Stories that Matter

When It Comes Around…

There’s just something sacred about savoring silence.

Whether you’re bathed in sunshine, cloaked in moonlight, huddled deep in cushions in the corner of the porch watching the rain come down or staring out over a frozen body of water, snow falling softly from tall pines…silence reaches deep and says something to the soul.



I’m not a fan of snow and ice, but there’s something magical about the glistening, something spiritual in the stillness, that serene silence when all you can hear is your own heartbeat. It’s in those moments that I pause, reflect and really try to listen.

Can you hear things through the silence? Or does it become so deafening that it frightens all thought away?

Sometimes. Sometimes I loathe it and long for noise because I’m afraid of my own thoughts. I’ll turn up the music or watch television. I don’t want to hear unspoken words and so I drown them out.

Have you been there?

I have.

This past year I’ve dealt with more conflicting emotion than I know what to do with. Doubt. Fear. Sorrow. Confusion. They form hard knots in the pit of my stomach and tighten and tighten and tighten until all I can do is say, “God, make it go away!”

You know?
I do.

I don’t know why we’re put through these times. Times of testing. Times when nothing makes sense no matter which way you swing it. Times when you know there isn’t a simple logical reason in the world for you to feel this way, yet you do.

But I wonder now if it’s supposed to be this way. Because sometimes we need to sit in silence. Sometimes we need to just be still…because even if we don’t know now…we will. At some point, maybe soon, maybe not, things will come around.

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There will be a break in the clouds.

And we will know.


Yes. Joy.

And all the waiting, the wondering, the wanting…will all have been worth it.

Because I know this. God doesn’t walk away. He doesn’t give up. He doesn’t let go.

Believe that today, my friend. Even in the midst of it all.

Things will come around.

I know.

Here. Grab my hand. Hang on tight.

Your joy is coming. Soon.

And we will shatter the silence with our laughter.


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  1. Jennifer Zarifeh Major on September 19, 2014 at 11:00 am

    “Here. Grab my hand. Hang on tight. Your joy is coming. Soon.
    And we will shatter the silence with our laughter.”

    I’m counting the days, my dear friend. I can hardly wait to see you. But it’ll feel odd, because we met, one, but now we know each other so well! This has been quite a year, and wooooo! 37 days!!!

    • Cathy West on September 19, 2014 at 3:53 pm

      Jennifer, I can’t wait!! It’s going to be SO much fun!!!

  2. aschmeisser on September 19, 2014 at 11:11 am

    Yeah, and I don’t do silence. My life is lived to rock anthems like “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and “We Are The Champions”.

    I’ve got no choice. My life is a daily war, and I have to stay focused, and almost grotesquely hard of soul, because reflection and contemplation are fatal weaknesses. They drain my resolve, the will to prevail, and the will to survive.

    So it’s changed me…”Sorry, I can’t hear you over the sound of how awesome I am!”

    I wasn’t always like this. But when I realized that I’d drawn the dead man’s hand, I had to unleash hell on my enemy, this illness.

    Maybe there will be laughter one day. I hope so. But in the meantime I’m going cyclic, and will burn through every belt of ammo I have.

    • Cathy West on September 19, 2014 at 3:54 pm

      And we all wish we could fight that battle for you. But we’re doing so the only way we can – through prayer and just being here for you.
      You definitely inspire me, dude!

  3. gene on September 19, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    Yeah, well I do – do silience. I think we often spend far too much time trying to force Godly reasons on the hardships or tragedies that entered our lives. We feel that God must have a blessing waiting for us as a result of our struggle, but if we don’t see a blessing, we make one happen on our own. The truth is that there is no explanation this side of heaven that will satisfy us in certain instances. But for me at least, quiet can be a soothing balm. It provides the sheltered setting where I tend to examine myself, my motives, my ego and my faith. Even more, the blankness of silence reminds me that God, not I, maintains control and He responds in His time.

    • Cathy West on September 19, 2014 at 3:56 pm

      Hi Gene – you’re right. Some things happen and we don’t know why and may not ever know why. And everyone experiences joy in different ways don’t they? I believe the hard times will either crush us or strengthen us. It’s up to us to choose how to respond and how to reach out when we need to.

      • gene on September 19, 2014 at 4:05 pm

        Sometimes we’re both crushed and strenghtened. This is about the third time I quoted this in the past week:
        Dr. Charles Stanley:
        “Unless we come to the end of ourselves and learn to allow Him to work through us, we will never reach our full potential in Christ. Brokenness is God’s requirement for maximum usefulness.”

  4. Jeanne Takenaka on September 19, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    Cathy, I’m with you. Sometimes I turn on the radio to avoid the silence. Sometimes it convicts me through my thoughts. Other times, it brings a sense of emptiness.

    But sometimes, silence is what I need, because in this crazy-busy life I live, my spirit needs to remember how to be still, and silence is the key that unlocks the stillness. Helps me regroup and re-aligns my focus where it should be. 🙂

    And you’re so right. Sometimes it’s in the silence where joy comes back around. 🙂 I love how you’re clinging to truth my friend.

    • Cathy West on September 19, 2014 at 3:58 pm

      Thanks Jeanne!
      Yes, we all need those moments. And we need the joy too!
      I’m so glad I got to spend that moment of joy with you in Colorado!

  5. jackiegmills on September 19, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    I often find that I don’t know the reason for hardships until much later – sometimes years later. Your continued and steadfast trust through the hardship you’re going through is inspirational. I wish you joy.

    • Cathy West on September 19, 2014 at 3:58 pm

      Thanks for that, Jackie!
      It’s hard to remember sometimes, but things always do improve eventually. Until the next time. But life is always full of peaks and valleys.

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