked.

When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds are hemming You in and pressing against You.”

46 “Someone did touch Me,” said Jesus. “I know that power has gone out from Me.” 47 When the woman saw that she was discovered, she came trembling and fell down before Him. In the presence of all the people, she declared the reason she had touched Him and how she was instantly cured. 48 “Daughter,” He said to her, “your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”

 This woman had a wait I cannot fathom, and her chase displays the weariness of an unquenched thirst.  But her relief was found in simply touching the tassel of the Savior’s robe.  Jesus doesn’t promise that our waits will end by chasing Him (…or that they’ll end at all on this side of Heaven).  He does, however, offer sweet relief for our weary, restless souls.  He is the One that never grows weary of pursuing our wayward souls.