I needed the Lord to protect me from myself.
Obviously I was bad at making good relationship decisions. I needed Him to drive the boat so that I wouldn’t ever have to risk sinking that low again. My prayers sounded something like this:
Lord, this hurts so bad. I never want to feel this way again. I never want to love the wrong person again. I can’t survive it. Please, spare me. Give me a sign. Whoever you have picked for me, I’ll listen. I trust that You know best.
Now, I don’t want to just tell You the sign. I don’t want to manipulate this. You tell me the sign to pray for, and I’ll just pray for that.
You see, I was totally hands-off with relationship business after Andy. Realizing my capacity to fall hard in the wrong direction, I wanted nothing to do with repeating my mistakes. I didn’t even trust myself to ask for a sign! No, I wanted the Lord to impress a sign on my heart to petition Him for, and then to make do with that.
The way I saw it, I was so “manipulative” that if I had a crush on the UPS guy, I could see myself praying, “Lord, I pray that you send me a man who wears brown.” Uh-uh. Nope. Square Piece wasn’t about to screw up this time. The Lord was going to have to do the choosing, right down to the sign.
But there was one problem.
I didn’t like His answer.
In the depths of my heart (and the darkness of that closet), no matter how many times I reworded my prayer request, the only impression I was left with was “hands.” The word, the thought, the feeling, the direction… Every time, all I got was “hands.”
You can imagine my indigence.
Hands? HANDS?! Thanks a lot. I’m being serious, Lord! And hands?! That doesn’t narrow anything down! That’s so vague! You might as well just make the sign “a head and two eyes” or “he’ll have a bellybutton and a penis”! Hands?! I’m trying not to get hurt again, but I don’t know how praying for a sign about “hands” is ever going to work. You know what? You take your time thinking about this. I’ll pray for whatever sign you want me to pray for, but I’m not in a hurry. Feel free to come up with something else.
Alas, the Lord had made up His mind. And I was left feeling just as unsure as ever, praying for a sign that didn’t make a lick of sense to me.
Eventually I moved to Florida and began attending a Bible school. Just in case He had forgotten, I kept reminding the Lord that I wasn’t in a hurry and that He was welcome to come up with a new sign whenever He was so inspired.
Perhaps something like a name? A birthmark? Something hard to miss?
The Lord’s resolve in this matter ushered in one of the most bizarre set of experiences of my life.
To be continued…