Ever have those moments where you turn around because you think you hear your name or that someone is talking to you? When those moments happen to me I quickly dismiss them, shrug them off or think this is it I have finally lost it. What if, in those moments, we quiet ourselves and say, “Yes, God I am here?”
I had such a moment, in the dead of sleep I woke up because I thought I heard my name followed by a statement of “get up and write.” I quickly dismissed it turned over in bed and settled back into sleep. Sometime later I hear the voice again “get up and write” but it was louder. I turn over and, yep, my husband is fast asleep and there is no other sound in the house. I shake my head lay back down, this time I lay there listening to the night and wonder why I am not getting up to write. I even ask God why I am not getting up. Determined to go back to sleep, I turn over in bed again trying to go back to sleep. I start to doze. I hear “Get Up and Write Now” so loud that I quickly found myself up on my feet, and standing at the side of the bed. I look around and no one has budged, my husband was fast asleep the dogs did not even wake up. So I started walking down the hall to go and write. As I am walking to my office I am thinking this is crazy, but is it? Why was it so hard for me to say Yes, God. I am here? Why was I trying to put some logic around what had just happened? Once I quieted my thoughts and just focused on God and let him guide my thoughts and fingers, below is what was revealed to me.
Israel, was this Israel? I often wonder how did people that saw God over the temple day and night, saw the miracles God performed still choose to turn away from him. Well, here is that moment for me–doubt, doubt and more doubt that what you see or hear is real. If I just turn over and settle back in the voice or feeling will go away. This is how I turn my back on God today. We hear him, feel him and even see him but we easily dismiss that, “nah, he is not talking to me. It is me being me. My imagination.” Instead of this dismissiveness what happens when we step in and say, “Yes, God. I am here”? Even if it is crazy and makes no sense. I have to remember that all will come to light on his timeline not ours and only God can see the big picture. These moments no matter how small or how crazy all fit together. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5 (ESV) has become my mantra! Easy to say hard to live out!
Did Moses have those moments throughout his life, where he could not see the outcome? He just stepped in anyway and had faith. Noah also comes to mind while building the arc, did the voice of God start small and grow? Till he eventually could not ignore it anymore and stepped out in faith? Can anyone say flight of ideas? That is how I feel, but I am trusting God to guide my fingers, thoughts and feet.
I can feel God moving in my life recently, unsure of what he has planned or where the path is going. I just know the voice is getting louder and I have a feeling of being pushed through opened doors. Doors that I have been standing in and have not had the courage to step through. So I just need to have faith, face God. Do not continue to ask for a sign or signs where I can say, Yep that is 1000% God. We like solid signs – but what does that truly mean? Does that even exist or would we continue to make excuses? Why do I continue to distrust the inner voice so much?
I had an interest in developing and growing leadership skills and was excited to sign up when I found out about a leadership cohort that was being offered. I was like, “Perfect! This is what I have been looking for!” When the dates and times of the class came out, the excuses started from me. The cohort was meeting on Thursday night. Ugh that is band practice night, already committed. I need to study for my real estate exam, nope cannot do it. Discipleship class, teaching VBS, Bible study…all the reasons stacked up. My husband even agreed I was already too busy to add one more thing to my plate. Oh well, maybe next time. Then one night I was sitting on the couch and felt compelled (pushed through the door that I had been standing in) to sign up for the leadership cohort, this time I listened and followed through, I signed up for the cohort. The mind started racing, how am I going to do this, what am I going to give up? I stilled my thoughts and reminded myself that God has this! It was definitely part of God’s plan for me. I had more insights throughout that class. It was so eye opening for me. Made me realize just how much I had been ignoring or dismissing.
● Realized that I was a risk taker at work
● Strong Leader at work
● Saw myself as a weak leader at home
● Saw myself as a weak leader and not qualified at church
Why was that? When I took a step back and was honest with myself it was due to: past hurts, past traumas in my life, just make it work, do not change, stay the same. Felt more like a door mat than a contributor. Brought to life for me that the areas that I am strong in for my day job there is no reason to hide them or feel they were insufficient to do God’s work.
Reading the last chapter of the book for the cohort Heart Of Leadership by Mark Miller I got very emotional, tears just ran down my face as I read and chills covered my arms. I shared this experience with my cohort group and made the comment that I was such a sap because it moved me. Carmen, who was leading the group, looked at me and said, “You have had a Holy Spirit moment.” I was dumbfounded and speechless. In my head I was thinking, WHAT!!! No, not possible. But after class I prayed and reflected on what she said and what I read. Ya know what? She was right! How did I miss that?? I brushed it off as me being silly. Is this a similar mindset that Israel had when God spoke to them?
I took Carmen’s words to heart, accepted that God was calling me to take action, I just did not know what that something was. Change was coming. That I knew for sure. I was continuously praying for the courage to walk through the door I saw in front of me, praying for the courage to have a serious spiritual conversation with my husband. To be honest with him about how I was feeling God move and lay it all out on the line even though I could not put my finger on what was happening. Deep breath and remember Deuteronomy 31:6 – Be strong and courageous, do not fear or be in dread of them, for your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. (ESV)
The night before I wrote this I had that conversation and can I say that God never ceases to amaze me!! I was so nervous. Is he going to think I have gone crazy or even worse be dismissive? I took that deep breath and went into the details about everything that had been going on and how I could see some of the pieces falling into place. And how everything has been leading me to this moment, to this conversation. Admitting that I was unsure of what was going to happen next, I just knew I needed to listen and walk through the door in front of me. When I finished I waited in silence for my husband’s response. What he said I was totally unprepared for. He had been seeing and feeling the same, that change was happening and God would not be ignored. No more excuses!!
This new path is leading us to the nations, pushing us to grow in our faith and to embrace the unknown. After all, God has got this! As I am writing this a screensaver turned on and there was a beautiful picture of the mountains surrounding the lake. In the water I could see the reflection of the mountains. Down toward the bottom of the screen there was a small red backpack that jumped out at me. I looked at it and chuckled… Okay God I hear you. It is time to pick up the backpack and go. I have been camping in this spot for a while now, glorifying you, praying for guidance and encouraging those that passed by. Showing them your beauty, grace, love and ensuring they had what they needed to grow. But the time had come for me to pick up my backpack and move on. Time for a new journey forward, as this revelation hits the tears start rolling down my face. A Holy Spirit moment, letting me know I am on the right track and to embrace the unknown.
No more stalling! Left to me I would never feel ready. I’m so grateful for God’s patience and love to pursue me. I just have to remember it may be unknown to me but not to God. His big picture, His timeline, His will and His glory. I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
Written by Ronda Jolly. Ronda Jolly is married to Matthew and is a mother of 4 children (all grown) and grandmother to 5 kiddos. Her hobbies include hunting, playing in the dirt, (trying to turn her thumb green) and spending time in nature. She enjoys writing to help clear the mind. While writing she has had several ah-ha moments and knows that God is guiding her pen. This is a new adventure writing for the PriorityNOW Blog.