A very good friend of mine (check out her blog at refinedbysimplelove.wordpress.com) and I have a saying. It usually comes out as one of us reminding the other:
“Well my dear, it seems like this is a season of growing standing still.”
It’s a phrase that came to me in prayer just after I was married a couple of years ago. In the months leading up to our wedding, my prayer had been full of all the what-ifs, excitement, and expectation of entering unknown territory, a new stage in my life. After we were married, it dawned on me that this new stage that had just begun wasn’t actually a stage…it was my life.
Maybe this should have been obvious to me. I mean, I knew what I was committing to when I professed my vows on my wedding day. But as a girl who had had most of her 25 years contextualized by the rhythm of the school year, life was broken up into chunks: high school, college, internship, grad school. This new chunk…well, there was no graduation date. As grateful as I was knowing that my marriage was forever, learning to be still and not get preoccupied yearning for the next big thing has taken some time.
I can hear my friend whispering to me from halfway across the country: “Remember, Andrea, God tells us to
Be still and know that I am God.”
It is so natural to me to look ahead to something new. It is so hard to stay put and learn how to love better where I am right now: in my third year of divinity school, in our little apartment, starting my third year of marriage. I want the next thing, the job, the new apartment, the baby. But if I can’t learn how to love here, where I am now, how will I learn to love there, in the future? That’s why it’s so vital for me to learn how to grow standing still. Because right now is all we ever have. And it’s not so bad after all.
“You know, I’ve been thinking,” my friend says to me. “This growing standing still thing, it’s pretty beautiful, you know. After all, that’s how a flower grows.”
Indeed it does. Little by little that little stalk of green sprouts into a breath-taking flower. How? Without moving an inch.