A trip down memory lane. That’s what this challenge is turning out to be for me. It’s a fitting time for such a trip. In the autumn season, I often find myself turning inward. As the leaves change, so does the direction of my thoughts. I find that I’m more reflective as the days grow cooler and shorter. The rhythm of nature reminding me that times of quiet and rest are necessary to thrive and grow.
For this first moment of still, I wracked my brain for a very first memory of safety and security. As a baby, I know I was greatly loved. I was the first granddaughter on my dad’s side, the first child my parents would get to hold in their arms. I had no shortage of loving people in my life to nurture (and spoil) me. So, what was my first memory of the quiet still that I seek so earnestly these days…
I don’t know what age I was, but it was definitely winter. I recall sliding my little legs inside the arm of my mother’s winter coat. I was wearing my Sunday best with the requisite legging tights because I remember feeling the silky lining of her coat rub against the stockings on my legs. I cocooned myself, warm and cozy, and laid down on the wooden church pew. The sound of the organ and voices of my parents mixing in with the congregation. Warm, safe, loved…still. In the embrace of that moment, I rested, giving in to the peace that soothed my little soul.
I’m sure I wasn’t always an angel during those early church services, but to this day sitting in the church sanctuary brings me much peace. I am thankful that my parents didn’t relegate me to the church nursery that day, though I’m sure there were plenty of times they did. How amazing to think my first memory of peace and serenity is within the very house of my Lord – the only one who can bring true, lasting stillness.
As 36-year-old adult, I can no longer cocoon myself in a pew, but I can most certainly rest in Him. That moment, more than 30 years ago, is a reminder to me that the stillness I desire is never more than a breath away. In His presence, all can find rest.
Come to me, all you who are
weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and
learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest
for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11: