Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Sometimes you hear God sitting across from an old friend who is wearing bright lipstick and smoking on an e-cig. Sometimes.
I've always wanted a God of flashing neon signs; one whose will and direction are laid out in simple steps so there is no confusion as to which way to go. My husband reminds me Moses had this and still screwed up royally.
So maybe I would ignore neon signs too?
Trying to walk closer to God is hard sometimes; my mind wanders. The old me is familiar and comfortable in her stagnant state.
Growing in God requires hearing His voice, and I wasn't sure how to discern it. It was a perfect loophole.
Until God became obvious.
I was praying one night about a family issue, not earth-shattering but important. Clearly the words: ask her formed in my mind and then there was the Facebook photo of an old acquaintance in my head. I knew God was wrong. I barely knew her 15 years ago, and only saw the occasional glimpse of her life via social media.
And there it was.
I composed a private Facebook message:
"Hey, great to see pictures of you and your family on here! Hope you are doing well. By the way I was praying on an issue, and the Lord mentioned I might ask you. Can I pick your brain?"
She responded. Asked me the issue, gave me her number.
Turns out what I was dealing with was something close to her heart; she offered some wise counsel and gave some great ideas and really helped.
I told her that it always amazed me that God knows what He is doing.
And He does.
There was His voice. The pictures, the quiet words.
There went my loophole.
And then we moved: a new town, a new company for the husband, a new school for baby girl and 8 weeks in a hotel. 8 weeks!
But something wasn't right with my job search. I couldn't find one that I wanted, the one that wanted me. I've been wrestling with God and my work and my identity for years.
Did He really want me to not work at all? Not work outside the home?
And then an old friend and I reconnected; she had a project near my new home that she could use some help with. Nothing much came of it; one of those sure-we-will-talk-about-it-one-day kind of thing.
Then I got the message, "Just found out spouses aren't covered on the new insurance plan. Calling corporate to find out."
I scrambled; I knew depending on someone else wasn't a good fit for me. I needed to provide.
I picked up the phone to text my friend with the opportunity. And I heard the words in my mind.
Leave it alone. I have this.
I heard it. Saw the letters in white in my mind.
And I picked up the phone and dialed anyway.
15 minutes after I agreed to go to work; my husband sent me a text:
"Info was wrong. All three of us have insurance."
Thankfully, God isn't the I-told-you-so kind.
I knew after day one of work that it was a mistake; I told my husband and my mom but thought it would get better, that I would ride it out.
But it never eased up, that gnawing feeling that I knew I was wrong.
I had not trusted God and tried to solve the problem on my own.
So I told my friend I needed to talk to her and told her I couldn't stay, and when she asked why I told her the truth. The whole truth; the God told me in a voice I heard truth.
And though our spiritual beliefs differ greatly. Her response was simply, "I understand and respect your decision."
And that was how it works. Doing what God leads us to do works out in the end.
But I still wondered why I was afraid to listen, to trust, why in those weeks back in my old shoes had so many bad habits popped back up?
Was I really changed?
I was picking up my last paycheck, casual in shorts, with the dog (fresh from the groomer's and wearing a neckerchief) on my lap. And she said, "What did you do with the old you? Do you ever let her out or feed her?"
And then sometimes you hear God sitting across from an old friend who is wearing bright lipstick and smoking on an e-cig.