Have you ever heard God speak to you? I will never forget the first time that I realized He had spoken to me. It was in April of 2018. I was struggling deeply with something in my life that was beyond my control. There was nothing I could do to change what was going on, and I was not used to being powerless. I was used to being the one to control the direction my life was going, or so I thought. On this day, I was at my breaking point. I knew nothing else to do but to cry out, to ask God to take control, and for me to accept His will. As I sat in my car, head on the steering wheel, crying uncontrollably, I heard four words- Be still my child. It was as if they had been whispered in my ear. The tears stopped and I was overtaken by a feeling of peace, one that brought me the comfort that I longed for and the confidence that somehow everything was going to be okay. I always professed to be a believer yet up until that point, I don’t believe I had ever trusted Him.
It was at that time that I began a journey. A journey of a prayer filled life, of planned conversations with God and not just conversing when I needed something. I longed to discover more about Him, and even more about myself.
Fast forward to May of 2021. For eight weeks I was unable to work due to neck surgery. I am not one to sit at home and be still, so this was trying for me. I found myself in deeper discussions with the Lord, just as I found myself wondering if I was fulfilling His desire for me. I should have been happy. I was at a good place in life. I was healthy. My husband was healthy. My children were all healthy. After spending two years watching one of my grandson’s battle cancer, and then suffering the loss of his three month old brother, I could finally say that all of my grandchildren were healthy. I had a good job and great coworkers. Yet, for some reason, I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t fulfilled.
On a Sunday afternoon in May, the day before I was set to return to work, I once again heard God speaking to me. I heard Him clearly, and I did what He told me to do. I reached out to the Head of School at the school that two of my grandchildren were attending. The school where I spent many evenings volunteering, and where I was feeling led. I reached out to Victoria Harris, the Head of School at Providence.
Our conversation started with a simple question- Have all the available positions been filled for the upcoming school year at the school? Within minutes, I heard my text alarm. I had a response. No, there was still a position or two that needed to be filled. There was a need for a teacher’s assistant, a part-time teacher and a receptionist.
Tap,tap,tap…my fingers worked quickly as I typed back the question “What are the qualifications for each?” In a matter of minutes, I heard that familiar ding. A response had arrived. I opened the message and read each job requirement. Hmmm, I wondered. I sent back a message that read something like this: well, I am not quite sure if I have the exact requirements that you are looking for. My bachelor’s degree is in accounting, not education. My Master’s is in human resource management. I have never taught an in-person class, but I did teach accounting online for the tech school here and I have written accounting lessons that are being used around the world by a company called Study.com. I hit send. Within minutes my phone rang. You all know how that story ended.
I am so thankful for those whispered words from God that Sunday. I am more thankful that I learned to trust His word and His guidance. He brought me to Providence. He surrounded me with a group of people that encourage me, that lift my soul when I am struggling, that pray earnestly for one another no matter what the need, and that work along side me to reach out and spread God’s abundant grace to each family we serve. He brought me to a place where I can teach, love, hug and encourage children as they grow in knowledge and faith. He brought me to a place where I can wrap my arms around a crying teenager who feels less than and tell her that she is enough. He brought me to a place where I can tell the child who thinks that they can’t that they can, and I believe in them. He brought me to a place where being who I am is all that is expected of me, and I am eternally grateful.
All these words are meant to give you this message- listen. Listen when you pray. Listen when that idea keeps popping in your head. Listen when you are exuberant and listen when you are in pain. Listen for the words that He speaks to you. They may be found on a page in a book. They may be found in a song you hear. They may be as obvious as the red words in the Bible. They may be as faint as the whisper in the wind. Whatever His words are, just listen. It took me most of my life to learn how to truly listen, but I am forever thankful that I did.
Director of Operations
Providence School of Tifton