I sat across from her during a women’s group as she encouraged us to ask God how he saw us.
She shared how God showed her that he saw her as a cheerleader – someone who was encouraging people to keep on, keeping on.
I thought it was beautiful.
And I could absolutely see how God could see her as a cheerleader – she’s a bubbly, 5 ft. 2, color-coordinated grandmother and her short cropped hair is snow white. Her hair bounces when she talks and she has deep insight for everyone she speaks to – like a personal cheerleader.
Inspired, I asked God to show me how he saw me. . . but I couldn’t bring myself to sit still enough to hear the answer. I kept interjecting my thoughts before God could answer. I would see a garbage truck drive by and think, God must see me as a garbage man or maybe a plumber since I deal with a lot of crap ( I have 3 kids – 2 in diapers) and then I’d crack myself up without ever sitting still enough to let him answer.
The truth was, that I really did want God to answer me, but I was secretly a little apprehensive that he was going to tell me that he saw me as something really lame or worse – nothing at all.
The thing is, I put words in God’s mouth all the time.
Mostly because I’m afraid of what he’ll say.
That he’ll touch a nerve and I’ll get all weepy and sentimental like one of those girls that read Jane Austen all the time and watch BBC shows. It’s a really annoying habit (putting words in his mouth – not BBC shows). I miss out on a lot of what God wants to say because I’m too busy speculating about what he would say instead of letting him speak for himself.
I’m afraid he’ll say something that I don’t want to hear.
I think we all do this.
I mean, who doesn’t want to hear the voice of God?
But then again, do we really want to hear what he has to say?
What if tells us something we don’t want to hear? Or worse, what if he says something that makes us fall to pieces – something like he loves us and he’s proud of us?
Sometimes I’m more afraid of the kind things he says to me than the imagined threats of lighting strikes. So, I unwittingly make up God’s responses instead of letting him speak.
It’s called speculation and I’d be willing to bet that it’s one of the biggest reasons that we can’t hear the voice of God, followed only by our busy-ness.
We get so frustrated because we think there is something wrong with us that we can’t hear the voice of God – we are supposed to after all. Jesus said that we would hear his voice.
The sheep that are My own hear and are listening to My voice; and I know them, and they follow Me.
John 10:27 (Amplified)
See the thing about God is that he won’t force you to listen. It’s not his style. He’s always there for us, waiting and ready to speak but he gives us enough respect that he’s not going to shout down the hallway at us. He invites us to come and sit at his table. To turn off the figurative cellphones of our agendas at dinner time and actually have a real conversation.
It takes time to learn to sit still and listen to God, just like it takes practice for kids to learn to sit and listen to their parents.
Here’s where journaling can help. Even if you’re not a writer – get a journal, I promise you it will be worth it.
I personally really LOVE Moleskines – they’ve got color, they’re fairly cheap, and it’s rumored that Hemmingway used a Moleskine – so I feel pretty awesome when I’m writing in my Moleskine, but any ol’ notebook works.
When you’re praying and you are looking for an answer from God – ask him, then write the question down in your journal – and then go on with your day.
It helps to write the question down and go on through out your day and let him answer you instead of trying to put your words into his mouth. Start with something easy like, “How do you see me?” and let him surprise you with the answer. If God would send his Son, Jesus to die for our sins – it can’t be that much of a stretch to believe that he actually wants to talk to us.
So to recap:
1. get a journal
2. pray and ask God to speak to you, then ask him something
3. write your question in your journal (so you don’t forget what you asked)
4. go on with your day and take time to listen for his voice – he’ll answer
5. when he answers, write the answer down in your journal so you can look back over it
So 2 weeks went by, and I kept coming back to my question.
2 weeks before I was finally able to actually “hear” what God saw me as.
It probably will not take as long for you – I’m just really special that way.
I was standing in my kitchen praying about something not entirely related and he told me he saw me as a doctor. Someone who helps to heal people who have been broken. It touched a nerve – I had dreamed of going to med school when I graduated from high school, but it never felt quite right and after trying to force something that I was never meant to do – I gave up on becoming a doctor. He told me I wasn’t wrong in my desire to help heal people – it was just in a different capacity.
I got all Jane Austen, BBC weepy and cried – just like I thought I might.