As I was growing up, I was always called quiet. I hated that label, actually. I wished I could think of something to say at the right times in the right situations. I adored my third-grade teacher, the one who taught me to write stories, and even she called me “Quiet Quintessa.” I yearned to be one of the talkative girls, who garnered attention from everyone.
Instead of talking and being the center of attention, I studied—not only books, but people.
As I grew up, I found that many people came to me because they wanted someone to listen. They came because they saw me as somehow wise.
I was on honor council in high school, which was a liaison between students and the administration. I was chosen to be a tour guide because I welcomed visitors well, both listening to their needs and giving them just the right amount of information.
I still hated that I couldn’t think as quickly as I wanted with a witty answer, but gradually, I grew to love the quiet.
After a very short marriage, when the TV was loud and on constantly, even overnight, I promised myself that when I started my life over again, I would always give myself peace and quiet. Much of the time, I either sat in coffee shops or read books at home.
When I wanted activity, I would go out to eat with friends or go dancing, listening to old-time swing music, which told stories of a simpler time.
In general, though, I really valued quiet. Other people, just like when I was in school, started to come to me to find quiet. I’ve had many friends tell me I’m a calming presence.
So, instead of resenting God for creating me as “quiet,” I’ve started to praise Him for His wisdom about how He specifically designed me.
I praise God that he gave me a wonderful second marriage with a husband who watches TV as little as I do. We don’t even have regular TV. In recent memory, we have watched The Chosen and Christian conferences, with an occasional sentimental sporting event.
But our day-to-day life is quiet. Partly because my husband raised his children before I knew him.
On occasion, I struggle, longing for the activity of family. But then we visit grandchildren, parents, nieces, nephews, or siblings who have different preferences. Then, once again, I cherish the quiet.
The quiet that enables me to hear God, to write His words, to feel His feelings, and to pass on His heart.
The quiet that takes me away from the chaos of the world and enables me to enter into His restoration.
His quiet shapes me—each and every day.