I hear God the most when I am my most bare. I’m striving to put my devices down and spend more time with God, but I admit I struggle sometimes to look away and unplug. Not too long ago I heard from God in the shower. The bathroom is where I hear from God the most because I have no distractions; no phone, no TV. I can’t remember what I was thinking about, but God told me as clear as day, “If you were meant to live [insert person’s name]’s life, then you would have been born that person.”
I know I’ve heard from God when the message is so simple yet so profound at the same time. To know this truth puts my mind at ease. In the wake of social media and being bombarded with dozens of people’s highlights every day, it’s easy to compare. God had to remind me that He makes no mistakes, and nothing catches Him off guard. I’m exactly where I need to be and I’m exactly who I’m meant to be. I’m not quite sure what impact I will leave on the Earth but the world needs Marilyn Renee Vaughn, not another [insert person’s name].
I had another cool revelation not too long after this one was when I was reading the 1 Corinthians chapter on love.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-7)
After reading this I realized…hey maybe I’ve never been “in love.” It’s easy to look back on past relationships and relish in the good times, but this scripture reminds me that what I was looking back on wasn’t love. Particular portions that jump out to me are “not self-seeking” and “keeps no record of wrongs.”
Most relationships I had in the past were not healthy and didn’t hit many of the characteristics in this passage. But moving forward I do have a blueprint to match. I’m always confident in God that one day I will find His definition of love.
“Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away. If one were to give all the wealth of one's house for love, it would be utterly scorned.” (Song of Songs 8:6-7)
When I was setting about finding this next job, I didn’t intend for the search to become a great test of my faith. I thought I’d find something with ease early and be relaxed my last few months on the job. Boy was I wrong! It’s like God knew the only way my faith would grow would be if I was depending solely on Him. A verse I really leaned on/adopted as my mantra: “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” (Jeremiah 17: 7-8)
I would constantly tell myself this verse when I was rejected for a job or not contacted for a follow-up interview. But at the same time, I knew I couldn’t just take the first thing I was offered. I was testing my faith in this way too. I was trusting God to have a good job for me.
My criteria weren’t too extensive and really boiled down to three things: I didn’t want to work overnights again, I wanted to make more money, and I wanted to be in a larger city (closer to home was a bonus)! And you know what, I got all three! And because God is amazing, I’m also working in a city where my sister-in-law’s family lives, and also getting to work with a few former co-workers. I’m so glad I didn’t settle for earlier jobs I was offered. I was stepping out on faith and trusting God had the right next job for me.
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1)
Commentary in my Bible (Life Application Study Bible) for this verse says, “When we believe that God will fulfill his promises even though we don’t see those promises materializing yet, we demonstrate true faith.” More commentary also says, “Faith is the confidence based on past experience that God’s new and fresh surprises will surely be ours.”
Through this whole process, I was able to lean on past experiences, namely my 2008 wreck as proof of God’s promises.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)
I encourage you to step out on faith, you won’t regret it!
Hi! I'm Marilyn!