By Helen Spigner
Why A Stilling Season? Life, for the most part, has been about drifting in and out of seasons, month after month, year after year. Moving through the motions with little to no time for reflection. How am I doing? Where is God in all of this? Am I controlling my circumstances? I find myself standing at life’s doorway. Is this door fully open, cracked? Or does it seem to close more than it opens, giving me reason for pause, stillness, discernment.
My life… a complete blur, a tornado, a whirlwind, a chaotic, disorganized, seemingly organized mess! Yep, that was me…that is, until I came across life’s detour, cancer. My particular cancer had it’s share of curveballs, unexpected surprises that made me wonder…well, what is the prognosis? Uncertain was all I got. Not fatal, not stage 4 but results from a genetic test of my particular tumor placed me at an extremely high risk of recurrence. Some hard core chemo, multiple surgeries, post cancer meds, yearly exams and prayer equals new perspective on life. God met me in the uncertain moments. He whispered, “Helen, I just need you to be still and get to know ME. For I know the plans I have for you, declared the Lord….” That inner voice was the pause button I needed. Though I may oftentimes coast through the seasons of the year; somehow, someway there is that hidden inner whisper that calls me to A Stilling Season. I have come to actually “feel” the nudge. I can almost sense his gentle hand pulling at my shirt as I begin to step back on the gerbil wheel of life. He gently leads me back to my quiet, reflective place. “Now, I just need you to sit for awhile.” Through this Inner Guidance, I am better equipped to live my life with intention, to recognize the detours, to stand at the cracked door and wait. I have come to understand the immense importance of taking time for prayer, discernment, moments to pause and reflect. Pre-cancer, I NEVER paused long enough to check in on myself. What am I doing? Does this feel right? Are my kids okay? Am I really being present for them? How is my marriage? Am I doing my part? How am I really doing? Hmmmm…. where is it I need to cut back? Is my “doing” outweighing my “be-ing”? From what I believe to be God-imposed questions to me, this Inner Voice continues to whisper… “Now, you do remember part two of my mission for you; teaching others to discover their own “stilling season”. There is a time and season for everyone and I am calling every single child of mine to a stilling season, a time of rest and refuge, healing and hope.” (my paraphrased Heart Whisper) “Do people not know by now that they must be still to know that I am God in their life? It’s up to you to show them.” My response? “Well, in this crazy world, this isn’t an easy feat! No one wants to be still. There is too much to do, too many daily tasks to accomplish, and 24 hours just isn’t enough time to cram it all in!” Like Moses… resistance, arguing, “Are you kidding me? No one is going to listen to me. I am just an ordinary girl with breast cancer. Who cares what I have to say?” Ten years later He continues to challenge me to share His great message of our crucial need for stillness… as needed as food, clothing and shelter.” It’s time everyone embraces My Season of Stillness, created by Me for My purposes to be fulfilled. Without true, intentional, unforced stillness, very few will ever come to understand the abundant love and grace that I so freely offer.” God has provided me an ongoing image that has become deeply ingrained within me. When the memory or image begins to fade, He adjusts my focus. He will not allow me to slip away. He reminds me of his mission. He reminds me of what it felt like to enter into a new dimension of life, one of abundance and delight; a vibrant, life-giving dimension. I am forever grateful for this Divine imagery. Encountering this Stilling Season, there seems only way to articulate the imagery that comes to mind and I share it through a video clip from one of the breathtaking scene’s in C.S. Lewis’, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Stepping into the wardrobe, Lucy stumbles into the path of a new land, a new season in fact. She is in awe of its mystery. She expresses joy that is real. In that scene, similar to my own Divine experience in the woods, Lucy looks up among the trees and becomes awakened to this new creation. For her it seems nothing more than experiencing a “new season”. Truly, it is the doorway of which God invites us in. A Stilling Season is to be space in which one is invited to take risk and enter in; a new season with arms wide open to embrace space that is more simple in nature, an escape from the busyness and chaos of the world. Just know…there are no rules here, no agenda, no judgment, just an offering of stillness; space that is not of this world; a place to just show up and rest for awhile…prayerfully a moment where you are able to “experience” the Mystery of God.
“Be still before the Lord and wait for him.” ~Psalm 37:7