• Dana L. Butler

In Which I Emerge from a Long Silence

Hi, my dear friends!

Long time no talk. I’ve been quiet here.

Oh wait, except there was that time a couple weeks ago when I wrote a whole blog post, ALMOST finished it, and then got completely new insight around the subject, so didn’t end up sharing it. But somehow good ol’ Feedburner got a hold of it anyway and sent it out for the world to read.

Yup, that really happened. A couple of you tracked me down and told me you were blessed by those words that felt so incomplete to me, so maybe it was God’s plan for it to be read. Either way, it was um — an interesting experience. A little extra dose of vulnerability. To have thoughts you’ve just realized are incomplete suddenly and unexpectedly shot out into the open.

Live and learn, eh?

Regardless, it’s been longer than I’ve ever been silent in this space before. Yet this time, I’ve been okay with the quiet.

As I type this post, I’m in the midst of a social media fast {along with my Story 101 class}, so you won’t even read these words till sometime next week. {Barring another Feedburner freak-out, that is.}

I wrote over a month ago that I’d sensed God inviting me to “let [His] Whispers marinate inside me, allow them to mark my own soul more deeply before trying to birth them in written form.” And when I wrote that, I had no idea how deeply that invitation from Him would penetrate my heart.

Heck, I still might not have an idea. But I do know that these several weeks of blog-silence, along with this week-long social media fast, have been instrumental in that deep marking of my soul.

It’s been such a rich season with the Lord that even now, I struggle to put words to His movement inside me. So pardon me today if my words come out disjointed, disconnected, discombobulated, or dis– anything else. But I’ve been feeling the need, the nudge, to start writing here again, and I’m going to try to roll with it.

Ya gotta start somewhere, right?

So I sit down to write in the afternoon on Good Friday.

I make my way through my day, in my house, with my kids. I help big brother begin to sound out words phonetically and cheer on my baby girl as she makes her first tentative efforts to stand up and keep her balance without holding onto anything to steady her.

And as my day goes on, under my heart’s surface, I carry this ache to be in Colorado. The longer our house is on the market, the more acute the aching becomes. And the more Jesus extends grace to be present right here, right now. Some days the grace is easier to grasp than others.

Stan and I pray it over and over again – Lord, we want to live this season well before you. Give us patience. Give us peace. Help us trust you – your hand moving in unseen places, your timing — how it’s so intimately perfect, both for us and for others whose lives might not yet have intersected our own. And may we embrace everything you have for us, all you want to accomplish inside us, in this season. May we not miss out on the gifts of this limbo time.

So we continue to wait for our house to sell. But we don’t wait passively.

And I spend these early Spring days trying to put the cross and the empty tomb and the gut-wrenching extravagance of the Gospel into words simple enough for a 3-year-old to begin to grasp — and fighting back tears as I do.

Contemplating HE IS RISEN –– the way that phrase feels physically weighty in my gut; the way its substantive reality continues to sink deeper into my soul and radically altar every facet of my life.

From slave to free. From servant to friend. From rejected to belonging. From orphan to daughter. From broken to whole. From hopelessly weak, to strong in His strength. From far away, to close to His heart. He is risen — it changes absolutely everything.

I clean the house over and over again these days because the weather’s gonna be nice this weekend and house hunters will be out and we just *might* have a showing.


Also? I cram the not-so-empty pages of my journal with song lyrics because for the life of me, I can’t stop writing them.

Songs. They’re showing up in droves in my soul these days {after a 2 year hibernation} and though I fear my inadequacy to make them what I want them to be, I craft them anyway. The fingers on my left hand are so calloused from pressing down guitar strings that I almost can’t feel the computer keys as I type.

See ya later I guess, creative block. But boy, I for sure didn’t expect the artistic breakthrough to come in this form.

God is birthing things in Stan and me — creative things, music-ish things — in the midst of this limbo, and I can’t fully see what they’ll look like, how they’ll take shape. But I know they’re good. And terrifying. And vulnerable. And exhilarating.

I know He’s using the waiting and aching of this season to expand our hearts.

And I don’t know what blogging has to do with all of this, exactly where it fits in. But here I am, sharing my journey in this space once again because the companionship I enjoy with you who take the time to read my words and receive from Jesus here has become so precious to me.

So. How are you? What’s been simmering in your deep places or happening in your everyday life? I’d genuinely love to hear. I value you, my friends. Your hearts, your journeys, your stories. They’re so very important.


{PS. To those of you who covered me in prayer while I led worship at the retreat in Colorado a couple of weeks ago — THANK YOU. Y’all bless me more than you know. The Holy Spirit moved powerfully and it was an incredibly sweet time. I’ll pop back in here later this week to share a few of my takeaways from the retreat.}

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