Since graduating from college in the 70’s I have desired to write a book.  Now over thirty years later my oldest daughter Erin has beat me to it with a book soon to be published!   Erin blends humor and authenticity in sharing her experiences as a young mom and I am honored to have her as a guest author for today’s post.

me and kidsHi!  I’m Erin, Ellen’s oldest daughter.  I’m mom to Josiah (4 and a half) and Kate (almost 3), and my new book, “The Christian Mama’s Guide to Having a Baby” is being released from Guideposts Books in January.  With all this going on, I decided to follow in my mom’s footsteps and enter the blogosphere.  When my mom asked me to write a guest post, I was nervous!  She always has such profound things to say and I, well, I’m still trying to figure out how to manage life, kids and career at the same time.  But, nonetheless, I decided to give it a whirl.  Come say hi at my new blog Christian Mamas Guide (!

Hearing God’s Voice

Quite often, I catch myself trying to convince God to speak to me.  When I’m trying to make a difficult decision or deal with a difficult situation, I’ll find myself pleading with God to show me what to do.  I catch myself asking Him to just give me a clear sign so I’ll know exactly how to proceed.  And, often, God does make it clear what I should do, but until last November, I’ve never heard God’s voice audibly.
My family had decided to go to Oregon to visit my in-laws for Thanksgiving.  The night before we left, we took Joey to a birthday party.   Joey—the quintessential picky eater—only ate cupcakes at the party.  The pizza was “too cheesy” and the popcorn “looked like it had cheese on it” and the grapes “were on the same table as the cheese plate”.  So, he ate a rainbow chip cupcake and a glass of punch and called it dinner.  We planned on giving him a snack once we got home, but he fell asleep in the car and so we transferred him straight to bed, figuring it was a good thing that he was getting a good night’s sleep before we left.
Early the next morning, we woke the kids up, put them in sweats and headed to the airport.  Once we arrived, we pulled out the sack breakfast we had bought—Honey Nut Cheerios and milk.  Joey (shocker!) refused to eat the cheerios—”too shiny”.
The reason that I’m giving you every tiny detail about my son’s food choices that day is because we later realized that it’s not a good idea to allow a four-year-old’s blood sugar to get low.  But I learned that the hard way.
On the plane between Denver and Portland, Joey fell asleep.  Sometime when we were over Wyoming, he jolted up and then immediately started having a seizure.   His eyes rolled back and his lips turned blue.  I pressed the flight attendant button and the flight attendant raced back to us.  From there, she screamed and asked if there were any nurses or doctors on board.  Two nurses came up and held Joey’s head as he was seizing while the flight attendant raced to the front to get an oxygen tank and alert the pilot.
At that moment—with my three-year-old in the middle of a massive seizure on a plane with no access to medical attention—with a nurse holding my turning-blue child in her hands saying “breathe… c’mon, breathe”—with a panicked flight attendant screaming that we needed to turn the plane to land—I heard God speak to me.
He didn’t tell me what to do.  He didn’t tell me how to act.  He didn’t even tell me that everything was going to be okay.  All I heard was this:  “I am here.  And I Am.”
And suddenly, a wave of peace covered me.  Later, the flight attendant told me she couldn’t believe how calm I was.  How I was able to sit on that plane while we were unable to land in Boise in a snowstorm and not panic.  How I calmly held my son as the paramedics whisked him off the plane in Portland.  How I was able to talk and think clearly as my three-year-old was struggling to breathe.
I’m not a calm person.  I’m very prone to panic.  But God’s assurance—knowing that he was there was all I needed at that moment.
Later, after we had spent hours in the hospital and gone through countless tests—after we had found out that Joey’s seizure was caused by low blood sugar and a fever spike—after we saw Joey playing in the snow and acting completely normal just a day later—it struck me that I so often beg God for an answer or a sign when in reality, the fact that He is there and He IS is all I need.
I am here.  I AM.
What comfort five simple words can bring.
Question for you:  Have you ever heard God speak audibly in your life?  What did he say?  How did it change you?