Updated: Nov 27, 2020
'The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.' Exodus 14:14
It was seven years ago that I sat in the home I shared with my then husband, broken from finding out that he had been unfaithful. We had only been married a year and sad to say, this wasn't the first time. Lost, betrayed and angry, my emotions began to surge out of control. All kinds of thoughts came to my mind to get 'even'. As the real feelings of indescribable hurt began to settle in, the tears poured down my face. 'God, what is this?' I said out loud. Just as the silence of the room became thick enough to cut, I heard in the recesses of my mind, 'I will fight for you, but you must be still'.
Being still in the biblical sense is not exactly the same as being still in the physical sense. It's not just remaining in one place without movement...which would never work for most of us anyway. Being still is remaining in a place of peace, knowing that all things will unfold as they should divinely. It's submitting to and trusting in the belief that nothing that is currently happening is a surprise event and the outcome has already been determined.
I will be the first to say being still is not easy. For me, my natural instinct is to do one or all of the following:
Overthink the situation: Why did this happen? Why would it happen to me? Was it something I did? Were there signs I overlooked? These questions and many more stay on repeat when I'm not being still. I've spent days replaying everything that my mind remembers trying to figure out the situation and a solution. The problem with this is my memory is limited. It only includes my side of the events, which means my 'solution' is limited.
Blaming the Other Person: Oh yes, EVERYTHING is their fault. They did it all by themselves and I was the sweet innocent lamb sent to the slaughter...so that means it is their responsibility to fix EVERYTHING. As wonderful as that made my ego feel, it was never true. We all share some role in the things that occur and blaming the other party is a comparison tactic to make you feel better about yourself. Forcing them to be the grand master fixer also superficially pacifies the damage we feel within.
Fight Back: This is self explanatory. Whether I'm going to do to them what they did to me, or put subliminal messages towards them personally on social media, fighting back shows that I am attempting to handle the situation on my own. Another way of fighting back is telling family and friends what happened. Sure, you need someone to talk to who is going to be on your side and possibly help you through the issue. But what happens to you, your family and friends will take very personally and attacks, physically or verbally, are very likely to occur on your behalf.
Silent Treatment: Of course, the polar opposite of fighting back is acting like the person doesn't even exist. One would think this would be ok when being still, but the silent treatment is actually a position of violence or punishment. It's a direct reflection to another of the pain that resides within you, in hopes of hurting them.
So, you're probably wondering what being still looks like. It looks like you as your normal self. It's being loving and receptive. It's keeping positive thoughts in the forefront of your mind. It's being helpful and forgiving. Remember, I said it wasn't easy...especially in the face of one that has mishandled you. That is why prayer and meditation must be a cornerstone of your life. I have found that is the only way that being still works for the duration needed. It's knowing that your strength to allow God to work only comes from Him by request.
I can see the side-eyes now...'Nikki, that's crazy. I am not going to act like nothing is wrong when someone has blatantly disrespected and disregarded me. If they did it to me, I'm going to give it back to them.' Sure, that can be a response...we all have free will to do as we like. But just like medicine that you do not take cannot work, God cannot work on your behalf as long as you are judge and jury over your situations. It's your rest that activates His healing process.
So what happened from my situation seven years ago? Did I be still and let God fight for me? Unfortunately, I did not. Due to impatience and hurt, I fought back and the issues got worse. It took five years for me let go and truly let God. My life abundantly changed at that point and the hurt and bitterness dissipated. I'm now in another dimension; a place where I can share what I have learned and help others. You see God's thoughts are not like ours, so His fighting will not look like ours either. His fighting is for you...for your betterment. Trust, He will take care of all involved, but it will be in the way He sees fit...not how we think He should.