I recently rediscovered this journal entry from two years ago. What a sweet reminder from God that he is faithful with his promises!
April 22, 2016:
I have learned that the best way for me to hear God is to write out my prayers. That way, when He speaks to me, I know it’s Him and not my brain because it’s impossible for me to write one thing and think another at the same time. When I get a thought or impression and I’m not writing, I have a hard time discerning if it’s Him or if it’s me. Many mornings, I’ll wake up with a song in my head. Lately, I’ll know it’s Him because it’s a song I haven’t heard or had on my mind for a while. And it’s never the whole song, but a specific line of lyrics that keeps repeating in my head, until when I’m finally conscious, I’m able to think over the words. I’m a words girl, so it’s always the lyrics in a song that get to me. I suppose that’s why God chooses to wake me with songs.
Yesterday I woke up with a favorite that I hadn’t heard in several days. The lyrics I heard are not my favorite part of the song, but they were just what I needed to hear after several weeks of wrestling with myself on some decisions and not feeling any clear direction from God. Although I do have several godly women and men in my life whom I trust to seek counsel from, I have struggled with entrusting the details of this inner conflict with them. I’m also making a conscious effort to lean into God instead of running to people to get my answers. So that’s what I’ve been doing – leaning into God and asking for direction.
This week, it got to a point where I knew it was time to reach out to someone – in a sense, to kind of check myself before I wreck myself. I gathered the courage to speak up at our small group meeting night before last and in front of everyone, without sharing details about my situation, told my pastor (he’s in our small group) that I could use a word from God.
I was expecting to hear a word about my situation. Instead, I got encouragement and strengthening about my children – about the sorrow I carry that their parents are no longer married, and the guilt I have for not being a better Christian example or teaching them better about the Lord. My pastor assured me – and I know his words are from God, because I’ve never shared any of my family story with him – that my past is gone and I can let it go. He told me my children are watching me, but not in a critical way. He said that God has their hearts and he will take care of them just like he took care of me. As much as I needed help with my current struggle, God knows that my love and concern for my children is much bigger and ongoing. He knows what I need so much better than I. And He knew I needed to be comforted. I absolutely love how God reveals His heart (and shines light in the deepest parts of ours) through certain people and situations so that everyone is encouraged and strengthened. We were all encouraged that night, and I was especially strengthened.
My pastor did say one thing about my situation. He said, “I believe you’ve already heard from God, but you’re looking for confirmation.” He went on to say that basically, I don’t have to have something inscribed in stone to know that it’s from God. That I need to trust my intuition and know that when I’m hearing from God, I’m REALLY hearing from God (even when I’m not writing).
I went to bed that night praying that God would never let me forget what I had heard from my pastor – the encouragement about my children and the words he said about trusting my intuition when God speaks to me. I fell asleep quickly. And when I woke up, these are the first words I heard:
“And oh as you run,
what hindered love
will only become part of the story.”
As I woke up hearing those words over and over again, I just laid there in bed, squeezing my eyes shut and leaning in to what I was hearing. It’s as if He was sitting right beside me and whispering it into my ear He’s basically telling me, “I’m taking all those mistakes and all that pain, and I’m making it part of your victory speech.”
I have made a lot of mistakes that up until now, I have felt at times that I’ve really ruined my kids’ belief systems and how they view God. He told me this week that He’s bigger than all that. I’ve had to make some decisions that affected them profoundly and they will never truly know why. And as painful as that may be for them, God told me this week He’s bigger than all that too. He told me that He DOES see my heart and hear my thoughts. He hears and sees my kids’ as well. And He’s taking care of all of us.
God has such a great way of piecing together life’s puzzles in just the order and just the way that we need to see them come together. After feeling tossed around by the waves that I had created, I went home night before last feeling so encouraged and much more at peace. Not peaceful, but more at peace. Yet, I still felt that I needed to get that “confirmation” somehow.
I had an opportunity yesterday to talk with a friend who God has just recently revealed to me is someone I can truly to be open with and trust fully. We had a great talk and I shared everything with her. I was able to get the additional confirmation I was looking for on a lot of the big things.
She also shared a very encouraging word with me. It’s something many of us know, but we forget so easily. She said, “So many people give up right before the breakthrough. They lose hope and faith that God is working. And when people quit, He’s like, ‘Ugh. You were right there.’ If we don’t quit, we’ll get there.”
And He’ll make what hindered us, part of our story.
Lyrics from “Out of Hiding” by Steffany Gretzinger