“Be quiet and back off. You are getting in my way.”
Not exactly something I expected to hear from God. Now, I know what you’re thinking. That is crazy. Did you really hear it from God?
Yes, I did. I am learning to listen more closely when He speaks to me. This is not something I have always experienced, believe me! And it is something that is somewhat scary at first. Sometimes it is a gentle simple voice. And sometimes it is very clear. Like this time.
What was he talking to me about? My frustrations and impatience when it came to my husband’s faith walk. I had just gone through an incredible transformation and truly learning to find my own solid faith for the first time in a very long time. I was excited! I wanted everything to be perfect. (Why do we always think that way?) I wanted him to feel what I was feeling and to experience it together.
Is that a bad thing to want? I don’t think so. However, when I heard those words I realized something extremely important. His faith walk is different than mine. Everyone’s is. What speaks to me isn’t going to speak to him. What excites me isn’t going to excite him. Constantly nagging him or expecting him to immediately be where I was, was unfair.
So what did I do? The only thing you can do when you clearly hear an instruction from God.
I shut up.
I backed off.
I got out of the way.
I stopped trying to control something I had no control over.
Did I stop praying for him? Absolutely not.
Did I tell him that God said this to me? No. (Not at that moment. More on this later!)
Did I stop trying to control everything and trust God? Yes.
Which makes me wonder. Who was the lesson for in the first place?
My husband or me?
So my advice to anyone who is frustrated with a spouse or partner or child and their faith walk is to BACK OFF. Be a quiet example of what it means to have a relationship with God. But don’t try to fix them or expect their experience to be like yours. In most cases, that is the worst possible thing you could do.
I’d love to hear something that you’ve clearly heard God say to you, and what you did about it.