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Debbie hopper: silent


I have loved the concept of #SheReadsTruth since Day 1.  Well maybe not inception, but definitely during the birthing stage.  When my daughter Jessi began to tell me about how the Lord was weaving together hearts and minds to write Bible reading plans for women…well, you had me at Hello!  My heart has always been for God’s daughters to push aside the stuff of everyday living and to grab the brass ring of God’s calling on their life. To do that, I have found that there is really no better way to filter our thinking than by being in the Word of God every day as it tells us in Romans 12:2.

One recent testimony of how God taught me in the midst of everyday living came through the Fresh Start Reading Plan.  January was an incredibly busy month for me with ministry and leadership demands, caring for a mother with dementia, our youngest daughter deciding about college and grandchild #9 on the way.

Busy? Yes.
Overwhelmed? Most days.

Mostly, I felt the weight of decisions to be made and saw everything as a battle to be fought. Instead of decisions seeming like opportunities, they all seemed to be jigsaw puzzles with key pieces missing.  Since over-responsibility is ingrained in me like the hourglass shape of my hips, I tried problem-solving and strategizing.  Finally, exhausted and sleep deprived, I found myself on the couch for 5 days with a full-blown case of The Flu.

It was during one of these Flu Days that God reinforced a verse from the prior week’s plan.  I had pondered Exodus 14:14,

“The Lord will fight for you, and you only have to be silent.”

But it was not until I downloaded the graphic as a lockscreen (my iPhone always gets my attention!), that I began to ask Him what that meant.  As I read Exodus chapters 13-14 again and remembered the state the Israelites were in – fleeing Egypt, in the wilderness, chased by Pharoah, trapped at the Red Sea – I saw nothing in my life more insurmountable than their situation.

Yet Moses told them to be silent.

Why? To hear an answer?  To work this out as a team?  No.  They were to be silent so that when God went to work for them, they would see His miracle as He conquered Pharaoh’s army.  Nothing required on their part except to be silent.

As a mom, daughter, grandmother, sister and leader of women, this is probably the hardest command the Lord has ever given me.  We ooze conversation.  We emote in words.  We connect over stories.  And when we cannot hold a face-to-face convo, we text, facebook, twitter, facetime, email and blog.  Be silent?  Are you serious, Lord?

Apparently He was.  The Flu had zapped my energy and ability to think, type or write.  As I withdrew from my normal pace of working things out, He began to solve things.  Without a word or an email, He moved scenarios and offered solutions that had not come from my type-A thinking.  Most of His work was not on the ‘parting Red Sea’ level, but definitely some things were resolved in a new way.  Just in case I had doubts, an intercessor texted to say that she felt the Lord wanted me to “be still”.  So I succumbed to doing nothing in the midst of a crazy season and sat back to watch Him part seas.

Sisters, Jehovah will fight your battles.  Let’s resolve to talk and type less, as we watch Him work. God wants the victory and He will ‘work it out for you today’ (Ex 14:13).



// Debbie’s Blog //

  • rachelle chase

    i recently wrote a blog post about this exact. same. thing.
    my mom just found your post and emailed it to me. thank you for encouraging other women with your words of truth!!

  • I LOVE this so much! I’m in a season I being still, and lord have mercy, I am for sure fighting it. Tooth and nail. It feels awkward to be still, to wait, to not “do.”. But I know that’s what He is calling to me to do. Thank you for sharing…your words touched me!

  • Erica S.

    Thanks for sharing this today, Debbie! Today was a stressful day at my workplace, because part of our project is dependent on federal funding and no one's sure if/how the budget cuts will affect us. I for one have a very large number of opinions on the whole matter. Reading your testimony was an encouraging reminder to me that God has it all under control and all I need to do is keep my mouth shut and let Him work.

    • Debbie

      Wow, Erica. I’d place the federal government right up there alongside the Red Sea! Can’t wait to see how our King fixes this one! Praying for you and all others who are in a waiting station.

  • Thanks so much for sharing, Debbie. I find myself caught up in the busy things of life – trying to figure out how to solve problems when I should be praying about them and turning them over to God and then when I do "turn them over", I take them back and still try to solve them. I don't want to get the flu, but I do want to "be still and quiet." Blessings dear one!

  • teawithsb

    Thank you for sharing your story and for reminding me to be still even in the busy time of life. God gives so many blessings, but most of the time I miss them because I am so focused on the day, situation, and people of life. Then I cannot see what He has done or is doing, then the vicious cycle of ungrateful-ness and toxic thoughts start to roll in, getting louder and louder. I love that in his own gracious way, God tells us to shut up. :) He is always there, and always working. Praise be Him for his love and awesome nature.

  • I always have to remind myself to turn the volume of life down, so that my heart/soul and most importantly the message God sends can get through. It's so easy to be focused on the noise of life that we forget to be still and present at a different frequency…that one which gives us the peace we're craving in the noise. Such a good reminder.

  • songmistress

    "…resolve to talk and type less, as we watch Him work." Thank you for this reminder to be still and know that He is God, and He is working His plan – perfecting that which concerns me, doing His thing on my behalf. I'm learning to rest in His love, feeding on His great, abounding grace. I find it interesting how often God reminds us of this in his Word – to be still, to hold our peace, to rest, to remain silent – to let Him get on with it – to see the salvation of our God. To trust. That's what it comes down to. I think a lot of the busy-ness, and the filler, is…lack of trust. I believe; oh, help my unbelief, Lord! Help me to rest, cast my care, and keep casting down wrong imaginations (and keep on keeping on doing it!!!), bring every thought captive…

    Today I have been thinking on my real identity – my identity in Christ – as opposed to my personality and all the things I see in it that I don't like. It's good to know that I am accepted and loved in Christ, that I am His workmanship, his very own, created in HIS likeness; that's who I REALLY am.

    Also, with the upcoming series on The Songs of Ascent; I have been working over the past week on writing music and recording a couple of these Psalms, and creating videos to go with them, to help me commit them to memory, to get them in my heart and, also, I hope they will bless others. I was quite ambitious when I heard that we would be doing the Songs of Ascent and thought maybe I'd do all of them…but, u'm, that's not going to happen. But, there will be at least two (and maybe more; we'll see). I'll share them when the time comes. Watch this space. Again I'll say, I'm so glad God led me to #SheReadsTruth, to be a part of this community, to grow together.

  • WOW! This was for me. Thank you Debbie for sharing this. The past couple of weeks I have been really stressed out, more than what I should be. It is so bad that it is starting to affect my health, which stresses me out even more. And the funny think is that I was like I need to take a break from things. And this just confirmed that I am not allowing God to move in my life. I keep trying to do things on my own. So I will be still and allow God to move. Thanks again for sharing this testimony. God bless.

  • Debbie, I am in love with this post. I KNOW God is telling me to BE QUIET a LOT. I have a very hard time listening to that because I have a control problem (see my testimony from yesterday. oops). But really, every time that I have given in and was quiet (even when he had to FORCE it on me by way of sickness or otherwise), he got to work. He was just waiting for me to finally BE QUIET. So I could see what he was doing.

    Thank you for this awesome post!

    • Debbie

      Katie, I loved your post yesterday. When I read it, I thought of Sheila Walsh – have you ever read her books or heard her speak? If not, check out "The Heartache No One Sees". I think you'll be blessed by her victories. Thanks for sharing so transparently.

  • Ellen MR

    Thanks Debbie, for a testimony that gives great comfort! As I look back at trying to multi-task and micro-manage every detail of life before committing to the Lord, I swear it seemed as tho some things were accomplished thru sheer force of will! But of course it was my Father’s will, not mine! Now I won’t panic or stress (so much!) because He will do the work, He will accomplish what needs to be. And Thanks to Him, I don’t even have to feel guilty to let Him fight for me, just be still! Wow, how awesome- Such love and security!
    Have a Blessed Day Sisters, and Thanks Debbie for the reminder! :)

  • Lauren C

    Thank you, Lord, for speaking through Debbie. Point taken! Amen.

    Debbie: my mother also suffers from dementia; she has Alzheimer's. I'm thinking of you & praying for your strength in dealing with this horrible disease. May God give your mother & mine His safety, comfort, and peace today.

    • Debbie

      Lauren, yes, it is a cruel disease isn't it? I will pray for your mother too. We are trusting Him for all of the above, and still believing for miracles. He is Able.

  • I just read this verse in the Message and it made me laugh:
    “God will fight the battle for you. And you? You keep your mouths shut!”

  • Thank you Debbie. It’s such a great reminder (again) to take the “me” out of God. We can never learn this enough, especially as women and our need to be ‘Martha’s’ .

  • Thank you for sharing, Debbie! I too loved the Fresh Start Plan and also have Exodus 14:14 as my lockscreen on my Iphone…a really important reminder in our busy lives to just "be still!"

  • Michaela

    Aaahhhh… This hits home to all of us busy women! I need to remember to “be still and know that He is God!”. Thanks for this reminder today!

  • ShelbyDee

    Thank you for sharing, Debbie. I have my own story regarding that verse from the Fresh Start plan. The day before that devotional was my grandmother's memorial service. I was named for her and that created a little bit of a special bond. That night she came to me in a dream and said to me, "Be a fighter." Anyone who knows her and knows me, and our independent spirits would recognize how perfect those words were. And then I woke up and read Exodus 14:14 as a memory verse, and I knew God was trying to get my attention. I remind myself daily of that verse now, and am waiting to see how God uses it in my life.

  • jesusgirl71

    I so have trouble being still. I just feel like I always have to be doing something. I remember that verse too and coicindentally, was just thinking of it earlier this morning. thanks for this.

  • Thanks for sharing, Debbie! What an encouragement to me this morning! Love the reminder that God fights our battles–we just need to get out of His way and watch His mighty work!

    Loving these testimonies!

    Blessings to all my sisters today!

  • Rebecca Stewart

    Debbie, I love the testimony you shared. As women, don't we have such a hard time being silent and still? I do.

    I'm also so grateful to have women in a different season of life involved with us here. It's truly a blessing to see an example of a lady who has already walked through my season in life and is continuing to grow in service and love to the Lord. Thank you for sharing your heart!

    • Debbie

      oh Rebecca, had I known what you young women already know and are applying…well, it's not over til it's over right? And if we're not growing, well…I'm going to keep growing.

  • Thank you, Debbie. I needed to hear that today.
    What is that phrase…something like God has given us one mouth and two ears for a reason?
    May He continue to work through your hands and your words.

  • Thank you so much! I needed a reminder of that verse. I remember how it spoke to me as well. It is so hard to remember that God already has it worked out. What better plan is there to follow than His?!?

  • AmyKelly213

    Thank you, Debbie!! I remember that Fresh Start devotion! It spoke volumes to me. Exodus 14:14 became the first scripture I committed to memory thanks to that devotion… And it has been one my team and I turn to daily in our work in public schools. I did not have quite the "God lesson" you did through it, but I still felt God telling me to step aside and watch how HE does things. Thanks for the reminder!!

    • Debbie

      wow. lots of room to be Silent in the public school system. Good for you, living the gospel [not outloud]

  • Thank you Debbie. Isn’t wonderful to know that our God is one who cares about the details? He takes time to remind us that He is sovereign; He holds us in the palm of His hand.

    Yes, we are His hands and feet but He wants us to know that we are vessels used by Him for His glory. Sometimes that requires being still and silent so that we have the opportunity to really get to know Him as He desires.

    Thanks for reminding us that we need to let God be God!

    • Debbie

      yes, Cynthia, Sovereign. So much in that 9 letter word if we could just grasp it, right?

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