Do I not hear His voice telling me clearly to do something? Am I doing it when He wants me to, without doubt or complaint? Sometimes, I would have to say “No”.
I have heard His voice clearly many times. I am not talking an audible voice, but a voice to my inner soul that I know without a doubt is His, brought to me by the Holy Spirit. It has steered me clear of tragedy. It has been the pang in my gut that it was my mother who just had that accident I heard on the scanner. It has awakened me in the middle of the night to pray for my son, whom I learned later was at that moment hydroplaning on a bridge during the storm of a hurricane. It was the troubling sense something was wrong and stopped me in my tracks, that I later learned was when my mother collapsed from a massive heart attack. And the overwhelming burden that something was wrong, that overwhelmed my mind and soul before the official news our son had died. It has guided me away from trouble, to my knees and has also helped prepare me for the worst.
For awhile I have been hearing God’s voice regarding a particular issue in my life. It started nearly three years ago with a tiny little nudge. I started praying. Praying that if it was His Will it had to be up to him, His doing, to clearly show me and to really shut the doors. He would need to shut the doors of my heart, to take away my desire, because I liked where I was at and what I was doing. Have you been there? All cozy and comfy not wanting to be disturbed? Do you have enough courage to pray for God’s will? For him to show you the way to a deeper relationship with him? Well, in my case, that is exactly what happened. I prayed and God started to shut doors. Life turned rocky and cold at times. Are you still wanting to go on a new adventure?
Last year the nudge became clearer. I wrestled with the idea. I was nervous of where this could be leading. It became clear what I was to do. I became more eager, excited, and nervous. I could see a step before me. Then one day it became quite clear I wasn’t to run through the door because of another person’s act. I was to wait! I felt like I was pumped up, getting ready to take off and someone said “Oops, sorry, the race is over”. I questioned him in frustration “Lord, what are you doing?” He made it clear the race wasn’t over, just postponed. He said, “Trust me.”
As I continued to pursue Him (and walk toward what I knew he wanted me to do at some point), I waited. A couple of months ago, I felt the prod to get going, proceed towards the goal again. Yet, I wrestled with the idea with all kinds of excuses. What was I doing!? By now I should know better! Then it hit me while taking a shower. Was I being a Jonah? Was I on a boat going in the wrong direction and not doing what I know God wants me to do? Are others suffering because I am not moving in the right direction? I shared with a friend who told me “It is vanity to think sometimes we are needed more some place than we really are. It is hard to leave the familiar. Have confidence and go where God is leading.” She is right. How many times do we think we are the only one who can do it? How many times do we not want to venture into the unknown, even when we hear God’s voice? How many times do we delay and miss the blessing God is wanting us to have? He will accomplish what he wants, but may use someone else! Thankfully, he met me where I was at, at his feet, and gave me many messages to once again build my confidence to get moving, to make a difference and light up the darkness.
Over the past three years, as God started slowly closing doors within me and opening exciting new ones, I have opened my eyes to new opportunities I would never have dreamed I would be venturing into. When I look back over the past number of months, I realize how much I have learned that I otherwise wouldn’t have if I would have proceeded sooner. Obviously, patience for one. But also to overcome much heartache from liars, violators of policy, and people who just jump on the bandwagon of gossip, drama and unfounded words. Why do I continue to be so amazed at his plans? Plans that are way over my head, so much better than mine could ever be? I had to continue to journey on without understanding, until God said “now” and leave the rest to him. When I am tired and in the midst of feeling ruined, I need to keep my eyes on him. He can redeem! And he can even doing it with a sense of humor!
I do not know where this will lead me, or what the next big step is. And for this shy, country girl who couldn’t speak up in third grade, I could easily be overwhelmed. However, I am relying on God. I have an understanding of what he has already brought me through. I know He is calling and is going before me. He has already given me little nuggets to help me see this is a good thing, a good thing from Him, for Him. I am thankful God has been patient with me. I am getting out of the boat and moving in a new direction, His direction. I have excitement and peace. I desire to keep my eyes on Him. Pray I will. How many are with me and say: It is time to get headed in the right direction, ’cause I surely do not want to end up in the belly of a BIG fish?