When I was a little girl, I would often ask God to give me a sign. When something bad was happening to me, I would ask God to let me see a bird, see something blue, or hear a certain sound, just to let me know I was going to be OK. I always picked something I knew I would see or hear. I concluded very early in life that God didn’t cause bad things to happen, but I believed He was always watching over me.
As I got older, I still asked for signs but I made it more complicated. I wanted to know without a doubt that it was a sign from God. I would be more creative in asking. “God if this is the right thing, show me a yellow Volkswagen.” I made it a more difficult thing to do, but never impossible. If I saw the sign, I often wanted to double check, so would ask to see a second one.
I wonder how that might look from God’s perspective. I have a feeling I might get some feedback from my friend Jan on this one.
“Ok, Cathy needs to see a yellow Volkswagen today. Let me get one of the angels to work on that. I will give that to Angel Abigail. She loves giving people signs. ”
So Angel Abigail gets the assignment. She must first look through the database and see who has a yellow VW in my hometown. She finds several and has to decide which one I might be able to see today. She decides on Henry’s VW since he is closest. But, Henry wasn’t going to drive his VW today so Abigail makes the tire flat on his other car. Henry gets in the VW but he is going to work and that is on the other side of town. How can she get him to pass me this morning? Abigail sees Henry pulling into McDonalds drive through for coffee. She smiles with delight as she comes up with the answer. Just as Henry is about to pull out, she sends another car to cut him off. I won’t even go into the work to make that happen. Henry slams on brakes and his coffee spills all over him. He is going to have to go back home and change clothes. If all the timing works out, he will leave for work again just as I am driving to school. Can you imagine how mad she is going to be if I ask for a second sign?
As an adult, I became more skeptical of signs. I imagined God had more important things to do than arrange for yellow VWs to pass. I struggled with my theology and beliefs about God for a long time. When I got sober and found my way into a twelve-step program, I learned about having a relationship with God. I came to believe that God did indeed give me signs but it was an inside job. I worked on a creating a conscious contact with God all the time, not just at night on my knees. I prayed for knowledge of God’s will for my life and the courage to do it. I sometimes try to sneak in one of those “please change everything to be just the way I want it” prayers, fearing the consequences should that actually happen.
I am stubborn and hardheaded at times. I hear and intuitively know what God is telling me, but I keep asking for proof. I continue to doubt the voice I know to be true. Sometimes I have to be pushed into a corner before I come out fighting. That is what has been going on in my life the past year. I believed there was something I was supposed to do. I didn’t know why or what the results would be. I just knew I needed to do it. Instead of just stepping out on faith, I doubted, I resisted, I rationalized, and questioned. The situation got worse and has now become unmanageable. Perhaps I should have listened and followed, but I didn’t. I finally decided to ask for more sign telling me I was preparing to do the right thing.
I talked to several people including making an appointment with my therapist. I haven’t seen her in quite a while but felt I wanted her insight. I talked with other trusted people. The answer keeps coming up the same. This morning as I opened facebook, it looked like God had taken over my news feed with signs. (**Disclaimer—I don’t think God has a facebook page or follows news feeds.)
Here is the first thing I saw from Dr. Lerner with the Institute for Traumatic Stress,
“While words of wisdom can inspire us, only through our decisions and actions will we overcome the challenges in our lives.” – Mark Lerner
Time for decision and action seems clear to me.
Next thing I saw was,
In this upside-down world you have only two options. You can choose to stand helplessly, waiting for somebody else to take care of you, or you can analyze the situation and do something yourself. —Ken Davis
Analyze and do something. OK, I get it.
And then this.
This morning I open this email from a friend sharing a guest post on her blog. She had highlighted these lines.
This is my bravery, to learn to not need to shape the story. Then comes Holy Ghost, emblazoned in peace, purging my need to hold tightly, loosing my grasp, teaching me to trust. His story, not mine. He writes better than I do.
Wonder if I will that yellow VW anywhere today?
Note: This post is part of the 31-post Ultimate Blog Challenge. I will be posting 31 times during the month of July, 2012.