“Go outside” (this is my 2nd favorite)

As I was laying Reiley in her crib, thinking about what show I was going to go watch, the thought “Go outside,” went through my mind.  I could even see the words in my head.  I had never experienced seeing words printed in my head before.  Odd.

I ignored it, thinking it was just a random, very strange thought.   But, then it happened again, “Go outside.”

I was confused.  I didn’t want to go outside. I wanted to go curl up on the couch and watch tv.  Why was my mind thinking two different, contradictory thoughts about what I was going to do next?  It made no sense!

Then I saw it scroll across my head (in my mind) in all capital letters, “GO OUTSIDE.”

Why??  What was I going to do out there?  I had zero interest in being outside.  It was hot, and I had nothing to do.  But, just to get rid of the annoying thought, I walked down the stairs, wondering the entire way.

For some reason, even though the front door was just 2 feet from the end of my stairs, I automatically went all the way through the living room, through the kitchen, to the back door.  (How did I know to do that?)

I slid open the sliding glass door, and held up my arms in an “I don’t know” motion, and said out loud, “What am I going to do out here?”

I wasn’t talking to God; it never occurred to me that “God” would have “told” me to go out there.  I was talking to myself!

At the very second that I lifted my arms and said those words out loud, a car stalled directly in front of my back fence (not the fence pictured at the top)…perfectly in line with me.  (What odd timing…?)  We had a major highway in our backyard, just on the other side of our tall fence.  There were 2 lanes each direction, and a middle median.  The car stalled in that median, directly in front of my face.

The car tried to start.

Tried again…

Nothing.

The front window rolled down, followed by the back window.  I heard children crying in the back, and saw a woman holding her cell phone, then beating it against the steering wheel, and threw her head back into her headrest.

Conveniently, my cordless phone was right there by the door.  I grabbed it and waited until she looked up.  When she did, I waved it in the air. She jumped excitedly out of her car and ran to the fence. I passed it over to her, asking if she wanted me to come get her.   She said that her car ran out of gas, cell phone was dead, and baby didn’t have any milk.  (It was HOT!)   She said that her husband was just a few miles away, if she could just use the phone, she’d be just fine.

I went back up to the house and waited.  An hour went by until her husband finally arrived.  In all that time, not one single car or person stopped to offer her help.  Had I not gone outside, acting upon the very strange and unwanted instructions…who knows how long she and her children would have remained on the highway.   I told my neighbor about it the next day.  She said, “Yes…I saw her out there.  I was wondering what was wrong.”  Anyone could have seen with her open windows that it was a mother, a crying baby, and a child in a car seat.  It wasn’t a danger zone.

After the husband came, and all was well, I called my mother-in-law and told her about the queer events.  She said that I heard the Holy Spirit.

What??

She said that I heard God giving me an instruction.

That had never once occurred to me.  It was a brand new concept to me, in fact.  God talks to us?  I heard Him??  I have to tell ya…if anything’s going to give a person goosebumps…that was it.

I had just become a follower of Jesus.  I had “believed” in Him all my life…but in my head only.  He was just a historical fact to me.  But, once I realized that He was God, (when I was 26 years old) I was challenged.  My teacher asked me if I could give Him permission to take control over my life; if I could give Him permission to be God of my life, rather than just “God” of life in general.

I immediately said no.  I had no interest in God being “in charge” of my life; who knew what He’d make me do?   I didn’t want to “thump a Bible” on a street corner, or anything else that seemed “religious”.  I was all too familiar with religious people, and did NOT want to appear like them, or do the things they do.  NO thanks.

But, as I went home that day, the words, “Do you know what you’re saying?” went through my mind.  “Do you realize the consequences?”

I was knowingly rejecting God.  I was saying “No” to Him.  I fully believed in Him, but didn’t want Him in charge.  Frighteningly, Satan and the demons also fully believe in Him, and don’t want Him in charge of their lives, either….and we all know where they are.

Now I was scared.  Suddenly, all the lessons I had always heard in church and from my mom, about why Jesus came, made far more sense.  It was my choice.

I was baptized as a baby and went through Confirmation class at 13.   I had assumed that merely participating in religious rituals like those somehow made me “right with” God…or on His good side, and headed for heaven.

I guess performing rituals or “good deeds” to get on God’s good side and avoid His possible punishments is no different than a married man giving his wife flowers, candy, or expensive jewelry just after being with his lover, or a child grumbling and muttering the word “sorry” to his sibling, after being instructed to by Mom.  The married woman only wants her husband to sincerely love her.  If she knew of his betrayal, and reason for the flowers, she’d throw them away.  They weren’t given for the right reasons.   In the same way, the hurt sibling knows a sincere apology from an instructed one.  If the child had genuinely felt sorry, and expressed that, then the hurt would have dissolved away.

All God wants is our sincere awareness and genuine remorse for offending Him daily (like the siblings).  He hopes we’ll sincerely love and want Him nearly as much as He genuinely loves and wants us (like the wife).

But, here I was….saying “no” to Him.  No apology to Him…and no to Him.  Ouch.

Once I got home, I spent some alone time with God.  He already knows our every thought.  He knows our hearts…if we’re being sincere or lying to Him.  I could’ve told Him what He “wanted” to hear, but I would’ve been lying to Him.  So, I just leveled with Him.

I told Him that I fully believed in Jesus.  I believed Jesus was God, died on a cross for me, and came back to life.  But, I was still scared to death about letting Him have “control” over my life.  I was scared of what He’d make me do, what changes He’d make, what He’d remove (friends? habits? interests? priorities?), and what kind of new life He had in mind for me?  This was scary!

However, at the same time, I was more scared that my life could end that day or the next (how could I know??)…and that I’d never have the chance again.

So, out of fear, I told Him that I gave Him permission to “enter my life and heart” (whatever that meant…I didn’t understand back then) to do what He wanted, and change what He wanted…but to please, please take it slowly.  This was the only “me” that I was familiar with. I didn’t know how to be anyone else.

The Apostle Paul knew Jesus.  He wrote this: “You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God.  The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you….Now we call him, ‘Abba, Father.’ For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.”  (Romans 8:9-11; 15-16)

He hadn’t.   Would He now??

I felt nothing new at first.  No electric bolts.  No major internal changes.  Nothing. All I could do was just trust (have faith) that He really did “come in”, and that changes would soon start happening…whatever they’d be.   I just assumed and hoped that He had now officially forgiven me once and for all, like the Bible said He would…and that now I was “on His good side”, forever.  (I sure hoped so!)

It wasn’t long after that (weeks? months? I can’t recall) that I heard “Go outside….” and my remarkable life of communicating with the God of the Universe began.  There was no doubt that His Spirit, indeed, entered my body and life that day.  He has been putting thoughts into my head and heart ever since.  It’s been the thrill of my life.  I have loads of stories just like these, which I plan to post on this site….and you can have the same thing.

“For ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'” (Romans 10:13)

“If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)

“When they arrived at the place where God had told him to go…” (Genesis 22:9)

One thought on ““Go outside” (this is my 2nd favorite)

  1. Hi Gretchen 🙂 Wow! This is awesome testimony. I thought your blog about your log home is the greatest and the best but there’s more, and this is it. After reading all your log home blogs I am excited to read this because I followed your suggestion that if we want to read some inspirational and devotional blogs, we’ll try to read this and here I am, reading and teary eyed not because I am sad but because this makes me happy :). Keep it up Gretch and thank you so much 🙂

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