Five Minute Friday scribblings, Trusting God

Quiet: When Life Feels Overwhelming

White laden trees

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Our Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—QUIET. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. I write for five minutes on a given topic. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out our hostess, Kate Motaung’s site. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!

QUIET

Just before I read what our word was for this week, I got some news that has my spirit in turmoil and my heart all twisted up. No, someone didn’t die. But the news was not what I had hoped to hear. It will be life-changing.

It’s been a crazy couple weeks, with a willful boy, an incomplete science project that’s over deadline and an injury. I am spent. I am frazzled, and I feel beaten up by circumstances.

It’s so easy to go off on someone, to vent my fear, my frustration and my response at God’s “No” answer to my prayer. It’s so easy to get busy and forget that there is One who wants to draw near to me.

I have a choice. I can push Him away and keep my body busy and my spirit sapped.

Or, I can choose to be still. To yield to Him. I can choose to draw near to Jesus.

The world tells us being productive is the answer.

But there are times when being productive is just ignoring a deeper problem. A deep need.

Quiet trees

In this case, my need is to come near to Jesus. To cry a few tears and to humble myself before Him. I didn’t get what I had hoped He would grant.

And that is okay.

He’s giving me an opportunity to see what Zephaniah 3:17 lived out in real time looks like.

If I want to know the blessings of His love, the tenderness of His affection, I’m going to have to quiet myself. Still my fingers. Breathe deep, and jump into the deep places of trusting God.

I love the part in the verse that says He will quiet us with His love.

More than anything else right now, I need this. To have His love wash over every single part of who I am. To feel the calming affects of His presence soothing, quieting the fears trying to overtake me and cause me to live in a frenetic state.

Zeph 317-2 copy

There are times when His quiet love is the only answer to the disappointments in life. If I want to know it, I need to choose to trust God’s plan, even in the uncertainties.

What about you? When has Jesus quieted you with His love? How do you handle the unexpected fears that sometimes crash into your life?

I’m linking up with Kate Motaung at Five Minute Friday—Quiet

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41 thoughts on “Quiet: When Life Feels Overwhelming”

  1. Amen!! Trusting the Lord in this difficult situation is the only way I am getting through this time. I have to be still and know that He is God and rely on HIM!!

    parked at #10 this week

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  2. His quiet love….I love that too. Sorry you’ve had such a rough week friend. Praying you find some quiet and are able to lean into him and trust him. I know that can be hard when he didn’t answer the way we want him too. Love you friend! I’m over in the #7 spot this week.

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    1. Tara, Zephaniah 3:17 was the first verse I thought of when I saw the prompt for this week. I’m so thankful for your prayers. Thank you. God always has a way of ministering to us and helping us through life’s hard, doesn’t He? SOOOO thankful for you!

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  3. Jeanne, first and foremost, you are in my prayers.

    When the unexpected happens, I revert to training…in an ambush, the best chance for survival is to attack into the gun line. You can’t run, and if you go to ground you’ll simply get chopped to pieces. Attacking gives the psychological edge that’s absolutely vital for survival.

    So that’s what I do. And I send the after-action report to The Big J later.

    Sorry this is kind of telegraphic. Terribly hard day. But still here.

    #3 at FMF this week.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2016/01/your-dying-spouse-112-loud-fight-fmf.html

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    1. I like what you shared, Andrew. Rather than letting life happen, we can—with God’s help—confront life’s circumstances. You live this out daily. And your words here help me understand how you keep moving forward. I love the perspective of taking action. Sometimes this looks like being intentional in prayer, pursuing Jesus hard. Other times, it looks like us taking action. The point is, as you shared, not to run away or hiding.

      Praying much for you, my friend!

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  4. Jeanne, I hear your quiet strength, your sure faith in the hard words you wrote today. I hear your trust and your heart that is bending to God. Thank you for your quiet grace. It is speaking loud to my heart.

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  5. Thanks again for the reminder. I woke up before the alarm this morning, with life’s turmoil rolling over and over in my head. My word for this year is “surrender.” I have to remember that means to surrender ALL. Good to know I’m not alone out there. Blessings…

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    1. Lisa, I have those mornings where turmoil wakens me early too. “Surrender” . . . a difficult word. However, I suspect God is going to take you in amazing directions as you learn how to live this out. Bless you, friend.

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  6. So sorry to hear of the struggles. So hard to give something up you’ve been hoping for. I felt like that in being forced by my body to stop teaching: turns out God had a much bigger blessing awaiting me…not an easy one, but one in which His Light and Hope shone brighter than ever before. Trusting this letting go will bring much more beautiful gifts. Hugs!

    Such a timely word for you this week. It was for me too. I’m learning to keep my mouth shut and wait on the Lord’s wisdom in parenting…not easy, that’s for sure…but ultimately brings so much peace.

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    1. Thanks, Anna. It is hard giving up things we enjoy, and things we hope for. I’m so glad that God’s plans are always perfect. I’ve learned that in His sovereignty we see His love for us. This WAS a timely word for me this week. I’m looking forward to reading your post later this weekend, my friend. Have a wonderful weekend.

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  7. I so get this…. someone may not have died but a dream… a hope… a wish sometimes does and it breaks our hearts as well. Praying for you today, friend! You are on a journey… get some rest, quiet yourself in His presence and stay still. He rejoices over you and restores your soul. Big hugs and love to you! (FMF #31)

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    1. Rachel, I knew I wasn’t alone in dealing with things that don’t turn out the way we hope. Thank you so, so much for the prayers. I felt the prayers of people today, and it ministered to my spirit. I love Zephaniah 3:17. I hope you have a relaxing weekend, my friend.

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  8. I’m praying for you, Jeanne. God is waiting ringside to put salve on your wounds and his cloak of righteousness around you–he’ll even step in and take your place in the fight! May the Holy Spirit comfort your hurting heart and bring Jesus vision to your eyes. Hugs!

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    1. Anita, your words spoke life to me. I’m so glad God is always there to put salve on our wounds. And to think He’ll even cover us with a cloak of righteousness. Such an amazing visual. He does give us rest in the fight (or when things don’t go as we’d hoped), and He refreshes so we can keep in it. Thank you so, so much for your words and prayers. They spoke to a deep place.

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  9. The past month I have been really struggling with just not knowing what the future holds for family members with health problems, my husband and his struggling heart and the direction of our nation. But God remains faithful and when I draw near to Him, He is so faithful and continues to guide me. I love that verse! Thanks for sharing! Oh and by the way, I love your title of your whole blog. I did a series this month on Faith and grace and waiting. You should check it out when you have the time. thanks for sharing again : )

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    1. Kristina, I think one of the hardest things in life is watching family members struggle with health issues and not knowing how they’ll turn out. I’m so sorry you’re walking that path right now. When the struggles are too big (and aren’t they often TOO big?!), it’s reassuring to know, not only do we know the One who holds the future, He loves us. A lot. He quiets churning spirits with His love.

      Thanks for your kind words about my little space on the Internet. I’m truly blessed you stopped by!

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  10. Jeanne,
    I am so sorry. Thank you for choosing to write in spite of your disappointment. Sometimes we all relate better to struggles than successes. This was a heartfelt post. I appreciate that you have such faith to recognize that God is still with you in all of it. That is the most valuable piece of your post.
    Praying for you through this unexpected piece that has caused you tears. I so appreciate your prayers at the beginning of the month. It was as if somebody had died. It was that bad.
    Great love for you!
    ~Tammy
    (#11 this week)

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    1. Tammy, I think you’re right. We often do relate better to struggles than successes. Successes are nice, but it’s in the struggles where faith is honed and deepened. I love God’ promise that He will never leave us or forsake us. It’s when the struggles come along that we really see what that means.

      THank you so very much for your prayers, my sweet fried. And know that it was (is) a privilege to pray for you. I hope things are getting better now.

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  11. Love the phrase “quiet love.” Sometimes that is just the soother I need. Thanks, as always, for your honesty. Your ability to take a “meh” set of circumstances and turn them toward God is always such a good reminder for me.

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    1. Annie, that verse in Zephaniah is one of my FAVORITES. Getting a glimpse of how incredibly much God loves us just makes me stop in wonder sometimes. And knowing that His love quiets us, that He calms the chaos in our spirits, that His love is steadfast gives such comfort, doesn’t it?

      Have a good weekend, my friend!

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  12. Dear lady, my heart aches for you right now. Obviously I don’t know what’s going on, but the struggle comes through loud and clear. I’d like to wrap you up in a blanket, feed you some chocolate and just listen for awhile. Since we cannot do that, I will pause and lift you up in prayer.

    “The world tells us being productive is the answer.

    But there are times when being productive is just ignoring a deeper problem. A deep need.”

    This is so true. So very true. More than once in life have I felt the Holy Spirit telling me to slow down and sit with Him. But I didn’t want to confront what would inevitably come to the surface in the slowing. So I ran and kept busy and the problem just got bigger. Thankfully He is patient and always there when I finally stop being stupid and do as He directed in the first place.

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    1. Marie, thank you so much for your compassion and your prayers. I am beyond grateful for them.

      Confronting the hard stuff within us is hard. And God has me doing a little bit of that right now, as it sounds like He has done with you. I hope as you let HIm show you the things He’s wanting to refine in you that you will also know His deep healing and love for you. I’m so thankful for your honest sharing—both here and on your blog.

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  13. Jeanne, you write with such compassionate gentleness even in your current struggles. There is a lot to pause and ponder on here but these words seemed to leap out at me: “If I want to know the blessings of His love, the tenderness of His affection, I’m going to have to quiet myself. Still my fingers. Breathe deep, and jump into the deep places of trusting God.”
    It’s hard, isn’t it? Quietening our souls isn’t easy either when all within us feels defeated or devastated. However, Zephaniah’s words tell us that God does the necessary quietening for us as He sings His love over our weary souls. Friend, God is singing that song of rejoicing over you right now as He sees your faith in the midst of adversity and the way you choose to be still and trust in Him.
    And we’re singing it too because there is strength in numbers, yes? And you inspire with your heartfelt honesty here. Thank you for keeping it real and still laden with insight and grace. Praying for you and yours in the days ahead. Rest well.. Xx

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    1. Joy, thank you for your words. It seems like in the times of struggle or/and disappointment, that it is hard to quiet our souls. I’m so glad that God’s love quiets us, that He is a comfort and a reassurance. God always knows what we need and how to provide it, yes?

      Thank you so much for your prayers and your encouragements. You bless me, friend. I hope there are quiet moments in your weekend!

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    1. Thank you, Debbie. Yes, even though I don’t always like them initially, I KNOW God’s plans are the best plans. Thanks for the prayers. God is giving me that comfort and peace, and I’m so very grateful. I hope you have a weekend that holds quiet moments!

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  14. I’m sorry to read of the recent disappointment you’ve received. But you already know God has a plan. Your words spoke to me about God’s quiet love… “If I want to know it, I need to choose to trust God’s plan, even in the uncertainties.” I’m trusting right along with you. Thanks for blessing me with your words.

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  15. After I’ve asked for help, and then ask him to stand beside me in the wait of that prayer sent out – that’s where I find that quiet. Beautiful encouragement, Jeanne – and beautiful photo! Shalom!
    ~Maryleigh

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  16. Jeanne, disappointment is no fun at all. Sorry you’re having to experience it. Praying for you. God definitely showed me love through the almost unbearable loss of my son.

    Lynette
    ~#117 this wk

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    1. So true, Lynette. I didn’t know you lost your son. I am so, so sorry. I cannot even imagine the difficult road you’ve walked. I appreciate your prayers. My disappointment is much smaller than that. I’m so thankful God shows us love, especially when we walk through those unbearable seasons of life. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing a piece of you here.

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    1. Amy, obviously, I’ve done the same. 🙂 May we both choose to yield to the things God wants to teach us in each moment. I so appreciate your encouraging words. Thanks for stopping by!

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