Be Still and Surrender to Heal
By: Ellen Drews
Be Still and Surrender to Heal
Written by Ellen Drews
To Be Still is an action.
Choosing the theme Be Still for my business was a prayerful decision. This business theme would represent the essence and purpose of my work. After all, this next chapter in my life was in response to a calling deep with-in my soul.
“Be still” is written in scripture and some of my favorite verses contain this powerful request from God. I have these loving words displayed in my home on a beautiful plaque, a gift from my mother-in-law. As I walk into my home I am greeted with words “Be Still and Know that I am” Psalm 46:10. Different versions of the Bible will use slightly different wording such as, “Stop fighting and know that I am God,” “Stop Striving and know that I am God,” “Calm down and learn that I am God,” and “To the ends of the earth he makes wars cease.”
In my own healing story, I have a definitive Be Still moment, followed by a Be Still season. At the time I experienced that pivotal Be Still moment, I was anything but still. I was fighting against addiction and it was winning. I was striving against unrealistic and unhealthy beliefs, and I was battling for my family, my marriage and my sanity. “Coming undone” was an understatement. In the darkness and in the chaos, I hit a wall physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It felt like I was crashing at a dead-end road. Experiencing that slow motion moment just before a car crash, where loud competing noises fill the air. Screeching, honking, and metal hitting metal sounds, then powerful silence. It was there in the silence; I heard this calm whisper move through me. I clearly heard God gently asking me to “Be Still.”
I believe to Be Still also means to lay down our weapons, to wave the white flag, to surrender, to lay our burdens down. The concept of surrendering is critical in recovery, essentially, recovery cannot even begin until we take this first step. When we get still and surrender, we give a gracious and loving God permission to step in and to lead. We give ourselves permission to stand back and to listen. We are offered a vital opportunity to stop fighting a losing battle. To Be Still, is to humbly admit that at this moment, we cannot control what we are up against. In the twelve-step world, to be still, is an imperative action in many of the steps: Step one, we admitted we were powerless over…that our lives had become unmanageable. Step 2, came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity and Step 3, made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God. A dear friend would break it down for me like this: Step 1, I can’t, Step 2, He can, Step 3, I let Him.
As I became still amidst the chaos, it became possible for me to see things differently for the first time. In the stillness, I asked God repeatedly to help me to see things differently and perhaps, clearly. To begin my healing, I would need to realistically see myself, my circumstances, and my relationships for what they honestly were. Ultimately, I needed to reconcile my relationship with God. That reconciliation revealed my false beliefs about God’s love. This season of stillness would allow me to see who I was, and who I wanted to become.
Several years later, as I prepared for my business, I had a logo made, a web site built, and business cards created. Then I panicked a little, feeling unsure of my decision and afraid the theme may be misinterpreted. I discussed with my husband my fear that I might be sending the wrong message. If life coaching is all about goals, moving forward and positive transitioning, why did I pick a a statement that tells people, don’t do anything? I wanted his opinion about the possibility of sending a confusing message. My husband Matt replied, “Be Still is a verb, it is an action. It is the first action we take to real healing, when you’re spinning a million miles an hour and life is out of control, it takes real effort and real action to actually be still.” I felt he was right. The choice to stop and be still is actually the first step towards progress, because we cannot effectively move forward, until we get clear about what is happening.
In my experience, many of us avoid being still because we are afraid to stop spinning, doing, fixing, and controlling. If we get still, we will have to face what we are running from. This can be downright scary! Doing and doing becomes a way to deny or avoid ourselves. Only in stillness can we really face what is happening in our lives and begin to know what we are feeling. Many of us are too fearful or possibly not ready to take this step. Thus, we keep pushing ourselves away and we keep running in circles. We may be totally unaware of our true feelings. I have found if I ask someone in this state, what they are feeling, the response is often “exhausted” or “overwhelmed.” They rarely identify yet with feeling afraid, lonely or angry.
I read a devotional once about stillness, written by Greg Matte. He shared that deep people are still people. They understand that God is with them in their worst pain and darkest days. God is with them in their greatest pleasure and favorite moments. Stillness, he explains, deepens our hearts and our lives; it deepens who we are at a soul level. Stillness deepens our relationship with God; it deepens our understanding of the joy, weariness, anger or the hurt we feel. To explore the interior of our soul, we first get still in order to go inward.
“The Lord will fight for you; you only have to be still” Exodus 14:14. To Be Still is an invitation from God. Once you have had a season in the Be Still movement, your soul will yearn for this sacred solitude daily. When life gets noisy and my brain is ramped up, I can feel the Holy Spirit inviting me to rest in the Lord’s mighty presence. Being still is how I connect with myself; it is in the stillness I can honor my intuition and be calm, creative, curious, courageous and content. When I am still, God reveals to me what I need to know about myself and my life. When I am still, I can feel God restoring me, enlightening my soul with gratitude and humility. It is in these still moments alone with God, I know I am cared for beyond measure. “Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you shall find rest in Me. Matthew 11:29.