There are many different types of silence.
Peaceful silence- when you have time to yourself, peacefully using it to relax and do what you want to do.
Normal silence- when it's time to take a test. Usually when your stomach decides it's hungrier than its ever been and growls louder than it ever has. Which can then turn into...
Embarrassing silence- when everyone in a ten mile radius can here the stomach growl. Or right after telling a group of people something very funny and they sit there, and don't get it.
Comfortable silence- the silence between good friends, when you don't need to say anything to fill the quiet, but just enjoy each others presence.
Awkward silence- usually because of a child. Like when said child says something embarrassingly true very loudly in public, then it falls silent.
The I don't know if I can laugh silence- the silence where, something not so good happens, but it was really funny, and you have to hold in the laugh until you can figure out if it's okay to let it out. Usually the silence after someone falls, and before you ask them if they are alright.
Those are a few examples of the different types of silence that I can think of. I am sure there are more, but instead of listing off more examples, I want to move on to the silence I want to speak of.
The thinking silence. To speak of this type, I am gong to start with a small story.
A few weeks ago my boss invited me over to her house (I think she wanted to try and hook me up with someone, but if that was the goal, it failed. Or I failed. I am not really sure and I am not going to ask either). I was sitting with her and her friend that I had just met and we were chatting and snacking like women do. My boss then brought out a bottle of wine and started pouring us glasses. I told her that I didn't want any. Then it went something like this.
Boss: What? Just have some. You don't have anywhere to be tomorrow!
Me: Well I do actually have something in the morning, so I have somewhere to be.
Boss: And where do you have to go in the morning?
Me: (without any shame mind you) Counseling.
And here is where the thinking silence comes in, as they both look right at me and don't say a word. In the drop dead silence it's like you can hear the wheels in their heads turning. From a person who has known me for awhile, and someone I just met. It's the ever present thinking silence. Where those brain wheels turn a slow and stead circle of wonder, curiosity.
As pictures of me sitting in a tidy little room, comfy on a little couch, box of tissues in one hand with a person holding a clipboard across from me (which, by the way, isn't how it is for me) scroll through their heads they may think things like:
Counseling? Did I hear that right? Why would she need counseling? What kind of counseling?
How broken is she? And what broke her?
During this time, I am sitting there doing my own thinking silence:
What are they thinking? Do they know why I am there? Have they seen the brokenness or have I hid it well? Will they look for glimpses of it now?
Will their opinion of me change? And will I care if it does?
This is a quick silence, for as soon as my thoughts run their track, I have to break the silence. It's usually some ramble about it feeling right to me, how it's something I needed and it's really helping me and I have a wonderful counselor and I couldn't appreciate her more and I would recommend her or one like her to everyone and how God is helping me and He is changing me...so on and so forth.
Then, with the silence broken, those wheels stop turning entirely or are put on hold for them to continue on with later. In this circumstance, both women spoke up, expressing their heartfelt support. They had both been there. Each for their own reasons, and each saying how wonderful it was. One said she still goes sometimes, and has a support of a group that she meets with of women who have done the same. Both deeply expressed it wasn't something to be ashamed about. It is so good to feel supported and to know you're not alone.
Even though they didn't need to tell me to not be ashamed it was good to hear. The truth though, is that I haven't been ashamed. Not for awhile anyway. At first, it was different. I didn't tell anyone really. My parents didn't know, my best friend didn't know. I had told my mentor, and the friend that lead me to the counselor I was going to see. Two people, that was it. I slipped off every Monday morning and no one had to know. I was ashamed. Not of my counselor, but of the fact that I was going to counseling.
Did I really need it? Couldn't I just handle it on my own? Other people have bigger issues. Issues that are way more important. But then my eyes were opened: is what I am going through keeping me from being happy? Is it blocking my view of God? Is it having a negative impact on my life? Everyone has issues, yes. So many people have bigger ones that what I am facing, true. But my issues: They were hindering me, and I needed to get them taken care of. No shame there. In fact, the ashamed part of me slowly melted away. I share openly now. I am not afraid to admit that I go and actually encourage others to do the same.
Issues that are hindering you in any way, are not small. They are not insignificant. They matter, because YOU matter.
And if it takes someone else to help you through that then so be it. Don't be ashamed. And remember:
Everyone is equal at the foot of the cross. God loves you with an everlasting love, He loves you as much as He loves His son. You are not insignificant to Him, and neither are your problems. If your problems are shading your view of happiness or shading your view of Him- then He wants to fix that. Allow it to happen and if that is through the help of a counselor, it's okay. It's nothing to be ashamed of.
I am not ashamed. I have a wonderful counselor who cares for me, who is helping me, and who, mostly importantly, is directing me to God. She is showing me Gods love through what she does, and she is leading me to God.
If it wasn't for counseling, I probably wouldn't have what I have. I wouldn't have met the wonderful woman my counselor is. I wouldn't have found a church that I actually like going to. I wouldn't have gotten back on my path with God. And I'll have more on all this and more at another point, but I think this is long enough already.
In ending, there are all types of silence. But in my case, the silence of my happiness, lead me to a counselor who I am not silent about, because I don't need to be. I am not ashamed. I am also not ashamed of my God who isn't silenced. I can hear Him and see Him, not only in my counselor, or my counseling, but now in the everyday.
He is opening my eyes, He is breaking those chains, He is setting me free. And that is something, I no longer will be silent about.