Cloistered

March 15, 2019
by Karen Milam

Psalm 46:10a – Be still, and know that I am God. (KJV)

I had just read the book, The Nun Story. As a teenager, I was so enamoured with the concept of being hidden away from the chaos of adolescence, a boyfriend, and trying to figure out my place in life, that I announced to my parents that I wanted to be a nun. So surprised they were, my mother sputtered, "But we aren't even Catholic." I already knew that. So, I just rolled my eyes and said in an edgy way, "But we are just barely Baptist." My dad just smiled at me from his easy chair.

Enticed I was at the thought of a quiet place away from life, sealed to God's service. I didn't have the skills to deal with this stage of my life during this time of confusion. I thought that to be cloistered and protected would be totally perfect; thus, a convent. My mother just shook her head as her eldest daughter went through yet another phase.

While playing hymns three times a week for my barely Baptist congregation, I often dreamed of wearing the nun's habit and walking in quiet gardens with the Lord. To my parents' relief, that phase wore itself out. I married at 17. About ten years later, when I took in ironing for extra income, I had the privilege of ironing the habits for a group of Dominican nuns. I confided in them about my teenage desire to become one of them. So sweet they were to me in the harsh Las Vegas environment, and brought me vegetables from their garden for payment. I painstakingly ironed the wrinkles out of their habits while I enjoyed this service to God with the due diligence of a novice.

Life can feel like a hurricane spinning us around, but if we keep our focus on Christ, we can remain anchored and calm. In the middle of the storm, when we whisper the name of Jesus, we will hear the silence of His power and presence.

Prayer: Dear Father, in the midst of any storm of life, remind us that our sanctuary can be as simple as quieting our heart to be still before You. Amen.

About the author:

Karen Milam <karenbmilam@gmail.com>
Penn Valley, California, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for sharing, Karen. We all long to escape from the turmoil of life at times.


    Karen,
    Thanks for sharing, as a Catholic I found it especially interesting,


    Another memorable devotional. Karen you may not have become a nun but I know you have personally found that secret place of the Most High in Psalm 91 and your wish to be “Cloistered” has definitely been fulfilled!


    Thank you for your beautiful witness of God’s word. “Be still”. So many of us hurry through our moments with God as we let the world intrude on that precious time.
    (Texas)


    This is a lovely read, Karen. There are stories of young girls wanting to live their lives in a Convent, I being one. However, the Lord had other wonderful plans for us, and aren’t we blessed!
    (Ontario)


    Greetings Karen,
    Thank you for sharing the thoughts and wishes you had in your younger years and then later connected with nuns by doing ironing of their outfits. Interesting how the Lord works in our lives and so true that connecting with Him gives us a calming, quietness over our mind and body.
    Blessings to you.


    O Karen! How I smiled at the way you told your story today. Admitting your young impulses and your later understandings by showing us rather than preaching is such a fresh breath of air in a know-it-all world. I have had several friends who were elderly nuns, who joined their convents about the time you were considering it and how open and honest they are still with the world. I have been on the verge of calling one of them today and this really helps me to see their strength, even though they may believe differently than me in some respects, the one I will call has a personal walk in faith that has blessed everyone she knows. I DID enjoy, ‘barely Baptist!’ Thank you for writing such a joyous piece.


    Hi Karen:
    I thought that I wanted to be a nun for a while when I was young too. I even had an aunt who was a nun! When I look back on my early life, it might have been better for me if I had entered the convent. I took the other road, wild and I thought, free, married at 23 and became an alcoholic. Praise God that He did set me free from this illness early on and I was sober when my son was born a few years later.
    I didn’t really turn back to God and knew Jesus was my Saviour, till about 15 years ago (now in my 70’s). Now I have amazing days with Him and I know He is my peace and my joy!
    God bless you Karen, and I really do thank you for writing your wonderful devotionals.

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