Can You Hear Me Now?

About a year ago, I was considering a significant change in my professional world. I teach in a public high school and had been approached by a private, religiously affiliated school in my area to consider teaching there. To say that I was torn is an understatement. I was blessed to be working in a school often referred to as the “best kept secret” in our county because of its small size and close-knit community with a big heart. However, in case you’re not involved in education or have missed the headlines, public education is a mess right now. For teachers, the demands keep on piling up and the funds keep on getting cut in a climate defined by teaching to tests with very little accountability placed on students. The private school seemed to be an easy fix to those problems. More importantly though, the prospect of being able to express my spirituality freely in the process of mentoring youth was quite tempting. Still, I was content where I was, no need to fix what wasn’t broken. As I struggled with whether to entertain the idea of a switch, I prayed over and over again to God, asking for a sign of what I should do.

He gave it to me. As I drove to school the morning after my first incessant series of requests to Him, I saw a rainbow. Not just any rainbow, a rainbow right over the school I currently teach at. I would like to say I recognized the sign and listened right away, but I can be rather, well, slow at times. A good friend whom I taught with had just been diagnosed with cancer and she lived right by the school, so when someone pointed out that God had sent her a rainbow, I quickly dismissed the notion that God could be speaking to ME through that rainbow.

A week and two more rainbows directly over the school later, I still didn’t get it. I struggled through my decision on my own, deciding to stay put after countless hours of back and forth, pros and cons, worries, guilt and strife. As soon as I made the decision, though, I felt this immediate sense of peace and finally acknowledged that maybe just maybe, God really had been trying to speak to me all along. I simply wasn’t listening. I can just picture Him sitting back and chuckling at me, like what I do when my Little Miss Independent 3-yr-old insists on doing something “all by herself”. I find it slightly comical to witness the irony of her kicking and crying, “I can’t do it,” because she can’t accomplish a task on her own, but boy do those cries escalate to wails if I offer assistance. “No! I do it my own!!!” Yes, I feel sure that I know exactly how He felt watching me stumble through that week. Fine, do it yourself. But it would be so much easier if you would just let me help a little. If only you would LISTEN!

Double rainbow

My Sign

Since that time I have seen countless rainbows. Honestly, I am sure that I have seen more rainbows in the past year than in all of my previous 35 years combined. Is it just because I’m paying attention? Maybe, but I believe it’s much more than that. Rainbows aside, this has been one of the most difficult years of my life but also one of tremendous spiritual growth. I refuse to believe that it’s all coincidence. You see, I’ve not only seen regular rainbows, but a couple of double rainbows and even a triple rainbow! The first double rainbow I had ever seen appeared on my husband’s birthday in June! I saw rainbows on my brother-in-law’s birthday (March), my son’s birthday (November), and most recently my oldest nephew’s birthday in December. I also saw one over my sister and brother-in-law’s house as we went to visit them just after their son’s birthday (August).  I have seen so many rainbows that I stopped snapping pictures of them months ago!

Looking back at the cumulative sum of these rainbows is astounding, but I have to admit that it took me months along the way to really truly accept that there might be a message in them for ME. Confirmation came to me in the most unlikely way. My family and I belong to a small church full of true believers who ooze faith and love. Through a series of events that only God could orchestrate, our pastors reconnected with some distant relatives of theirs who are also involved in ministry. They were invited to come to our church one Sunday in August, and after the service they stuck around to pray with people on a personal level. My husband and I introduced ourselves to them only by name, yet as we began, they prayed over us for things that no stranger possibly could have ever known. I will never forget the moment when the wife leaned in to me and said “God wants you to know that it’s Him. He’s been talking to you and you want to believe that it’s Him but you doubt. Don’t doubt, because that feeling that you have that it’s really Him is right. It is.” WHOA!

Are you like me? Are you ignoring a voice that’s whispering to you? Are signs being laid out that you’re missing? Is your soul crying out but being muted by the chaos of the world around you? Is God speaking to you but being drowned out by all the other noises?

8 thoughts on “Can You Hear Me Now?

  1. Great post Lindsay! I can remember Tanner’s birthday this year and having you and Dad both text/call me that morning to look at the rainbow… The kicker; a friend of mine has a picture of the end of the rainbow, which was at Our Lady of Nazareth. For those of you who don’t know, that was the church we grew up in and is also the nearest church to our new home. Such a special and uplifting thing for God to produce a rainbow on Tanner’s birthday and end it right near our home and the church that began my Faith! For the back story, my now husband and I conceived Tanner merely 6 months after meeting. We were already in love, planning to move in together, and he had (unbenounced to me) already asked my Dad for my hand in marriage. We decided to hold off getting married and focus on our blessing, the baby growing inside me. After having Tanner December 18th, 2010, our family is now in the second house we’ve owned and Matt and I were married on November 17th, 2012. There is no coincidence in that we were married about a month before Tanner’s 2nd birthday and a rainbow appeared. I struggled a lot with having Tanner out of wedlock and then living nearly 2 years of his life this way. However, Matt and I wanted to be married for all the right reasons, rather than from outside pressure socially or spiritually. When my sister and Dad let me know about the rainbow on Tanner’s birthday I remember tears rolling down my face and running outside to look at the rainbow. I couldn’t see it and came back in the house. My 2 year old son looked out the window and said “Mommy it’s raining”. I had just been outside, it was not raining! Well low and behold I looked outside and the finest mist was falling, I stepped outside after picking up Tanner, and there was the slightest hint of the rainbow everyone had been telling me about! In my Faith, this was God truly accepting Tanner into his House and Family. Truly a smile from above and a pat on our backs. We had just been married a month before, and our son could now “truly” be a Son of God, so on his birthday God gifted him and us a rainbow shining down right over our house and my place of worship with my family growing up showing his sign of the covenant, his bridge to our newly found Family under his roof :-)

    Love you sis! Thanks for sharing :-) Keep snapping those rainbow pictures though ;-)

    • Thank you, Cathy! It always amazes me to see how God can use one thing, small or large, to speak to so many. I’m glad that Tanner’s birthday rainbow was such an important message that you needed to hear! And rest assured that no matter what people here on earth may think of your path, I believe that God is all about love and forgiveness!

  2. What can a proud mother say. BEAUTIFUL, It brought tears to my eyes. Love you mom

    • Thank you! And yes, we should all open our hearts! I think it’s all about the willingness that Jamie has been talking about. In my case, it was the willingness to accept the signs and now to take it a step further by sharing this experience!

  3. Awesome! …and thank you for the positive impact that you have on our students every day that you are here!

  4. Dear Lindsay. I loved this post and your willingness to share. I can so relate to it, as I have always looked for signs to help lead my decisions. Too many stories too write about here. I only wished I had written them all down at the times they happened. It would be easier to share and pass on now.
    There have been many signs in different ways and forms, at different times in my life. A rainbow has given me too, affirmation when needed. Rainbows mean so much to me that for my second marriage my husband and I chose to be married in a very small Oregon town named Rainbow. And yes, there was a rainbow the next morning on the first day of our lives together. Although, I have to admit, I did not see that one. Friends told of it. A rainbow was God’s promise to us in new beginnings. Oh, the sweet promise of rainbows. Good luck in your new teaching job.
    Lori

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