I was watching a training video yesterday about how to cue participants in an exercise class that they were about to change to a different move. It was stressing the importance of making sure that you give them ample time to be ready to switch moves or the class will be in chaos. They won’t be able to follow the instructor if the instructor doesn’t voice (and sometimes show) what moves will be coming next. But what happens if that participant isn’t listening?
I’ve also learned, throughout the years, that children also respond better to a warning that change is coming. It makes transition times altogether easier if you say, “10 min until bedtime” then “5 min until bedtime” then “1 min until bedtime”. They know what is coming and have time to prepare so they can finish up whatever they are doing. I don’t know any children who don’t get upset when they are rushed from one thing to the next, so this is something that I learned early on and it has made a big difference in making sure that transition times are (for the most part) easier. Unless the child isn’t listening. If they don’t hear you, you are still going to be in for a possible meltdown because children are always in the mindset that what they are doing is of 100% importance in that moment. Again, not listening may lead to chaos.
Those are 2 examples of when it’s absolutely necessary for the person involved to hear the person giving the warning or instruction of things to come.
I have shared several times that I feel like God absolutely prepared me to take my first husband before He actually did. There are so many instances where I look back and see that God was drawing me to Himself so that when my life took a turn, I didn’t fall apart. This training video about “cueing” took me back to that time and made me wonder……What if I wouldn’t have been listening?
I wrote after Chad passed that I kept having this feeling to memorize him, to take the time to just be with him, to slow down and make the most of whatever mundane task we were doing. I also kept feeling the conviction about being the best wife that I could be. I was soaking in gratitude. I found the beauty in all things. I even began to enjoy taking care of things for him. I didn’t mind his messes because, in my mind, it meant that he was still there to make them.
During this time, I was also very committed to reading my Bible and praying first thing in the morning. I would get up with Chad, make his coffee and lunch, rub his always sore back, then send him to work. Then it was my quiet time before the girls got up. I began to look forward to that time and it became my get to, not my have to.
Because of the devotion I was putting into consistent time in God’s word and being committed to continual prayer, my life began changing. I am by nature a negative person. I tend to jump to conclusions and get mad over little things. I easily have attitude and am very opinionated. I like to be in charge and tend to be argumentative when things don’t go my way…….but all of that began to change.
The more and more I listened to God through His word and talked to Him through prayer, the easier and easier it got to love my family. The more I loved my family, the more they changed.
My girls became much more devoted to God in their own lives. Chad took on a leader role in our house like I’d never seen him do. He was also becoming a spiritual leader, which was new as well. Things were just all around good. I didn’t worry about finances for the first time in my life. I didn’t worry about what the next day would bring. I was just genuinely thankful and grateful for my life and everything in it.
As I look back, I can see how God was preparing me for change. I’ve gone back through several of my blogs and it’s crazy to see God’s hand working through my writing. It’s crazy to see all of the different ways that I was feeling and being convicted and how that translated to me being totally prepared to lose my absolute best friend. I have heard others say that they just knew that something was going to happen, they didn’t know what or where or when, just an overwhelming feeling that their life was about to change in a huge way. I get this. I totally feel that I had about 2 years to get prepared……and it all worked out because I was close to the Lord.
I just think of all of the people who have major life events happen that aren’t in a relationship with God and how their world absolutely falls apart. They don’t know how they will live, they don’t know how to get through it, they question how there can even BE a God, etc. I’ve also gotten several questions about how I “moved on” so quickly, but it always goes back to how incredibly prepared I felt to lose Chad. How much peace the Lord put in my heart over it….and anyone that knew Chad and I knows that kind of peace can only be from the Lord because Chad and I were absolutely inseparable—together 24/7, best friends, joined at the hip.
We are promised that trials will come in this life. We know that we aren’t given an easy life because we decide to follow Jesus, in fact, we are sure that it will bring hardships. BUT we also know that we have the hope that goes along with it. We know that if we are walking with Him, He will give us the strength to carry on. He will give us peace and mend our broken hearts.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” ~ John 16:33
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. ~ Psalm 34:18
But what if we aren’t listening? What if we aren’t walking with Him?
I can absolutely say that if I’d have lost Chad earlier in my life, I would have struggled to go on. My absolute whole life and purpose was wrapped up in him. I absolutely believed that I was nothing without him. My life would be over, I could honestly see myself not ever getting out of bed and someone else having to take care of my children. I can see being absolutely devestated with no hope.
God knew that Chad’s time on earth was growing to a close. He knew that his purpose was almost finished and He began tugging on my heart and soul. He convicted me to be in His Word. He gave me an insatiable desire to be in continual prayer. Because of these two things, I began to see my life as short. I began to see that somethings are worth fighting for and some aren’t. I began to really start to understand gratitude and trust. I was given a verse that just kept popping up over and over and over, though I didn’t understand why until later.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. ~ Jeremiah 29:11
Plans to give you hope and a future.
Plans to give you HOPE and A FUTURE
As much as this verse spoke to me before I lost Chad, it became so much more meaningful after.
I felt so prepared for God to take him and I felt so much peace.
Did I want that to happen? no
Did I still struggle? yes (still do sometimes)
Did I still feel a range of emotions? yes
Did I ever feel that I was alone or that God had left me? absolutely not
I completely feel that God gave me a cue over many many months that a major life change was coming. I am so thankful that I was listening. The worst thing that has ever happened to me could’ve been so much more of a disaster. I wrote that I had absolutely no regrets because I felt that I did all I could’ve done to do to capture every moment with Chad before it was too late. I feel that because God changed my attitude toward my family that I didn’t have anything that I wish I’d have said or done.
My thought that day when I first saw Chad was, “Well, God…..today was the day. I knew this day was coming and it’s here. Now what? How am I going to do this on my own?”
Thing is, I was never alone.
My question to you is this……….
Are you in a relationship with God? Are you positioning yourself to hear from Him? Are you listening and applying what He’s teaching/telling you? Maybe it’s to live in gratitude and thankfulness. Maybe it’s that you shouldn’t spend that money (because something else is going to break and need that money). Maybe it’s to put the phone down and love your children and make them feel special and wanted. Maybe it’s to love on your husband when you are exhausted or to clean up after him with a heart of thankfulness that he’s still alive and well to make messes.
Put yourself in a position to hear from God and take the nudges seriously, you never know what He is preparing you for.
Linked to Woman to Woman Ministries
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