The best way to illustrate how I hear God’s
voice is by giving some examples of the journeys that I go on with God – funny
little journeys with big out-comes.
This particular journey took place a few years ago when I saw a picture in my head of a reservoir about 5 miles from where I live. I had only visited it once and it hadn’t become a favourite place. However on that day I felt this strange pull to visit it again so I dragged my husband, Richard and my 4 year old son out for a walk! On arriving, what first occurred to me was that it was a good place for thinking. Simply following the marked paths and feeling the calm of the water was quite therapeutic especially as I had some big thoughts going on in my head that I wanted to share with Richard. As our walk continued we came to a sort of jetty that was like a narrow closed-in walk-way leading to a hide out by the water’s edge. I don’t like tunnels or motion but felt drawn through this tunnel to the small square box-like hide sitting over the water. It wasn’t really moving but as I looked out over the reservoir and saw the water rippling by, I really felt like I was on a boat. Finding myself doing something strange but feeling I had to be there, I put my antennae up and talked to God. Our conversation went something like this:-
“OK, God what I am doing here?”
“Facing a fear.”
“What of . . . motion, boats . . ?“
need to face your fear of movement. You
get so scared when you have a dream, something big and you see it unfolding
before you, expanding, and then you don’t want to move. Jennie I want you to
move, to run with your dream. I want you to face your fear of losing
control. I want you to let go.”
Hearing these words made me curious about my
fear. I tried looking out at the
rippling water from different sides of the hide. I looked at the information on the walls
about the birds we might see and then my eye caught sight of something big
moving in the water. It was the biggest
fish I’ve ever seen actually swimming and it was going surprisingly fast, heading
straight for the hide. Part of me became
entranced by this fish but just in a corner of my mind was my fear, and the
thought that watching it was making me feel slightly dizzy and I didn’t like
it. Quite suddenly I decided that enough
was enough and I wanted to go now. I moved quickly through the tunnel and back
onto what I thought was dry land! I was
happy again but I was changed. A little
bit of the fear had gone.
Yesterday I met a friend – someone I hadn’t seen in a long time. We had our first child at the same time and met at a post-natal group. We both shared our love of babies and everything newborn. We both wanted more children but we still only have one chick in our nest whilst she has 3. I was envious, desperate to have more children in our family too. We tried to adopt but it didn’t work out.
What was it I wanted I had to keep wondering. Did I want to look out of the window and see three children on their bikes or in the paddling pool? Did I want to do the school run and proudly drop my 3 little cherubs at the school gate? Did I want the sports days, parents evenings, dance classes and football matches? Did I want the big family Christmases and holidays?
I really thought I did want these things but even the school run with one little chick and parents evenings, sports days, paddling pools and holidays was too much for me! I wanted them to give me this ‘full, complete’ feeling but all they did was seem to take away from my energy and leave me feeling empty. I couldn’t find anyone to talk to in the playground when I collected my son from school, I picked up everyone’s strained stressed tired energy at parent’s evenings, the paddling pool could feel overstimulating on bright light days of summer and holidays, well – I just like the daily small things and my routine best!
When I met my friend yesterday she told me how her busy full life had developed. She was working, running a business, taking her children here, there and everywhere but I didn’t hear the passion in her voice, the excitement I would expect of someone with a full life. She seemed tired. Then all I could say about our life is that my son is home mostly playing computer games with friends, we have doves now and like hover-boarding. But in that moment I didn’t mind that my life may not have sounded full because the one thing that is very full is my heart. And at the end of the day, surely that is what counts.
Today is May 9th – my Birthday. Now I guess May 9th may have no special ring to you but of course it does to me.
I am not a celebration person though and have had many grumpy Birthdays! I could never work out why. Did I feel people were not treating me right? Did I have too few cards? Did someone important forget? Well – the answer was often all of the above! However in another way the answer was something completely different.
Today I remembered how May 9th was special for me as a child (just the date) and also how I used to pray that the sun would shine on my Birthday. I literally did that every year and to my surprise, God did seem to answer my prayers! I can remember many a sunny Birthday.
Well, this year I kept looking at the weather forecast and I could see drizzle and a north east wind forecasted. So . . .what is God up to this year, I wondered! I had decided to go to my son’s favourite place for the morning as his happiness is everything to me and his visual processing gives him few choices to be happy when out. So we went to see our friend Vic and her lovely alpacas. We also took our hover-boards because I remembered Vic had a particularly promising looking new drive for a hover-boarding ride.
When we left in the car it was sunny. I noticed the old familiar cow parsley that is always out for my Birthday (and my Mum remembers from the day I was born.) The bluebells were still out (flowering late this year) and dotted in the hedgerow was the flash of red campion. The yellow was very strong in the green of the leaves – in fact so strong I had to shut my eyes when we went through leafy tunnels. And I thought to myself “Yes, it feels like my Birthday. All my special wild flowers are out.”
I haven’t had any presents because you try buying a present for a colour sensitive person! I haven’t suffered the sound or the pattern of wrapping paper. And I asked not to have cards.
The most memorable thing of my Birthday will be the trip in the car and all the colours of the spring flowers dancing together in unison for me! It seems that I was born at a time when the light feels best for me. And I must have known from very young just how much I needed the sunlight to really make the colours dance.
Did you pray for things that felt important to you as a child? I would love to hear your stories.