Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Can you hear me now? Good.

The most amazing thing happened to me the other day. I hope I can convey this effectively. This past week I found myself dealing with a bad case of insomnia. I laid awake in bed for hours. At 4:13 in the morning, I looked over at the clock. Why 4:13 a.m.? I had no idea. But something stirred in my mind and for some reason, I thought maybe it had some significance. I began to page through my Bible, Genesis 4:13, Exodus 4:13, Leviticus 4:13, Numbers 4:13...

Nothing stood out. I got bored. I felt sleepy and I went to bed. But the next day it was still bugging me.

I began looking in the New Testament. Matthew 4:13, Mark 4:13, Luke 4:13, John 4:13, Acts 4:13...

Again I got tired of looking and began questioning if I was crazy. Perhaps I was just so sleep deprived at 4am that I convinced myself that a particular time "meant something." I pushed the thought out of my mind. I had a final coming up and a paper to write. I wasn't going to waste any more time thinking about 4:13.

The following day I went to Starbucks to finish writing a paper for my management final. I had a little leftover on a giftcard, so I figured a little free caffeine would help me focus and crank out the last several pages. I decided on an iced Skinny Vanilla Latte. Here's where it gets strange.

The number stuck in my mind? 4:13

The amount left on my card? $4.13

The cost of the drink? $4.13

I'm not always in tune with what's going on around me. Sometimes I live in my own little world. But this? This was waaay to obvious to miss. Clearly someone wanted me to take notice.

That afternoon, I met up with a good friend to take a study break and chat. As we walked over to a table in the student center, I felt the need to ask, "Does four-thirteen mean anything to you?"

"Well, there's Phillipians 4:13," she replied.
"What's that?" I asked.
"Oh, you know. I can do all this through him who gives me strength," she said.

Seriously? I am graduating. I have worries and stresses up to wazzoo right now. In three days, I'm walking across a stage, receiving my diploma, and entering into the working world as a full-fledged adult.

I was suffering from a bad case of the "what-if's." What if I fail? What if I don't remember enough from my classes? What if I hate my job? What if my values aren't the same as my parents anymore? What if I decide to go to a different church? What if my plans aren't God's plans? What if I don't hear God? What if I'm not even listening to God? What if, what if, what if...


God answered my fears. Loud. And. Clear. If God had used words to speak to me, I imagine his part would have gone something like this:

Emily, you are going to be just fine. Haven't you read what I wrote for you? No? Okay, I'll make sure you get the part you need right now...

(Thinks to self: she's still not getting it...)

Alright, Emily. I'll make this REALLY obvious. Unavoidable. I'll basically throw a sign in front of your face and send you someone to interpret the sign. Here's what you need to know: you can do anything because I'm with you, giving you strength. 

Emily, you should know by now that you're never alone. Do you doubt me? I didn't think so. So why would you doubt yourself? I made you. And I don't make mistakes. After all, I am God.

Four years ago I didn't believe miracles still happen in every day life, to 'normal' people. I didn't believe that God actually communicates with us still. I wasn't entirely convinced that prayer had any power. Today, I know the truth. I have seen miracles, experienced the power of prayer, and heard God's voice in my life.

I didn't think that I was someone whose life would change in college. To be perfectly honest, I was afraid that I would graduate and feel like I wasted four years of my life. I can't even begin to explain how wrong I was! The Emily that is going to walk across the stage with a drab brown tassle on Saturday is not the same Emily that came to Drake in 2007. Praise be to God.