Can we say not to God?—I did.
An enticing slice of sun shone though my window and tickled my longing to be out in it. I was at my desk busily writing a report on a family I’d recently closed. It had almost been a year since I’d joined the Family Therapy Program and I was becoming comfortable with my job. Still, according to Rob Tomlinson, I wasn’t there yet. “It’s not good enough to know this material in your head. It takes a good two years of working in the field to be able to think in families.” He was right, I wasn’t to the point of thinking in families; I wasn’t even sure what that meant until I’d been working in the field long enough to understand. In the meanwhile, Rod was there to offer his encouragement and support. When I was struggling with a family, I was comfortable going to him knowing he would willingly help me. “What does your tummy tell you?” he asked. “What are you feeling about the situation in your bones?”
After I explained what I thought, he encouraged me to listen to those feelings and follow what they were telling me. It was, he said, the best indicator of all. On this particular day, I hunched over my report and concentrated on what I was doing. Suddenly, I clearly heard a voice speak to me in my head. “I want to use you,” it told me. A flood of emotions smashed through me with a loud crash of chaotic jumble. I was alone in the office and immediately jumped up to open the door and make sure no one had spoken beyond that barrier. The hallway was empty and quiet. It appeared that most of my co-workers were off seeing their clients or working quietly in their offices. In truth, it hadn’t really been necessary to check the hall; I knew instantly where the voice had come from. Still, I didn’t want to acknowledge that reality.
Slowly I closed the door and returned to my seat while confusion, apprehension and unreasoned fear danced in my mind. I wanted to reject the whole thing. Alarm for my sanity rolled around in my thoughts. Then again, I thought, I was perfectly sane a moment before I heard the voice, so why would I think I had lost it in an instant. What do you want to use me for? I asked the voice…nothing. I want to know what you want me for, then I’ll decide if I’ll do it or not…nothing. I don’t want to be seen as weird or strange, I don’t want to end up like those people who stand on street corners praising the Lord…nothing. Why didn’t you choose a good born-again Christian? I don’t even know the bible…nothing For the next year I dug in various corners for answers…again nothing. Psychics couldn’t give me any ideas on what I was to do. Ministers and preachers wanted to pray for me and clear out the demons. Eventually I let it go and decided that it was just my imagination. Four years passed since I’d begun working. I loved every moment and every family. Yet there was just so much one person can accomplish alone and with three teenagers. I felt like I was stretched as far as I could go. At times it seemed I was hanging on to the side of the Grand Canyon by my fingernails. That was when I heard the voice one more.
Saturday afternoon brought a list of chores that needed to be done. Pick up some groceries, go to the cleaners and buy shoes for the kids. Gwen, now fourteen, her friend and I were enjoying a treat in a crowded doughnut shop. We’d been fortunate to find a seat as I watched people flowed in and out, in and out with eager anticipation of their coming pleasure. Gwen and her friend were giggling over some silly teenage thing when I heard that voice again. “I still want to use you, you know,” it clearly said. My instant reaction was one of surrender. “Okay,” I willingly thought, “but, I have nothing left to give.” “Don’t worry,” the voice returned, “I am preparing you now.” Then I had a flash of a man and money. I had no idea if the man owned the money or if the money was completely separate from him. And, I had no idea what role the man would play in the opera of my life.