I’ve never actually heard the voice of God before.
I always talk about how He talks to me. It’s never been a voice though. Not His. Well, not what I would imagine His to sound like. But I’ve heard Him speak to me through people. Through books. Through posts on Facebook and Instagram.
He can get pretty creative.
This past week I was struggling with insecurities. Lots and lots of insecurities.
I got so lost in my own head. You ever do that? Start thinking and then suddenly you can’t get out. And then you become your own worst enemy?
I’ve gotten to the point where I can even see myself doing it. I’m aware that I’m doing it. And yet, I still can’t find my way out.
So I just stop and pray. And I keep praying. Long enough to distract me. Long enough to let me forget what I was thinking about in the first place.
Over and over, this last week, the enemy tried to make me doubt Him. The enemy convinced me that I needed to find the crisis. That there was a crisis to find and that I was just being naïve and vulnerable for not knowing that.
Y’all know how I feel about being vulnerable.
And just like that, I began to doubt.
I reached out to my friend. The one I can count on to almost always speak on behalf of Him. That’s how I know. When they both say the same thing.
I begged her for a word of encouragement. Begged her to help me get out of my own head.
“Love People. Trust God.”
I studied those four words. I repeated them over and over.
Love People. Trust God.
Later the next evening I was preparing to do my taxes. This was the first year I would be filing without my ex husband. And I’m not going to lie, I had my hopes on a refund. So you can imagine that when I finished with my taxes and it informed me that I actually owed the government nearly $500, I wasn’t entirely thrilled.
I texted my ex. Oh, I was ready to have words with him. Because technically, we’re still married. So because we’re still married and we’re filing separately, I don’t qualify for a specific tax credit that I would have if we weren’t legally married.
But then something strange happened. He called me. I was ready to be angry. But then we just talked. We talked for nearly two hours. We didn’t fight. We didn’t yell.
We just talked.
We talked about finalizing the divorce soon. We talked about the new relationships in our lives. We talked about being friends.
Y’all. This was the man who I hated. The man who broke my heart. The man who has given me every reason to hate him.
And yet, I don’t.
Why is that? Yep, you guessed it.
Love people. Trust God.
Even if that person is your ex.
And even if people might not get it. And even if people try to encourage you not to do that with him because of ‘all the things he did to you.’
So, I found myself in church the next morning where one of our Bishops was visiting. The first thing he said as he stood in front of our congregation was to expect to hear God talk to us. Not to pray or wonder if He would, but to expect it.
My ears perked up. I needed God to talk to me. I had been waiting to hear from Him.
I was confused. Confused about the relationship with my ex. Confused about the insecurities I had been feeling. Confused about the reactions from others.
Now, y’all know I love reading the Bible. I love finding God’s truth. I love how it applies to my life. And there are certain books that I’m convinced were written just for me.
So just imagine my face when I realized the Bishop was going to be leading a sermon on the book of Jonah and that I should expect God to talk to me.
Through Jonah? Yeah, okay.
I admit, I’ve never really studied the book of Jonah. I’ve probably only read it once in my Bible in One Year devotional. It is not a book that I would have said could do much for me.
Boy, was I wrong.
Turns out, the book of Jonah isn’t just about Jonah and the giant fish. But really, it’s about God’s sovereignty, His grace, and His mercy.
I totally encourage you to open your Bible, today, and read it.
And when you read it, you’ll see exactly what I saw.
Love People. Trust God.
There it was. There He was.
Now this Bishop could have preached on a thousand things. But that message? That was for me. Oh, I’m sure it applied to other people too. Especially the part where he read the words “Does it do you well to be angry?”
And the part where he talked to us about holding onto anger. On not forgiving people.
I’m sure he had everyone’s attention.
But I know that that message was for me. That was God’s voice. That was His reassurance.
Maybe I do look crazy for forgiving my ex completely and actually wanting to be friends. Maybe it makes no sense from the outside. Maybe you’re right, maybe he does deserve me to hate him.
But that’s not what God wants.
I am simply to love people and trust God.
Even if it makes no sense. Because let’s just remember one other thing. He loves you and I unconditionally. Despite our pasts. Despite those days when we do a terrible job of representing who He is. Despite always falling short.
Because the truth is, we don’t reap what we sow, right? (Can I get an ‘Amen’?!)
Because we can make the worst decisions our entire lives, but that still doesn’t stop Him from loving us.
Any of us.
And if He can love me. I can love people. And trust Him.