Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Listening to the Voices

While I was growing up, my mom used to tell me that God speaks to you, you only have to be quiet and listen. For the most part, this has served me well. I have listened when That Little Voice has suggested, "tell the truth, even if it's hard," and had faith that the Holy Spirit was indeed guiding me. As I've grown older, my internal dialogue hasn't been so absolutely holy. "You're not smart enough," "You don't write well enough," "You're lazy," "Play the Lottery! You'll win," and many other destructive voices have joined the symphony. I have come to distrust That Little Voice, even downright ignore it.

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Finding out that I was pregnant with John was one of the most defining moments in my life.  If I am to tell the truth, I felt like we were maxed out. We had five bright, beautiful school-aged children and bringing home a new baby never entered into my personal plans. I don't know how far along I was (several weeks) when I sat praying before Mass with my family and my visiting mother, completely unaware of John's life growing within me. "This is My child," the words pounded through me the way a wave forms in the placidity of the ocean to break with the thundering force of the eternities upon the shore. "This is My child!" I couldn't ignore That Little Voice but years of weary, destructive banter in my head had taught me to discredit it. What child? Wait... When was my last period? I instinctively knew what That Little Voice was trying to tell me but I ignored it. I went home and drank wine with my mom trying to push the message of That Little Voice from my mind but my entire being knew better. A home pregnancy test taken the very next morning confirmed that I was pregnant.

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By anyone's assessment, I have had a super-human recovery to a spinal fusion surgery. After months of pain, I left the hospital in less that 24 hours, went for a walk 2 days after surgery, wrapped all of our Christmas gifts at 4 days post-op, and have otherwise enjoyed every minute of my life, pain-free, since the surgery. I've had all of my family and friends call to check on me and I've been able to give them the happy news, "I feel great." Every single time the response has been, "I am so thankful. I have been praying for you." Last week I met with a doctor who said she had never seen such a seamless recovery. I told my mom about the accolades and she replied, "Well, I prayed for you as if you were dying."

***

Grant lost his keys this morning. After a few frantic moments of searching, I sent him to work in my car with the promise that I would look for them. "Did you check the key basket," I asked. "Yes. Twice."

Later in the morning I got to work looking for the keys. I looked in the key basket again and searched the cupboard where the basket is kept. Nothing. I looked in John's toy box and in the trunk of his toy car where other misplaced items have been found. Nothing. "Pray." It was That Little Voice. "Pray about it." My whole life, I have always felt guilty about praying for the mundane things in life. I've always felt like I can handle the lost keys, God, you just take care of the sick children, ok? But our God is not one to be bargained with. If we are to trust Him with our life, we must also trust him with our... keys? Ok. Ok. I crossed myself and prayed out loud, "In the Name of The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit. Lord? If it is your will, please let me find Grant's keys. Saint Anthony, please pray for me to find Grant's keys. Amen." I thought no more of it.

I don't know how long it was before I had a very strong urge to check the key basket again. My first instinct was to resist. "Go back to the basket. You will find the keys because I have put them there." It came from a place outside of my own thought processes. What could it hurt? I went to the kitchen and opened the cupboard where the key basket resides. I picked it up. I took out all of the contents of the basket even though it was visibly clear that the keys weren't in there. As I went to put the basket back in the cabinet, Grant's keys were sitting on the shelf where the basket had been.

1 comment:

GretchenJoanna said...

What an encouraging post. Isn't the Lord sweet to give you back the simple experience of your childhood? I hope I can remember these things you've written and listen to Him more attentively this week. I don't tend to argue with that voice; I just ignore it and it stops. :-(

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