Sometimes, it is simply exhausting being a woman, especially when it comes to communication. Considering that a woman uses an average of 20,000 words in a day, the thought alone is exhausting! How is it we can talk so much and not even realize it at the end of a day?
We were created for conversation. It is how we share our heart, and it is the foundation of all of our deepest relationships. Our words, though many are all important and represent a willingness to be vulnerable and connect.
Often, our words are used in an effort to keep things under control both in situations and in relationships. Women wear many hats, and a sense of order and control is important to keep the roles functioning smoothly. Much of this is accomplished through words.
But what happens when things get out of hand or don’t go as we planned? What happens when someone doesn’t listen to our words? Have you ever “talked until you were blue in the face,” only to experience irritation because your best laid plans were not followed? Have you ever experienced boundaries being crossed in spite of your efforts to properly communicate them? We all have, and sometimes it just doesn’t matter how much we say or how we say it.
Here lies the dilemma! Attempting to control a situation with our words may seem like the only avenue left after exhausting our actions. And when it does not work, we are left hurt, wounded and frustrated. I was reminded of this recently from a trusted friend. As I shared my struggle with her and listed the many ways I had tried to fix a particular situation, she tenderly held my tired, hurting heart and said, “This is not your war, and all of your attempts to bring about victory are only hindering the work God is trying to do. You may win a battle occasionally, but you are not winning the war.” She was right; it was time to let go and allow God to be God.
Exodus 14:14 “The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent.” (NAS)
How thankful I am for such wise counsel! Yet even in receiving it, I realize my battle has taken on a new form. Letting go is not going to be easy. It means I might have to feel the very pain I have been fighting against for so long. It means patience will have to be a learned response. It also means trusting and believing that God is who He says He is.
Sometimes we must find the determination to remain quiet and allow God to fight certain battles for us even though it might require us to endure for a time. When we find ourselves relying on our own words to control a situation or a person, only to find we are making very little ground or even making things worse, we must be willing to step back and take a different approach.
- Realize when the battle is too big. Sometimes, in the heat of jumbled emotions, it takes a trusted individual to help us realize this truth. In many cases, especially when it involves a change which must take place in another person, no amount of words on our part will make a difference. We end up wasting time and energy on something we were never meant to bear. When we find ourselves in a difficult situation, the temptation to do and fix with our words and actions is great, but understanding when the battle is not ours is crucial to allowing God to work.
- Release the battle. What a tough thing this is to do! When it seems like everything depends on us, the battle has overtaken us, and it is time to let go. Giving God permission to do what needs to be done, in His time, not ours takes great faith as we acknowledge the possibility that things might get worse before they get better. The urge to take control of the battle might be strong, especially if the pain continues. Understanding that letting go is a continual process and often takes great resolve is important. Sometimes having a trusted friend to contact when the temptation to take the reins arises is the encouragement needed. The accountability and encouragement can be a vital battle tool for our own hearts as we wait.
- Remain silent and pray. Many wars are won in the realm of prayer. Many hearts are changed through the journey of prayer, including our own. Strength is accessed and promised as we depend on God to carry us when our efforts have left us weary. In yielding to the silence, our hearts can find peace while we endure. Finding a trusted friend to walk with us through our time of silence and prayer will help to remind us we are not alone in our battle.
Choosing to rearrange our daily quota of 20,000 words by being silent suddenly looks very different. Instead of filling the ears of those around us in order to control so much of our life, we are simply choosing to direct our words toward the heavens where the battles are fought with weapons far more powerful than any words our mouths could utter. Now there is a battle plan worth embracing!