The Nudges…

I’ve learned not to ignore the nudges. Often times when we are seeking direction from God or not, we expect Him to instruct us with lightening and thunder, with a James Earl Jones voice hammering down from Heaven. Yet, some of my most critical instructions in  a moment’s notice have been given with just a nudge, an unction, an ever so slight tap towards a certain action or direction.

Oh, how I’ve learned not to ignore the nudges. Sometimes we want a raindrop to fall just above our left eyebrow in the scorching sun so that we will KNOW that it’s God speaking, but that wouldn’t require much faith or stretching would it? That wouldn’t require that we stay tuned in to His frequency.

Although I grew up in the Bay Area and lived there until a year and a half ago, I do NOT like driving in San Francisco. You really have to know the one way streets, having committed them to memory to navigate the downtown area efficiently. It’s all just a maze to me, and years ago, one of the countless times I was lost, I was in a residential neighborhood. Mind you, this was before GPS was a “thing”. I was desperately trying to find my way back to the freeway and was growing more and more frustrated. I was literally at the point of tears. I felt a gentle nudging to turn left, but turning left didn’t make sense to me. From where I could see, it appeared to be a dead end. I could see the house that faced me at what I perceived to be the end of the street, yet the nudging just wouldn’t go away.

Finally, I said something as ridiculous as “Ok God, I’ll drive down here just to SEE that it’s a dead end!” I had been circling the same blocks for quite some time and didn’t feel I had much to lose. I figured at least if I went ahead and turned left, I could get rid of this nagging “nudging”. To my surprise, when I got to that house that faced me at the end of the block, I could see that the street actually continued in a perpendicular direction. Furthermore, the street literally turned into the freeway onramp!

I could bore you with countless examples, but I think you get my point. There will be times you have an unexplainable nudging to pray for a person, take a certain route home, change an appointment time, go see about a friend, etc. . Don’t ignore it. Remember, God isn’t obligated to explain Himself on the front end. It is our responsibility to trust Him one nudging at a time and obey one often blind step at a time.

What a Difference a Year Makes…

“He slapped me! I know I’ve put up with a lot of things, but THAT I cannot deal with. I can’t be with anyone I’m afraid of!”

 

“Wait, what? What do you mean he slapped you?”

 

“Just that! I walked up to him when he was up in arms about something with one of the counselors. When I approached him to ask what was wrong, he looked at me with some deranged look on his face and hauled off and slapped me!”

 

“Okay, wait…. Did he say anything? That just doesn’t sound like him. What did the counselor do? If this wasn’t you telling the story, I wouldn’t even believe it. I want to say are you sure, but I know you’re sure you got slapped. I’m so confused.”

 

“I just left.”

 

“Wait what? Where are you?”

 

“Home.”

 

“You mean in your cabin?”

 

“No, HOME. As in seven minutes from your house. I came home!”

 

“Wait a minute… something isn’t right. Elyse, this doesn’t make sense! This is bothering me. He didn’t say anything…you just left the village?”

 

“They were trying to stop me, but I just ran to my cabin to pack. I’m DONE!!! I was on the next bus before he even knew I left. He didn’t even come to my cabin to try to stop me from leaving! He doesn’t even care!” (bursts into tears)

 

“Have you heard from him?”

 

“I blocked him.”

 

“Oh GOSH! Elyse!!!”

 

“He hit me! Are you defending him?”

 

“No, I’m saying something isn’t adding up.”

 

“Right! Like me agreeing to go on that missions trip with his youth and I don’t even like camping! Then getting humiliated.”

 

“Noooo, I mean his actions don’t make sense. Something isn’t right. And you’re not giving his consistent behavior a voice at all! ”

 

“Anyway girl, I’m done with this city. I had plenty of time to think on that 12 hour flight home. I told Synergy Inc. I’d have an answer for them upon my return next week. I called and told them I came back early and that I’m going to take the assignment. I’ll be gone for 12 months. Unless he gave me a reason to stay, I was prepared to leave. I feel like this opportunity is timed perfectly. I fly out tomorrow morning.”

 

“Wait a minute… I think you’re rushing a major decision. You don’t even like cold weather and you’re going to move across the country over a relationship not working out? You need to think about this.”

 

“God provided an opportunity that’s right on time!”

 

“I don’t sense God in this. I sense confusion! Don’t put my Papa in this!”

 

“Gurl, I’m tired. I was already thinking about going. You know that. He was the only reason I would have stayed. I need the change. I need to get my mind off of everything. I love you gurl, and thank you, but I have to finish packing. I gotta be in a car to the airport at 6am. I’ve got 11 hours to finish packing for a year and setting up my bill pays. I’ll call you from the airport.”

 

“Elyse, wait!”

 

“It’s a done deal girl! I docusigned my offer letter. I’ll call you in the morning, pray for me! And if you come over I’m not gonna answer the door. I’m doing this!”

 

“Elyse!”

 

Meanwhile, in the Philippines…

 

“What do you mean she left? You let her leave? You slapped her and let her leave?”

 

“I didn’t slap her. I killed a mosquito.”

 

“Okay, but you didn’t even tell her that?”

 

“I couldn’t! She went crazy! I was trying to calm her down and she said something about being done with abuse and ran off. I was due at the other end of camp to introduce the new students and thought I’d head to her cabin and explain later. But when I got there, they said she had packed up and caught a ride back to town on the supply bus. She told them she was headed back to the States man!  My calls are going straight to voicemail. She’s crazy man. But I can’t have her thinking I just slapped her. I was yelling about the vaccinations being late when she walked up. I don’t even know if she knows what I was upset about. I was gonna ask her to marry me tonight, but I’m sitting here talking to you and she’s God knows where. What happened? Gary rubs his hands over his face, what am I going to do?”

 

“Hey man, there’s nothing you can do. You’ll be on furlough in two weeks. You’d better head to Phoenix and straighten this out.”

 

“And what, she just gone keep her phone off?”

 

“Nah man, you got blocked! Straight to voicemail when you call?”

 

“Yeah!”

 

“Did your text messages show as “delivered”?”

 

“Nah…”

 

“Yeah, you blocked homeboy…”

 

“What is all that? I’ll go crazy thinking about this while we’re seven thousand miles apart. I gotta get a handle on this situation with these malaria vaccines. I’ll deal with that when I take my time off. I just can’t believe she’d think I would hit her. I can’t believe she’s shutting me out. I’ve never been violent towards her…never! WOMEN!”

 

….

 

I’ve got it all lined up! Janine is flying in Tuesday, and we’ll pick you up at the airport Thursday! I can’t believe I haven’t seen you in almost a year! And FaceTime doesn’t count!

 

“I know girl, I can’t wait to get home! I’m done with snow. I’m done with New York traffic. I’m done with 14 hour work days. I’m ready to get back to the desert. I’ll never complain about Arizona winters again. As soon as y’all pick me up, the first place we’re going is Spinato’s… matter of fact, y’all can have a medium pepperoni waiting in the car!”

 

“Gurl, we miss our friend, and our friend misses her pizza! Anyway!”

 

“No shade, no shade. Well, I gotta get things wrapped up here. And I have to meet with the owner of some charity or non-profit we’re committing funds to this year. I’m on my way out, so I don’t why I have to be the one to meet with them, but whatever. Tomorrow night I’m on a plane back to the west coast! Yayee, yayee, as Ice Cube would say.”

 

“Gurl, you crazy! Bye!”

 

“Bye gurl.”

 

“Ms. Robins security just called from downstairs. Your 3 o’clock is on his way up, should I just show him to the main conference room to wait for you?”

 

“Yeah, I just have to run down to HR to sign a few documents. Just tell him I won’t be long. Make sure he’s comfortable.”

 

“Will do.”

 

Elevator dings…

 

Elyse steps in only to freeze mid-stride as her heart turns to a rock in her chest. Oh God…Oh my God. What is he doing here?

 

New York? She’s been in New York all this time? “Elyse…”

 

“Hi… you’re the representative from the non-profit? I hadn’t even looked at the name of the organization, or else I would’ve…”

 

“It was a mosquito.”

 

“Huh?”

 

“There was a mosquito on your cheek. I had just been made aware of a malaria outbreak in the village. A few people were really ill and we didn’t have our vaccines yet. I just reacted when I saw the mosquito. I was worried. I’m so sorry…”

 

“I…”

 

 

**Moral of the story… Often times, it isn’t the act itself that scars you. It’s what you believe about the act. Don’t allow your past to narrate your present.

 

What if she’d allowed him to explain about the malaria outbreak?

 

What if he’d been a few minutes late to his meeting to explain?

 

What if they’d come home from the missions trip engaged after having a moment of clarity about “the slap”?

 

What would things have looked like these 12 months later?

 

What if…

 

© 2017 Kelsi Marie

 

 

 

Waiting….., AGAIN?!?!?!?!

Waiting, AGAIN?!?!?!

 

Sometimes you just have to make a decision. There are times when you will wake up morning after morning and find the “situation” hasn’t changed. You’ve prayed, you’ve cried out, and believed every which way you know how, only to find that a NOT YET has slapped you and left your face stinging. And right at that moment you have to make a few decisions. You must DECIDE not to become frustrated. You must DECIDE to still believe God for what is best for you. You must DECIDE that you are still very blessed. Finally, you must DECIDE that God is STILL good despite this nagging, chewing, biting, stabbing “influence” that is pushing you to complain or throw in the towel altogether. This “influence” pushes you to stop believing God, and although few would care to admit it, it pushes you to question how good He really is.  Well, He’s good enough to make you wait.  I said to myself this morning: I’m still waiting, BUT God is still good and He’s sovereign, PERIOD. I trust His judgment. You say it: I trust His judgment.

Often times “Waiting” is that relative you hate to see coming when you’re in a rush to get somewhere. Every time you’ve got somewhere important to go, here he comes shuffling along. And it seems like he always picks the times when you don’t have a moment to spare. And it’s easy to become ESPECIALLY frustrated when he tries to come between you and your blessing. But since my Father keeps allowing him to come to my house, I’ve begun to question whether or not, it’s really him (Waiting) who is making me late.

I was trying to think of someone who could relate. And then I remembered and decided to call on my girl Hannah. I remembered how loooooong she endured Waiting’s visit with her, how much he used to bug her and how eventually she stopped talking about him and lived a life that exceeded the one she felt Waiting was making her late for. Each time I visit with her I learn something.

I walked away from our time together realizing that just like her, we all have a rival -an adversary; in a more contemporary vernacular, “haters”. Hannah had her husband’s love and a double portion of the meat. And her “hater”, Peninnah vexed her, teased her, poked fun at her and made her feel worthless, because she didn’t have children. Peninnah, his other wife (don’t ask) had all of his sons, yet he LOVED Hannah. And that woman had the nerve to make her feel badly about it. Why? Because even with all of their husband’s sons, she STILL wanted what only Hannah had. Unfortunately, while Hannah was loved, favored and received a double portion, she stirred in the place of discontentment. What a WASTE of time! I realized that for us, that (discontentment) is the door. Once you walk through it, it closes and camouflages with the walls, making it difficult to find it again and get out. Too many of us remain in the room of discontentment feeling bewildered, embittered and victimized. During my visit, I looked at ALL that Hannah had and wondered how her husband must have felt about not being able to please her. He even asked her one day, “Aren’t I more to you then ten sons?”   Now, THAT made me think. It makes you wonder how the Father feels when we are rich with grace and blessings and yet walk around miserable and complaining about what we don’t have.

Your haters are under the influence of THE hater, your adversary. And we have to pray for them because they are merely being used when they cause us to demean our blessings, question God’s faithfulness and sit in a place of thanklessness. We must make up our minds not to belittle what we have. God has been too good for that! If we didn’t have something they wanted, they wouldn’t be “hatin’” ; spending their time making sure we don’t’ enjoy what and who is in our possession. That’s a trick of the enemy if I’ve ever seen one. We’ve been redeemed and he CAN’T be redeemed. Now do you understand why he’s angry? Instead of thinking about what we don’t have and what hasn’t happened yet, we should relish in what we do have and what is going well RIGHT NOW, because RIGHT NOW at this very moment God is on the throne and He is watching over everything that concerns us (Psalm 138:8).

Things changed for Hannah when she stopped asking for a son just to satisfy her insecurity, and started asking for one so that she could give God glory with him. She promised God that if He provided a son for her, she would give Him right back to Him to use as He pleases. God provided, she kept her word and God KEPT providing. Even after she released her son to the Father, she visited regularly and blessed him. And she would go home and conceive over and over again. She NEVER “beat God giving”.

While you are believing God for the manifestations of your heart’s desire, ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Are you presently thankful and appreciative?
  2. Are you willing to commit the blessing to God and His will?
  3. Can you promise not to abandon it? In other words, no matter how the blessing presents itself, it being from God, are you willing to cherish, cultivate and be faithful to it while it remains in the Lord’s care?

If you can’t surrender a “YES” to any of these three questions, you may have found the answer to why Waiting keeps coming to your house and visiting [too] long.

Storyline extracted from 1 Samuel

 

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