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  • Writer's pictureDawn Neufeld

I'm Listening...

I was raised in a Baptist church and Easter Sunday was always really special. When we were little, celebrating the day Jesus rose from the grave meant new dresses and hats. Then there'd be Easter egg hunts at Granny's house after church and Sunday school. I knew way back then that Easter was really about faith - faith in the unseen, faith in a higher power, faith in something (or someone) bigger.

Years later (2012 to be exact), I sat anxiously in our big Texas-sized mega Baptist church and listened to a preacher talk politics from the pulpit. He said, "The Bible will never be left," and subsequently called President Obama the "antichrist." As churchgoers excitedly shouted their approving "AMENS!" from the pews, I walked out of the sanctuary into the vestibule and sobbed. I decided that day that I loved Jesus but that I no longer loved the church. I haven't been back regularly since.

Fast forward to Easter morning 2019. Today. I was planning on getting up to go to church. I had my alarm set and an outfit laid out and ready to go. But I couldn't sleep last night, which is kind of weird because I've finally started getting a little more sleep since my thyroid surgery. But I also had a bit of a stomach ache. I finally fell asleep around 3 a.m. and was still asleep when Ryan and the kids left for Watermark this morning.

A couple hours later I woke up feeling rested but disappointed I didn't make it to church. Ryan and the kids would be back soon to pick me up for brunch so I decided to get ready. I sat soaking in the tub -- the quiet gave me some time for reflection. I felt the scar on my neck where my thyroid used to be and I thought to myself, "Why have I suffered so much recently? I am so tired of suffering." Then I leaned back in the warm water to soak my hair.

Almost instantly, I heard these words in my own voice in my head - "2012. Go back to church."

I sat up and thought, "I'm listening." It was a moment and there were tears. You see, I still don't have my voice back post-surgery and it is causing me a lot of anxiety and stress. And I've joked about it, saying that God must really want me to do more listening and less talking - ha ha ha. A friend actually asked me what I'd heard. I told her that it had become very clear that despite my best efforts, I'm not in control of anything. God is. And I have to have faith that everything is happening according to His plan. That conversation happened a couple weeks ago and I haven't thought much more about it. Until today.

I don't know about you, but I've prayed and talked to God seeking guidance and answers to questions. Yet, it is a rare moment when you ask Him a question and he seemingly responds right away. And with conviction.

Me: Why all the suffering God?

Him: 2012. Go back to church.

I'm listening.

Happy Easter from our family to yours!

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