God is Talking to YOU. Are You Listening?
Recently I have found myself in several conversations regarding how God speaks to us. A friend of mine was going through a rough time and I suggested that he meditate and ask God for answers. The next day he told me, “I did your meditation thing and asked God for some answers and he didn’t so much as say ‘hi.’” I laughed and said I was sorry to hear that and that I would have to speak to God about this, because He told me he was looking forward to speaking to you. But all joking aside, the truth is that if you ask, God will answer. He answers every prayer, every time, always. The problem is not that God isn’t answering us, but that we are not hearing him. Sometimes we hear him, but don’t like the answer he gives us, or disregard it because it doesn’t make sense to us.
I myself have fallen in to this trap far too many times in the past and wound up making a lot of decisions that, let’s just say weren’t in my best interest. I recently had a situation where God was speaking to me, subtly, yet very clearly. Thankfully this time I was listening. I am hoping in sharing this story, that it will help others understand how God speaks to us. The first thing to understand when trying to decipher God-speak is that he can speak to us in more ways than we imagine. The second thing to realize is that how he speaks to me may not be the way he speaks to you. It has been my experience that He will speak to each of us in ways that He knows will make sense to us.
My life recently has been, to put a lightly, a mess. I lost my job, struggled with severe anemia, depression, debt, a romantic break up, my best friend moved to the other side of the country, and I nearly lost my leg in a dirt bike accident. Then to top off this stellar year, at 17 my son was taking a walk on the wild side so to speak and after many single-mother-son battles, moved out unexpectedly. Although the move was for the best as it got him away from bad influences, his moving out took away the last thing that at that time was giving any meaning to my life at the time. After a couple weeks of tears, I decided that I needed to get myself together. Part of my game plan was to write. And so I began spending hours sitting and writing.
I have scoliosis and sitting at a computer was causing me terrible pain in my back and I decided that I needed to get a massage. I knew that I couldn’t afford the going rate, so I started scanning the paper and junk mail for coupons and discounted offers. A couple of weeks went by and nothing. The pain became so bad in my back that I began asking God for help in my prayers. Two days after my first prayer to him a flyer came in my mail box from a newly opening chiropractic/massage clinic. They were having a grand opening and offering a special $10 hour massage! I couldn’t believe it. Not having the money at the moment, I set it aside.
A few days later I called to schedule an appointment and the receptionist told me that they were booked through the end of the special, but that I could purchase a gift certificate at the discounted rate and use it at a later date! I was thrilled and asked for directions to come in to make the purchase. She then told me that I didn’t’ have to make a special trip in, I could purchase over the phone. Wow! Is this my lucky day or what? I don’t even have to waste a trip over there to get in on this fantastic deal! I no sooner thought that and I heard myself saying, “That’s ok, I’ll come in and make the purchase in person.” HUH? I couldn’t believe what I just told her! Oh well, I had already said it, I could always call back before the end of the special and make the purchase over the phone.
The last day to purchase the gift certificate for massage at the discounted rate came and I found myself with more on my "To Do" list than time on my clock. I was very stressed and thought, I’m never going to make it there before they close, I’ll just call and make the purchase over the phone. I no sooner thought that and something in me said, “No, take the time and make the drive over there.” I tried to reason with myself that it was silly to waste the time and gas to drive over there when I could do it over the phone, but that something in me voice wouldn’t listen and I grabbed my purse and made the drive. So I did.
While standing in line to make my purchase, I noticed a bookshelf full of Bibles with a sign that said, “Help your self to a free Bible.” I smiled and silently thanked God! He knew what he was up to. A few days earlier I was talking to a friend who recommended some scriptures for me to read. In my attempt to take the advice and read the scriptures I soon realized why I had never gotten very far with reading the Bible. It was difficult to understand. I decided to leave it until I purchased one I could understand, but being unemployed, had no idea when that would be. Now staring me in the face was a shelf full of NIV Bibles labeled “Free.” I was quite impressed with God He had just answered two prayers in one answer! I was in awe of the way He was helping me and incredibly thankful. Little did I know, it was only going to get better from there.
When it was my turn in line and I purchased my massage gift certificate, the woman behind the counter told me to help myself to a refreshment and pointed to a table on the other side of the waiting room. I hadn’t eaten all day and was starving and thought how perfect, a snack to tide me over until I could have dinner. As I was helping myself to a snack, from the corner of my eye I saw a piece of paper fall to the ground. Something in me said, “Oh, come on! You saw that. Don’t act like you didn’t see that! Do the right thing and pick it up!” Ah yes, it was that familiar little something in me voice that always insists that I walk 50 feet out of my way to pick up liter in the park and then 200 feet in the opposite direction to throw it away. And I have to listen, because if I don’t, I get that little something in me guilt thing going. So I walked over and picked up the piece of paper that had fallen from the table. When I went to place it on the table, I noticed it was a form to win a free scholarship to massage therapy school. I found myself staring at it. “Go ahead! Fill it out!” I hear that little something in me voice say. Thinking I’d never win, I filled it out anyway because I know that little voice in me wouldn’t leave me alone if I didn’t.
When I got to the car, I said a quick prayer to God. “Ok God. My life has been one let down after another lately and I am not going to get my hopes up so this one is in your hands. If it ‘s in your plan for me, you’ll see to it that I win.” I couldn’t help but get excited about it on the way home, but once I parked my car at home, I resolved that I wasn’t going to continue this. I was not prepared for another disappointment in life right now. Days went by and I didn’t hear any thing. I tried to make myself feel better by telling myself it wasn’t meant to be, it wasn’t God’s plan.
A week later I was on my way to take a walk and then I was going to stop at the park and write. My writing has turned in to using a mini recorder. I checked the recorder and noticed the tape was almost full and went to grab another one to take with me. I couldn’t find them anywhere! Finally, I just gave up. It had been a very stressful day and I just needed to get outside and think so I left without the extra tape. As I locked the door and turned to leave, something in me said for me to go back in and get my phone. It made perfect sense to me since I had promised to call my son later. If I took the phone, I could sit outside and enjoy the weather a while longer while we talked. So back in I went and grabbed my phone.
At the park I was sitting on a bench and really on a roll speaking my thoughts and ideas into the recorder when my phone rang. I figured it was my son and quickly silenced the phone thinking I would call him back as soon as I finished recording these thoughts. I’m not sure if you can tell, but I can go on and on…which is what I was doing in to that tape recorder at that time also. I most likely would have rambled on for an hour or longer, but God was on duty and had it (me) under control. All of a sudden, “click.” Yep, the tape was done and I didn’t have any more with me. So I picked up my phone to call my son back. When I did, I noticed it hadn’t been him that called and that I didn’t recognize the number. I was curious as to who it might have been because it was a local number, and unfortunately, my voicemail was full so they couldn’t leave a message. “Call it,” says the something in me. “I’m not calling it!” “Oh just call it and see who it was.” Now, if you know me, I am the worst at answering the phone, talking on the phone, and returning phone calls, especially numbers that I have no idea who it could be. I honestly thought it might have just been a wrong number. But ah, the relentless something in me voice wouldn’t stop, “Just call it back and see who it was!” Finally, after a few minutes of trying to ignore the relentless something in me, I called the number back
Can you guess who it was?
That’s right! It was the receptionist from the Dr.’s office (Chiropractic/massage clinic) telling me that my name had been drawn for the scholarship!! I went to bed that night for the first night in I don’t know how long feeling hopeful about the future and incredibly thankful to God and a certain doctor that I had never met. I have since met the doctor and began my training. And it is clearly evident that this man is being divinely led by none other than God, and I believe serving walking his path and serving his purpose here on earth. It is only the beginning, but something tells me that this man is going to have a much larger impact on me than just giving me this incredible, much needed gift of education. Even as I sit here typing this to share with the world, I am overwhelmed with appreciation.
Now, remember back to all those little “something in me” voices that I spoke of? Those little voices, feelings and thoughts that I had, that we all have, those are more often than not God speaking to us. If you are anything like me, you tend to talk yourself right out of listening to that “something in me” voice. When we don’t listen to those first instincts, thoughts and feelings, we miss out. I am sure you have had something happen and after the fact found yourself saying, “I knew it! “Something in me” told me to do it, but I didn’t listen!” Or maybe you have even a situation that you found your self saying, “I knew it! I’m so glad I listened to that little something in me when it said….”
So there you have it. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you God. He is within each and every one of us, always guiding us and talking to us through that little something in me that we feel or hear inside. This typically seems to be His first form of communication with us. Unfortunately, many of us have learned to rationalize ourselves right out of listening to Him when he gently whispers or nudges us like this. At which point God will pull out “the big guns.” And if we don’t listen to those messages He gives us, that is when we find ourselves asking, “How on earth did this happen to me??”
I hope you enjoyed my article. I was quite excited to share it and hopefully help others understand how God speak to us as well as a way to show my gratitude to Him for not giving up on me after so many times of me not listening, and for always “having my back.”
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