Praying sometimes feels like a one way conversation. I know God is there and listening, but I find it hard to hear Him speak back to me. It is entirely possible that I am too busy talking to take time to listen. It's also feasible that I run my mouth and then move onto the next thing completely missing what He has to say. Sometimes I wish God had Facebook, text messaging or gchat. I rarely miss a message there. But, at the same time, what does that say about me? I pay close attention to technology that often fails me and breeze by the Man who created me and loves me more than any of the people I technologically communicate with ever could.
This past month has been different, however. I hesitate to say I have been a better listener. I don't think I have been, but I have not been able to deny God's voice everyday so far. What does He say, you ask? It's a faint but audible whisper. "Faith and patience". I feel God whispering in my ear especially when the situations of the last month have seemed off-kilter or downright impossible. Everyday, I tell God that I don't understand. And, He constantly responds with the words "Faith and patience".
God, being the Man that He is, also knows that sometimes I need re-enforcements. So, what does He do? Put me in situations where I have to exercise faith and patience - situations where He can knock me on head with the message He wants to get through to me. Of course, I think this is rather comical because I feel like I practiced more than my share of patience during my recovery from surgery, but God obviously thinks I could benefit from more practice.
A couple of obvious examples come to mind. Lately, I haven't been able to sleep very well. I think a lot of it has to do with what is going on at work, so I wake up and daydream at night. (Is that really possible?) And, I just let my mind go. Over the last month, I have dreamed some seemingly impossible dreams. Dreams that I know only God can make come true. Even when my family and friends might dismiss my wild imagination, God whispers those three pivotal words: faith and patience. With God all things are possible, so here's to those "radical dreams" coming true.
I haven't taken the opportunity to tell all of you that I am doing pretty well with my recovery. My canes are back as my main mode of transportation from here to there with the wheelchair trailing behind "just in case". For this, I am so thankful. (I leave for Thailand in 2.5 weeks so my mobility is particularly important) While I am able to hold my body up and put one foot in front of the other with little difficulty, my strength has still not returned 100%. This has become evident when I am working out with my trainer. Jon will ask me to do something that I have repeatedly done successfully before my surgery and I struggle at even the thought of attempting the exercise. After 45 minutes of exercise, I am panting, sweat drips down my face, and I am on verge of tears thanks to the physical, mental and emotional exhaustion of the workout. It's not attractive and has been a source of discouragement and loss of self-confidence. I get frustrated when I walk slower than a turtle without my canes from one side of the room to the other. Four months ago, I could have walked a whole block in Old Town in the amount of time it took me to get from point A to point B in the gym. There are times during the workout when I just want to collapse on the floor in a pool of tears and give up. But, I hear "faith and patience" and keep going despite the fact that a frustrated expression feels plastered on my face. Today was the first day I have made real noticeable progress, so God's three words to me are clearly at work.
I am confident that God is going to put me in more of these situations. A 24 hour flight to Thailand is an exercise in faith and patience if I've seen one! My hope is that I will continue to pay attention to that whisper. I've asked for an audible message for years, I've got one, and I better pay attention! And, while I had wished it would come in the form of email, Facebook, or gchat (silly, I know), God's voice in my ear is far better. I can hear it anywhere. I don't have to be connected to technology to receive the message.