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.