I feel like I need constant affirmation - sometimes too much - and I need to know that those I love, love me back in the same, strong way. I need to know I am doing something the right way and that I'm on the right path. I need to know it's all going to be okay. I need my husband to affirm his feelings toward me, even if it's obvious. I need to hear it.
I have learned (through experience) that God also speaks to me through my love language. I've heard God's voice three times in my twenty-seven-year-long life, each time affirming something I needed to know at the moment.
The first time was at a ski resort in Colorado. I was a junior in high school at a church camp with my sister, an eighth grader. It was our first time skiing and I stuck with the green slopes, always being careful and avoiding any kind of risk. I wedged my skis down the mountain and considered it done. As the day was drawing to a close, we were to meet at the bus around 3 o'clock to get back to the hotel. I approached the bus and was stopped in my tracks. I hadn't seen my sister for a few hours and the bus was revving up its engine to get on the road.
"Your sister is up there," I heard.
I shook it off, thinking she had just lost track of time. As we made our way down the mountain on the bus, an ambulance passed us by.
"It's for her," I heard.
And then I knew. I knew she had been hurt, but I immediately knew she was okay. The mixed emotions of peace and fear set in. As someone who has struggled with anxiety my entire life, it was the affirmation I needed to be able to face what was to come.
When I arrived back at the hotel, the youth leader approached me. Before she could open her mouth, I said, "I know." She confirmed that she was at the hospital, but that she would be okay. She had slipped on an ice patch and she slipped head-on into a tree.
It wasn't until months, maybe years, later that my sister told us how she had been lifted from her body that day as it laid in the snow. She could see her bloodied body as an off-duty nurse who was skiing down the mountain that day stopped to help. She felt arms tugging her waist as she hung above in the trees - arms she now knows were God's - as they released her back into her life.
The second time was at a dive bar in Arizona. I had been on too many bad dates and was looking forward to a night with the girls. I was done dating. As I sat at the bar with girlfriends, a mutual friend walked in to introduce us to her boyfriend and his friends. I walked out, attempting to be cordial. Within ten minutes of talking with one of the guys, something was different.
I excused myself to use the restroom and heard, "This is it."
I immediately talked back. "I don't even know his last name."
Three years and three months later - two and a half of those years in marriage and a baby on the way - I look back on that night during the hard times and remember hearing, "This is it." And so I keep at it.
The most recent time was in my bedroom in June. I was just about to fall asleep when an overwhelming sense of both peace and fear washed over me out of nowhere. I had just accepted a new job that morning and something didn't seem quite normal.
"I'm pregnant," I thought. I just knew it.
"My timing is good," I heard.
The fear subsided as tears welled in my eyes. I cried myself to sleep and said nothing until the next week when the nausea set in. When the pink lines showed up - twice - I knew His timing was good. Even with the new job, the unexpected changes around the corner, the busy season ahead, I knew His timing was good.
How does God speak to you, even if it's not audible?