searching in the sunset

I hear a lot of silence lately.

Growing up in church, I was taught to seek God at a young age. To pray, hope, have faith, listen, read, and look for His direction and wisdom. With every decision, big and small, I was taught to “give it to God” and let Him direct your path. I still believe this is true. I want God’s guidance and leading in my life.

But lately, as I pray and hope and wait, all I hear is a lot of silence.

I don’t feel peace or see the direction I should take. It feels very quiet. Very lonely. And my soul aches as it hopes to hear from God.

I know He is there. But it doesn’t feel like He is.

I know He cares. But I wonder does He really?

I know He loves me. But then I wonder why won’t He show up?

I know He is listening. But is He actually hearing?

I am praying for His will and, if the situation can’t change, I ask Him, “Can you please change my heart then?”

And still, I hear silence.

Last night, as I was driving my daughter home from figure skating practice, I was struck with how pretty the sunset was… It was a vibrant pink and orange that contrasted the deep purple mountains on the horizon.

“Look Piper!” I said, almost in a whisper. “Look at how beautiful it is.”

I pulled over to the side of the road, stepped onto the desert dirt, and began to snap pictures. It was vast and beautiful and I felt the majesty of it as I stared into the colorful hues.

I stood for a moment, cars whizzing past me on the street, and just stared. I realized I could see God in that sunset. Its beauty, its grandeur, and its peace.

The other day, I took my kids to the Pacific Ocean, and I realized I had felt the same way as I looked at its vast blue, felt the cool sand under my feet, heard the surf crashing with each wave, and watched my kids giggle and shriek as they got splashed.

I realized: maybe lately all I hear is silence, but I can still see a lot of love. In the beauty of the earth, in the sweetness of my babies, in the kindness of my friends. While I cannot hear His guidance in my life right now, I still see Him all around. And I can rest knowing that while I continue to wait for His leading, I can still see that He is there. And it lets me still hang on to hope.

I know I’m not the only one struggling right now. I know the last few years have felt heavy and difficult to most of us. Maybe God has given you peace and direction, or maybe you are like me and are still searching, praying, hoping for peace and direction. I encourage you friend to search in the sunsets. In the oceans. In the flowers. In your pet. In your family or friends. In a cup of tea and soft music. He’s there. He is still there. He promises He will always be there. So if you can’t hear, look.

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