"I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write." ~St. Augustine

Friday, October 4, 2013

I Left My Hearing Aids Behind

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My father-in-law came for a lovely visit.  The day he left, in the early morning fog and grog, he accidentally left his hearing aids at our house...

He flew home over the Atlantic ocean handicapped with minimized hearing ability.

What a huge bummer!  I can just imagine regularly having and relying on an aid... glasses, pain meds, crutches, braces, or hearing aids... and then suddenly being without them.  I think I would feel pretty vulnerable.

When we found them, we rushed to the post office and sent him the hearing devices...  Express Mail.  Two day delivery.  After a long conversation and much discussion with the post office staff, we were assured... indeed, he would have them soon.  Within days, they promised, the aids would arrive and he will have them in his possession again.

I need aids to help me hear, too.  I need help to spiritually hear, that is.  And, sometimes I leave "my aids" behind in the early morning fog.

Daily times in God's word, my journal, prayer cards, friends to share with, books I read and worship music are only a few of the "glasses, braces and crutches" I use daily to help me see, hear and walk rightly with my heavenly Father.  There are days, though, that I leave them behind.  Accidentally, of course.  I forget them or misplace them or simply overlook their importance.  I leave them until I feel vulnerable and have trouble hearing, of course!

Are you hearing Me, Stephanie?    Are these the words the Spirit has been whispering into my soul this past week?  I am not sure... I am wondering as I type today.

The hearing aids that my father-in-law left at my house didn't make it to him on time.  In fact the parcel was stuck, for no apparent reason, in our country.  They sat, neatly wrapped---carefully protected---in someone's outbox in the middle of the UK.  Days and days left behind.  No worker with the post office could tell me why.

They got left behind again!

Then, they got stuck in the US customs bureaucracy--- a red-tape nightmare of paperwork and misunderstanding!  All the while, my father was handicapped in his ability to hear.  Days and days were passing.  Every day more vulnerability, more frustration.  I was frustrated.  VERY frustrated.  No, actually, I was down-right angry.

When I got the news they were still in the UK, thoughts sped in and out of my mind... and spilled out of my mouth.  'I spent X amount of pounds to send this package!'  'They promised me they would get there!'  'This just isn't right?!'

Are you hearing Me, Stephanie?  

Angered with ridiculous paper work, I was thrown into a tailspin of irritability and defensiveness.  I don't need this right now, I thought.

Stephanie, listen for a minute, ...be still.  Are you hearing Me?  

Literally, the night before the 'hearing-aid-parcel-fiasco' begain, I had copied two quotes into my journal,
"You must utterly believe that the circumstances of your life, that is, every minute of your life- have come to you by His will and by His permission and is exactly what you need" ~Jeanne Guyon  
"One who makes it a rule to be content in every part and accident of life because it comes from God, praises God more than one dedicated an hour of singing psalms."~William Law
Yeah...  uh. huh.  Got it.  Yep.

The words did make me stop at the time I read them.  I pondered.  I prayed.   I read these words, thought on them a bit, ... and THEN walked on, leaving them to rest on the table and quietly tucked in the book. Yep, I left my hearing aids behind!

The very next day, the parcel bureaucracy began... and I was utterly frustrated.

Are you hearing Me, my love?

I sat down to pray with some friends (good friends are great hearing aids!)  As we prayed I started to hear a bit more clearly... to see things as if with better light.

"Utterly believe"...  Guyon had written.  Oh Father, You are speaking to me again of faith and trust.  Surrender and rest in You...  

"Every minute" "every part and accident of life" "by His permission" "Exactly what you need..."  Are you listening, Stephanie? 

Dear Lord, again, today I think you are reminding me that I can remain in You.  I can relax in Your love.  Even in this "accident", I can trust.  I can see and trust Your hand on all things.  I can trust You as my loving, powerful Father...

I found my hearing aids this morning and put them in, turned them up!  Unapologetically, I am picking up my 'crutches' and walking with help.  Indeed, I walk with a limp and need those crutches!  I am turning on that worship music at full volume today.  I need the aids of friends, God's word, worship music, thankfulness lists, and good books to read.  I don't want to leave them behind.

I want to hear you more clearly.  Today, I will listen, Father.  Teach me, I pray.  
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