It was Wednesday and for the third morning in a row, the Lord woke me up at 4am (around 4:15am, to be precise). These weren’t bathroom breaks or moments of fear due to a weird sound. These were literal moments where I woke up, processed the time, and went back to sleep.
The first night I deemed it just random- because I am a random person.
The second night was odd, but not troubling because, again, I’m random.
But when it happened this particular morning, I knew that it was something important.
I had a hunch that God needed me, but being a skeptic, I Googled it. And, of course, Google said that it was God (specifically, it said “Your Higher Power needs you to pay attention at this time so tune in to the messages that are being sent to you, and take action to align yourself with the Divine.” www.thepowerofpositivity.com)
Ok God, I am awake and I am listening- speak to me.
I laid in bed with my eyes closed trying to connect with God. I said a quick prayer and waited to hear or see what He had to say/show. I saw a “P” flash in my mind’s eye and began to think what that could mean.
Was it a name?…so I ran through all of the P names that I knew. The guy who interview me; his name began with a P…
Was it a place?…I had prayed for God to tell me where I should move…did He mean Portland?
Was it a word?…was the Lord talking to me about patience at 4am?
What did that mean?
Then I saw other words that weren’t English, yet my mind was able to decipher “love” from one of the words.
What did this all mean?
I felt like I was conscious at the time but next thing I knew, God was waking me up at 5:16am.
Soon came 11am and I still didn’t know exactly what God was trying to tell me. In fact, I was a bit sleepy, I had a twinge of a headache, and I was sure that my coworkers were looking for new ways to drive me crazy.
But what was He trying to tell me?
I was “fasting” from certain words (A Ten Day Word Fast through YouBible) and the two words discussed by then were Complaining and Criticism. I had a feeling the words will get harder with each day…and they did.
Was God waking me up because I wasn’t living up to my fast?
Work was emotionally and physically draining. I spend about 4hrs commuting to and from work every day. By the time I arrive at work, I have no energy for the day. At work, it takes everything in me to not fall apart because of stress. Oddly, I don’t feel “overworked and underpaid”, I actually feel underutilized and underpaid. It’s not because of my education that I feel underpaid. It’s because I know that the same workload at another company would pay at least $10-15k more a year. I feel underutilized because I am bored (umm, hello, I am able to write blogs in my spare time). The way my ADD is set up (and yes, I do really have ADD…or maybe ADHD- I forgot what the doctor said), I need to be kept working at all times. The downside of that is that I work very efficiently. I naturally find the least time consuming way to complete a task, I procrastinate to high Heaven, and then I work really well under pressure. Put that all together and you’ve got someone who grows bored easily at work. When given a task, I ask for deadlines and then complete it at the last possible moment. I’ve always been like this. It is when I am in time constraints that my best work is seen (I had a 3.4 grad school GPA to attest to this…that one C in Statistics still haunts me). I also learn VERY quickly. I can pick up on new things with lightening speed (thank You, Lord) and grasping new concepts is something I relish. Are there other tasks that I could do at work to pass time? Yes; but only certain tasks call to me. Doing something that does not interest me only results in half-attempted mess balls. Yet when I feel a wave of complaints brewing, I think about my gratitude for employment and for the ability to move my body.
Is that why He needed to talk to me?
Or maybe it’s because it turns out that I am a very critical person. I feed off of CONSTRUCTIVE criticism. Since I am a borderline perfectionist, I need to know how I can improve what I already do- I always need ways to increase my effectiveness and efficiency. I also think that everyone needs to hear my “opinion” (also known as Criticism) about everything. I thought that my opinions and insight were helpful. Maybe they weren’t/aren’t…is that why God needed to talk to me?
I. Still. Don’t. Know. What. He. Needed. To. Say.
When I realized that I had fallen asleep, I asked God to find a way to speak to me throughout the day. Accidentally on purpose, I still had not resumed my television watching. I kinda got hooked on spending the evenings with God and I loved it. Coming home, grabbing a snack, picking up Mended by Angie Smith, and relaxing on the balcony has been the biggest healing tool for me. This time with God is literally what gets me through the day.
When I was in a relationship with GD, I would rush home to be with him. I didn’t have time to spend with God because I had to spend time with the person sitting in my home. Naturally, you spend time with the person you are in a relationship with (let that marinate). I am rebuilding my relationship with God- which was a goal for 2017 from my very first Vision Board- and I just want to spend all my time with Him. I rush home, skip all of my normal routines, and run outside to “sup” with the Lord.
But still, there is something that He needs to tell me at 4am…
I was reminded yesterday through someone else’s blog that God is not an “on Demand” type of God. Just because I pray for something at noon, does not mean that He is under any obligation to fulfill the prayer at 12:01pm, 12:30pm, or even noon on the following week. He works in His own time. He is God and He can do as He pleases.
So until He reveals to me why He choses 4am as another conversation time, it is my responsibility to answer His call…every single time. It is also my responsibility to continue living as His child and in a way that is pleasing to Him.
My word fast has helped me to realize why so many Christians are always quiet- we tend to run out of things to say when we don’t gossip, bicker, judge, criticize, complain, etc. Once we eliminate those words and behaviors, we are only left with the purity -in thought and action- that is found through Christ. There is an old line that says “you have two ears and one mouth- listen twice as much as you talk.” The same applies to our relationship with God- we need to listen more than we talk to Him.
Listen to His words and find out what He has planned for you.
How does God speak to you? Do you always listen to Him? How could you improve your relationship with God today?
And one last question for the road…
How do you feel when God does not work on your time?
Marinate on these questions. Be honest with yourself and with God. Ask Him to 1. help you listen to His divine guidance and will and 2. help you with the patience needed to wait for Him.