A couple years ago I moved to State College, PA because my husband was getting out of the military and had been accepted to Penn State. I moved into a house on the same street as Autumn and Robbie. I quickly became close friends with Autumn because she was always nice, and we both had young children. As we became closer, I slowly started to realize that her and her husband made many of their life decisions based on what they felt God wanted them to do. I had never met anyone like that. And since I already had a close, trusting friendship with Autumn, where I didn’t think she was crazy, I believed her. Then when Covid started, the church I was attending stopped meeting in person. So, Autumn invited me to do church at her house with a couple of her friends and some neighbors. At the end of the meeting, we all laid hands on one another and prayed/ said what we thought God was saying about each person. When it was my turn, they all started calling out things in my life that I have never told anyone! I cried because I had never felt so seen by God!
After a couple weeks I started praying to God, “how do I become the type of person that feels like they hear God’s voice?” Then the thought popped into my head, “call Grammie.” And if you knew me, you’d know this is a thought I would never have had on my own. My grandma and I had never had a good relationship. And frankly, I had never tried to! I felt like, what is the point? I told the Sunday small group about what I thought I heard, and they encouraged me to call her, and that I had actually heard from God! So I did it, and my grandma was so happy to hear from me. She thought I was checking to see if she had had Covid. She was very pleasant and kept reassuring me that she was staying safe. I really did not have to say much of anything. She even brought up how she felt God was keeping her alive for the great grandkids. She had never mentioned God to me before, let alone without prompting! I hung up and cried saying, “Ok God, I am on board, if you can give me a pleasant phone call with Grammie then anything is possible.” In the same way as before I heard, “You need to tell the truth to your husband.” Then our dog popped into my mind.
I had gotten him fixed behind my husband’s back, while he was deployed, and I was staying with my parents, at the beginning of our marriage. The dog was a typical escape artist. My parents and I thought that if he were fixed, he would be less tempted to escape. But I was afraid if I told my husband he would be upset and want me to move back to California. I was afraid of conflict with him or my parents, and I was afraid of living alone. I kept my mouth shut and got the dog fixed. It was one of those lies that just ballooned out of control. God gave me so many opportunities to fess up, but I just kept digging the hole deeper. I had to keep lying to cover my tracks, and then to cover those lies, and then to other people, and so on. I was hesitant to fess up, but I felt like God would make something good come from this, and I was hungry to hear from Him more.
After a couple days, I worked up the courage, and basically just blurted it out to my husband. He was mostly just confused why I was suddenly telling him this now, and why I didn’t say anything all of the other times it would have been helpful to. He wasn’t angry, and he forgave me! After a while, he said he was going to take a shower, my heart sank, I thought he was going to go in there and really get a chance to think and come out feeling angry at me. But instead, he came out and said he wanted to talk to me about something. Then we went into our room, and he told me about something embarrassing that had happened to him in the military, that he had never planned to tell me, and wouldn’t have if I hadn’t said anything about the dog that day.
After he told me this, and I assured him that I didn’t blame him for what had happened to him, I heard from God again. Probably one of the clearest times in my life, “tell him everything now or you won’t get another opportunity to.” I knew what this meant, I had to tell him about our son. I said to him, “If you think that’s bad, then I have something way worse!” You see, when I found out we were expecting him after only four months of marriage, it wasn’t a total surprise to me like I had let on. I had been inconsistent with birth control, especially while he was away at military training. When I got a positive test, I was not completely surprised. But he was, as I hadn’t given any hints to this.
I confessed this, almost three years later. He was baffled, but immediately forgave me! This was a miracle to me, as I had convinced myself that if he ever found out, he would leave me. If he ever knew the truth about what a liar I was. And I really did lie about everything, white lies constantly, to everyone. But he later confessed that he was relieved that I wasn’t as perfect as he had thought I was.
Since that day God has been continually healing our marriage, that was built on my lies, and healing me from my compulsion to lie. It wasn’t easy but was only truly possible with a surrender to Christ. 1 Corinthians 6:9 lists some sins that if we continue in, “will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Which doesn’t just mean heaven when we die, it means full access to the kingdom right now on earth. For me that was the ability to hear from God, which is available to all of us, but cannot be fully accessed until we give up our life of sin. “It’s true that some of you once lived in those lifestyles, but now you have been purified of sin (washed clean), made holy, and given a perfect standing before God- all because of the power of the Lord Jesus, the Messiah, and through our union with the Spirit of God” 1 Corinthians 6:11. God doesn’t promise that we won’t be tempted to sin, but now we have the power of the name of Jesus and the Spirit in us, to overcome it. We won’t feel tempted forever.
Now my husband and I are expecting our second son, which I wouldn’t have believed if you had told me about this three years ago. I was giving up hope that our marriage would ever be in a place where that was possible. I was so burnt out from trying to control it. I am forever thankful to God for a second chance, His continual cleansing of my sins (1 John 1:7-9), and my husband’s forgiveness and love.
If you are reading this and never have felt like you’ve heard from God, regardless of if you are saved or not, would you like to? It is as simple as believing and asking. Please reach out to me so I can pray for you and tell you what I think he is saying to you right now.