There’s nothing quite like the experience you have when God speaks and you obey. There have been times in my life that it’s been incredibly scary, but so exciting at the same time to know that you’re in God’s will. The only way I can describe it is the feeling you get when you’re halfway down the first drop in a roller coaster. You’re definitely a little terrified, but you’re enjoying the view and looking forward to the next height you will reach. #rollercoasterjunkie #notreally
It’s how I felt when I decided to move to Utah. I was nervous, but as I trusted God and told people about the call on my life they were so excited for me and new that God was paving an incredible path. Same thing with when Garrett and I were on the path to joining Final Greetings. People would miss us, but they knew that we belonged with the team.
On the other end, there’s nothing worse than not listening to something that God is telling you. Earlier on in my faith I was hesitant to do things when God led, and I think because of that He didn’t give me huge opportunities until I learned to trust him. I know there were several times in my life that I felt Him pushing me to talk to someone who was new and had no friends at my school, youth group and other places. But I stayed in my introverted shell and never left my seat. I regretted it every time. #couldntdoit
About a month ago I found myself reflecting on a time when I did listen as I was driving to work. Back when I lived in Utah, Garrett and I were attending our church’s young adults group. When I arrived it was only 3 people, and within four months because of my relentless inviting people we grew to almost 30. It was amazing, but for some people it’s hard to find connection in a larger group.
There was one such girl that I noticed one night. I usually tried to engage her, but sometimes it was difficult to get a conversation going. Overtime I tried less, but I noticed her again during our discussion. She seemed troubled, sad, and my heart went out to her. I wanted to talk to her afterwards and make sure she was alright. It became my mission. And as the night went on, she continued to look more and more miserable. #notfun
I believe that God speaks to different people in different ways. Sometimes it’s a feeling, sometimes it’s a thought that echoes in your brain, other times it’s through other people. Mine was always a thought that I believed was mine, but I would check my soul and God’s Spirit to see if it was truly Him, meditate on it.
That night was the first and only time I’ve ever heard God’s voice. During the prayer time, I looked up at this girl I’d been wanting to console all night and the strangest thing happened. I heard a second of rainfall like you hear when you turn a rainstick over, and everything went silent. An overwhelming feeling and clear thoughts and words echoed in my head and my ears. “I see you.”
I knew I had to tell her. I don’t know why, but I just had to. It’s kind of a weird thing to say to someone, but I knew I had to. When prayer time finished, one of her friends went over to her and was talking to her, and she was crying. I didn’t want to interrupt the conversation, so I took my time and kept my eye on them. Eventually I moved next to her and started comforting her, waiting as their conversation came to an end.
I took a deep breath and looked at her, unsure of myself but knowing that I had to speak the words God so obviously told me. “I don’t know why, but I feel like God wanted me to tell you something. I see you.” Immediately she broke down crying, and I cried with her a little bit. When she was able to compose herself, she took my hand and looked into my eyes. “Tonight this whole time I felt like no one noticed me. I felt invisible.” God so clearly saw her, and helped me to see her too.
Even as I’m writing this I’m crying because of how much power this moment still holds in my heart, even two years later. And that morning as I was driving I was overwhelmed again. God’s calling is an amazing thing, and I found myself thanking God for that moment. For being willing to use a sinner like me. #Godspower
All day that story echoed in my soul, and it made me happy to think that God used me in that way to make someone realize that they were seen in their saddest moments. As I got home, I was still reminiscing for some unknown reason. Until I started talking to my husband and in a few minutes the topic quickly changed to be serious.
“So, Andy called me earlier and said that there’s a church that’s looking for someone to come lead worship there this week. It’s a Calvary Chapel church in Seattle, inside CHAZ.” I could see the conflict on his face, and immediately my heart sank. He had just returned from a 9-day trip away, and I was finally happy to have him back. To lose him again, in a place that was known to be extremely volatile, was not just frightening but terrifying.
I asked him what he was thinking, and he told me that he originally didn’t want to, but he knew he needed to pray about it. When he was in the bathroom of all places, God’s power swept over him and he felt God speaking to him. “You’ve been so frustrated this entire time that you’ve had nothing you can do during this time. This is how you can contribute.” #Godsvoice
There had been several conversations before about Garrett really struggling with everything going on. COVID, Black Lives Matter, political arguments and fear all over our country. He wanted to help, but he didn’t know how. And now God had put an opportunity right in front of him to finally do something. And even though I was scared, I knew that God had placed my memory of my encounter with obeying him on my heart that day for a specific reason.
“Well, what are you thinking?”
“I don’t know, I’m still not sure if I should go.”
“God spoke to you, right?”
“Then what’s holding you back?”
“I wanted to talk to you first.”
“If God told you to go, I won’t hold you back.”
I spent much of that night scared for my husband’s life, praying that God would keep him safe and sad that I was losing what I just got back. But I knew, and he knew. Following God’s call is an amazing experience, and not following will leave you regretting. So the next morning he woke up with me and drove to Seattle with his heart beating hard in his chest.
We messaged frequently and talked every night while he was there. At first he was not sure how to help these people, but as time went on he became one of them. He fell in love with these obviously hurting people. Some had opposite beliefs as Garrett, others had the same. Some were there to protest, others were there to live without the law keeping them from doing drugs. #brokenness
I still see it in my husband’s eyes when he talks about his time in CHOP/CHAZ. He didn’t want to go, but by the end he didn’t want to leave. The door was opened through music, but it became so much more than leading worship for an hour a night. It became spending time with them around a trashcan fire, cheering them on as they played baseball, speaking truth into hurting lives and comforting people in hopeless situations. It was one of the most meaningful weeks of his life.
If you’re struggling with following God, just trust. Get on the rollercoaster and find the joy in that first drop. If you have yet to hear God calling you, know that there is a waiting line. Some rides take 5 minutes, like making friends with a new person, and others take 2 hours, like moving states or even countries. But here’s the thing: you can’t get on the ride without getting into line. If you want God to speak, to move you, to call, get in line and say you’re ready. He’ll bring the opportunities to you if you start moving. #getinline