Hearing that elusive voice

I know I’ve heard God.  It was when I was little more than a child, barely even a preteen.  I was suicidal and going crazy.  I’d have these fits where I would hold my breath and hope to pass out because my insomnia was so bad I couldn’t sleep.  I was really losing it.  And there was this one time I got so angry, I was determined to get up and get a knife and just end it.  But there was this weight holding me down, and I started to panic because I couldn’t breathe.  A truck drove by and in the pattern of the light on the wall I saw an angel.

A voice said: “God wants your life, not your death.”

And I know God intervened.  At the time, I was trembling.  But it wasn’t from fear. It was anger.  I was so enraged that God wouldn’t protect me from being abused and he wouldn’t shield me from the torment of being thrown up against my abuser time and time again and he wouldn’t make it easier to talk to my family and he wouldn’t do a million things to make my life better when it could’ve spared me pain but THIS time, THIS time he intervened.  I hated him for it.

But I had nothing left to lose, so I gave him my life.  The action of an impudent child, sneering and saying, “yeah?  Well, PROVE IT.”

He did.  And I can call that my “burning bush” moment without even a hint of irony.  But the problem with burning bush moments is that you rarely get more than one.  You get that one moment, that one time when it will make the most difference, and then it goes away.  I have never in my life been as sure of God’s hand as I was then.  I’ve never felt his presence so keenly or heard an audible voice again.  There have been times I’ve begged him to be clearer, to talk to me the way he did that night.  But every time I sense the same reply, “you needed it then.  You don’t need it now.”

So I am left to seek out his voice however I can.  It’s maddening, sometimes.  It’s not a loud voice.  It’s very quiet, it’s very hard to truly listen to.  It’s hard to block out the noise and insanity.  It’s hard to put myself in the rate frame of mind and heart.  It’s especially hard to realize when I’ve STOPPED hearing it.

I spent most of the day yesterday fighting off tears, because I could hear that voice again.  Not as loudly as I did on my burning bush day, no, it was quiet and far away.  But it was unmistakable.  It was God telling me over and over that he loved me, was going to take care of me, I had to stop panicking, I had to do the right thing and forget about the cost, that he gave me my dreams and he didn’t do that just to kill them, that it was okay and I could trust him…

And I realized something.  I realized that it’s so easy to get comfortable with malaise and bitterness.  It’s so convenient to blame God!  Like a little toddler who throws a tantrum because she knows her parents will love and comfort her no matter how obnoxious she is, it’s easy for me to throw tantrums against God because I know he’s big enough to take it.  My relationship with God started off conflicted and in some ways it never stopped.

But today I am grateful.  I’m grateful that God spoke to me when he did, because had he saved me prior to my pain I never would have understand how badly I needed him.  He saved my life, he kept me alive, I can honestly say that I’d be dead of my own volition.  He allowed the world to use me badly because had I never been so broken I would never have become who I am today.

And I need to be this person, I need to use these gifts.

Everything is okay.

Now, can you hear that voice?  Listen.  He wants to speak to you, too.

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10 thoughts on “Hearing that elusive voice

  1. Fantastic!

    If you have the time and feel inclined to do so, I would be most grateful for a comment from you sharing that experience in my post entitled “Living to tell the tale”. I am trying to encourage people to share experiences in my post about a time when they felt God intervened mightily in their lives. There is so much negativity published in blogs at the moment about Christians who have lost their way or fallen and about Christianity in general, that I am attempting to counteract that with exactly the opposite; testimonies of people’s lives being transformed by the presence of God in their lives. I thought your post today is the perfect example. Thank you.

    Blessings,

    http://www.ransom33.wordpress.com

  2. Wow Lindsey, thank you for posting this. Very powerful, it hit close to home for me.

    Thanks again for sharing your heart with us. By the way, I sent you an email, did you get it?

    I’m so glad everything is ok.

  3. What you describe sounds a LOT like what Mother Teresa went through. She strongly felt God/heard the voice of God as a young woman but then it went away. And no matter how many good works she did, it never came back. She felt a desert of despair in her depths, but she never gave up faith. But, yes, she felt the anguish of separateness for the rest of her life.

    And look at what she did with it.

    “A single thread in a tapestry
    though its color brightly shines
    can never see its purpose
    in the pattern of the grand design
    and the stone that sits up on the very top
    of the mountain’s mighty face
    does it think that it’s more important
    than the stones that forms the base
    So how can you see what your life is worth
    or where your value lies
    ohhhh, you can never see through the eyes of man
    you must look at your life
    look at your life through heaven’s eyes”

  4. I have thought more about this post and I am amazed at how much we have in common even though we ended up on “opposite” ends of the spectrum.

    It is wonderful when you feel that presence and terrible when you don’t. Just follow your heart girl, we have your back.

  5. Stephanie: thank you so much! It’s such an honor to be able to share myself with all of you.

    Hayden: Thank you so much for that reminder, and for the poem. I don’t believe in chasing after spiritual experiences. I grew up in an area that had a bunch of “revival chasers” who would go from place to place pursuing “outpourings”, always talking about the latest stories of this place or that place where God was moving. They replace true devotion with a need to be affirmed by some kind of action on God’s part. It’s empty. I don’t need God to whack me upside with a two by four to know that he loves me or that his presence in my life is real. Not that I’m saying Mother Teresa’s pain was invalid- I know the pain all too well, the pain of feeling led to a certain course of action and then being deserted by God.

    But it isn’t God who moved- it’s me.

    wvhillcountry: Thank you. We may be on opposite ends of the sexuality spectrum, but that’s just a minor detail in a larger weave. When it comes to God and our spiritual journeys we have a lot to share, and that is what matters most.

  6. There was only one Burning Bush in the Bible.

    I think IF we ever do have a Burning Bush experience it is because God wants to use us in a mighty way. I think He gives us that singular moment to arrest our attention to Who He Is and what He is capable of.

    For those of us who have had that Burning Bush experience the “trick” becomes to remain in that moment of intensity and enlightenment. It is, however, virtually impossible to remain there as we live our mortal lives. The best we can do is to try to remember and too draw on that force for those evolutional moments.

  7. It’s a song from the movie of “The Prince of Egypt”. I lovelovelovelove it.

    And just for good measure, I’m adding “When You Believe” because I actually like the movie version than the Whitney Houston version.

    🙂

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