We have all had those experiences where we block out ten minutes of our day to sit down and pray and…we hear nothing but imaginary crickets chirpping in the cob webs of our brain. It appears at though God must be too busy, answering someone else’s prayers. How do we know that God is talking to us? I did a little bit of research, and some experimentation, and here is what I came up with:
It feels like the right decision: I discovered that, if I did something, and I felt anxious or guilty about it, it probably was not the right decision to make. But, if I did something, and I felt a sense of relief afterwards, that is probably what I was supposed to do. Being a pseudo-scientist, I experimented with this a few times to test out how accurate my instincts were. One time, I spent about two weeks, contemplating whether I should apologize to this guy I once dated or not. We hadn’t talked in a while, and I didn’t want to stir anything up, because it was probably way out of his radar anyways. It ended up consuming my thoughts, so I decided I would just give him a call. I did, and I immediately felt relief. That was something I was supposed to do. Like anything in life, praying and listening takes practice, and the more we do it, the better we get at it.
Things eventually make sense: The best revelations in the whole world are when things happen, and then later on, you understand exactly why they happened that way. For example, I just finished a Maymester class for my grad program. Normally, due to actually holding a job, Maymester would be out of the question. But, the deck was stacked perfectly for me to be able to take this course. As it turns out, all my afternoon classes were seniors or plan periods, and the Maymester course started right after the seniors graduated. And since my class schedule was created last April, it meant that Someone had been strategically planning this out since then, unbeknownest to me. Since I just finished on Monday, I can’t tell you exactly why it worked out this way, although I have a few ideas (mainly, so that I could be introduced to my new love, Seth Bullock, on Deadwood). Patience is a virtue, and it is well worth it when God reveals His ultimate strategy.
God answers questions: Last summer, I spent a good amount of time redefining my dating style, and analyzing why we date. I kind of think it works like a dichotomous key: I would spend an entire week contemplating, “Do I think I like the big, muscular, weightlifting men, or do I think I like someone smaller, who does more cardio?” “Do I think I like blondes, or do I think I like tall, dark, and handsome?” And, inevitably, I would run into someone or a situation who would help me answer that question very quickly. I remember contemplating the first question. My long-term boyfriend was a offensive linemen, and I knew so much about that lifestyle that I wasn’t sure if that was what ‘fit me’. Then one day, my friend and I were out, and we ran into some boys who represented the same lifestyle. While I connected to them very well, I knew how to talk to them, and I could understand them, I decided that I wasn’t really into those kind of guys anymore. God set me up in a situation to answer my question.
Faith and Patience always reveals Truth: I, for one, am probably the most impatient person on the planet. As soon as I come up with an idea in my head, I want to see it implemented. Writing my book, however, has been an incredibly spiritual journey, and I have had to rely on a good amount of Patience and Faith in the process. Book publishing is notoriously a very long process, and it could take months for someone to get back to you. But, each rejection and each set of critiques has immensely improved the manuscript. I believe that God speaks through those around us. One person told me it needed to tell more of a story, so I went through, and added more narrative. One person told me the tone was too distant, so I went through and altered the tone. One person told me I needed a platform, so I created my YouTube video. And, the what-seemed-to-be-forever wait time in between each correspondence allowed me time to go back and fix things. Faith and Patience revealed Truth.
I would be interested in hearing other people’s experiences of when and how they knew God was speaking to them…