Henry Blackaby taught us all that God speaks to each of us uniquely. As far as we know, the only person God spoke to through a burning bush was Moses. It's important to pay attention and learn how God wants to relate personally and creatively with just me, in ways He may not relate to anyone else. Recently, my friend Dr. Megan Aldridge shared a story with about how God has encouraged her during very difficult times in her life. She graciously wrote it so that I could share it here with you. Enjoy!
Do you ever find yourself completely blown away by God? My spiritual journey has been one that will fill a book one day, but this is one snapshot that you may need to hear today.
Perhaps you have days, moments, even weeks like I do sometimes. Strong faith and a close relationship with the Most High doesn't eliminate all our fears, doubts and frustrations all the time. Well, February of this year was a tattered mess of "Lord, what are you doing with my life? You show me all this great stuff and make some great promises, but are you sure this is how this is supposed to be unfolding? Really?"
Truthfully, I am embarrassed by these moments when they come because He has been so faithful to reassure me through prophetic words when I am in a season of doubt, yet I still find myself victim to that doubt nonetheless. Still, He remains steadfast and patient to keep providing the reassurance I need. He is so loving and faithful! It blows me away.
Well, as I said, February was filled with angst. Now, for you to fully grasp how spectacular God was in this particular moment (and what a cool sense of humor He has), I must fill you in on a little history.
Ten years ago my eldest son was born and right from day one we had challenge. Constantly, one thing after another went wrong, and it quickly became a dark season in my life as I fiercely fought for solutions to help him overcome the struggles our family faced. Yet, God was there.
So there I was diligently keeping records of my son's nursing time as his first challenge in life was weak sucking muscles, so there was concern about his nutrition. Logging the start times and end times, I started to notice a pattern: it was frequently 11 minutes past the hour when he would begin or finish nursing.
Thinking it was odd, yet chalking it up to new-mommy-brain-fog, I just kept on keeping on–until it got ridiculous. On some days, often my hardest days, I would glance at the clock and it would be 11 minutes past the hour sometimes six or eight different times throughout the day! What?!? So I started praying about it. "God what's the significance of 11 for me? What do you want me to know?"
He led me to the eleventh chapter of Hebrews, aka, "the Faith Chapter." Hebrews 11:1 (NIV) says, "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." Wow! At that time I had so many prayers and worries: for my little baby boy, for myself, for my faith, and so much more. God was showing me the number 11 to remind me to have confidence in what I hoped for and assurance about what I still could not see. He was so awesome to reach down into my life and encourage me that way especially during such a trying time.
Well, it didn't stop there. Ever since those early days of my first-born's life, I continue to see 11 everywhere. I can be having coffee or lunch with a friend and her phone will light up because she received a text and right there on the screen is the time. You guessed it, eleven minutes after the hour! I have been walking through a mall and looked up for no reason at all to find myself staring at a clock I didn't even know was there. Sure enough, it's eleven minutes after the hour! It still happens. Sometimes I can go weeks without seeing eleven. And then it will start again. Several times a day eleven is everywhere.
So, this past February was a bit tumultuous for me personally. And I prayed often, "Lord, show me what you want me to do. What is my priority right now? I am tired, worn out and not sure if I should push through this or head in another direction. Lead me, show me, please." And then, February 23rd, we were driving in the car going I-don't-know-where and flipping through Facebook I land on the post you see in the picture above. That was on my feed. Do you notice that it was posted at 11:11pm the day prior? And I viewed it 11 hours after my friend shared it? And it's FROM GOD?!
It's what I needed to hear. It's what I need to know. And it came from the one person I trust the most: the Almighty, All-Knowing, All-Seeing, All-Loving God. Friends, he hears every prayer you pray, even the ones that never leave your lips. He knows your pain, your fears, your worries, your hopes, your dreams. Best of all, he knows the plans he has for you–plans to prosper you and not to harm you (Jeremiah 29:11. Ah, ha! Another 11!)
Don't give up. Don't lose faith. Pray your guts out and He will answer you. He loves you just as wildly as he loves me, so if He did it for me, then He will do it for you. Talk to Him. Cry to Him. Decide to trust Him. Keep the faith, friends, He is there.