God doesn’t speak to me — at least not in the way I’d prefer. According to the Bible (and Father Lantom on Daredevil), God speaks in whispers. But the world is too loud. I need that burning bush kind of communication.
Over the past couple of weeks, however, I’ve been getting little messages here, there and everywhere that I believe may be divine.
For most of my childhood, I was oblivious to gender roles and stereotypes. I climbed trees faster and more fearlessly than the boys in my neighborhood because no one ever suggested that I couldn’t — or shouldn’t. My mother didn’t care if I wore dresses or jeans. My father was the one who cooked Sunday dinner and most other meals, too.
But it was the church that taught me girls were to be seen not heard. It started when I got kicked out of a vacation bible school class one summer at my cousin’s church for asking too many questions about Proverbs 31. When I got older and even more interested in religion, I told my Granny I had thought about being a preacher one day and she told me that would never be allowed because the Baptist church believed the pulpit was no place for a woman. This was long before I called myself a feminist, long before I even really understood what that word meant. Yet, when my well-intentioned grandmother said those words something stirred within me and gave me a command as clear as God’s to Moses through the burning bush: “Rebel!”
Long before the popularity of the “Jesus Is My Homeboy” T-shirts, I considered Jesus my BFF. More accurately, he was my hero, protecting me from the being much more terrifying than any imagined monsters underneath my bed — God.
I regularly post inspirational and motivational quotes on Instagram. One day I posted a quote that simply said: “Let’s see what will happen if you decide not to give up.” A short while later I got a text from a friend who told me that when she saw this quote she burst into tears because all day she had been considering giving up on her dream of being an entrepreneur.
As a writer, I obviously believe in the power of words. I believe we can read books, blog posts, short stories, essays, and poems that can completely change our lives. And as this story shows, even a quote on Instagram seen at the right time can have a huge impact.
But there’s no need to wait around for the right quote to pop up in your social media feed. You can start writing personalized affirmations and speaking them over yourself every day.
This weekend I attended reCreate, the annual women’s conference held each fall at Church of the Highlands. One of the speaker’s at this year’s conference was Andi Andrew, who founded New York City’s Liberty Church in 2010 with her family. In 2015 she launched the She Is Free Conference.
One of the messages Andi gave this past weekend was all about seeds. So often we pray to God for gifts and we expect instant gratification. But instead of God giving us what we desire, fully grown, God simply gives us the seeds and it’s our job to tend to the soil of our hearts so that the seeds can bear fruit.