For a journalism major, I’m really bad at asking questions. Heck, for a person in relationship with others, I’m really bad at asking questions. I love learning things. I love finding things out. But it’s more of an undercover operation than anything else. I sleuth. I investigate. I Google. And I’m pretty good at it. But for as much as I discover on my own, it’s laughable how much time I’ll spend sleuthing around instead of going directly to the source.
I do this with people and I do this with God. I’m scared to look like I don’t know the answer. I’m scared to ask and I’m scared to listen.
Right now in my relationship with God, I’m scared to listen. Scared that things might have to change. Scared to put my trust and identity fully in God. I’m scared that God might not say what I want him to say. The past few years have been sprinkled with fits of unwarranted compassion. Times when God spoke to me and moved me when I didn’t even ask. Now I’m learning to ask. And it’s tough.
When I do get up the courage to ask, this is what is usually looks like:
I ask God for direction. I ask to him to speak, speak, please speak! Then I immediately get on with my life–brush my teeth, hop in the car, check my email. I keep thinking about the issue or the decision, but I’ve gone back into my own Aly-world where God is only an innocent bystander.
I ask family and friends what I should do. Well, more accurately, I tell family and friends what I’ve already decided so they can affirm my wisdom. I read books, lots of books. I journal. I write. I spin the decision around every which way in my brain.
And I still don’t know what to do.
Finally frustrated, I give up and ask God why he’s been so silent on the issue.
Then, a small, conscience-pricking ping signals somewhere in the back of my very busy brain and even busier life: Aly, why have you been so loud?
And then in the silence, in the space my brain has finally made for God, he starts to tell me not what to do, but who I am. He tells me I’m loved. That I’m his daughter. That he will love me and use me no matter what decision I make.
And that is something more valuable than any quote from a book (but, oh how I love quotes!) or pro/con list or slice of friendly advice. That intimacy gives me a courage and security so much deeper than anything I could ever sleuth out on my own.
Which is why today, this week, this hour, I’m going to ask God for direction. And I’m going to listen.