Learning and Discerning Vocations: Listening

 The following is an article that I wrote under my pen name “Irina Demkiw” and it was published in “Progress” (a bi-weekly Ukrainian community newspaper) and on my irinademkiw.wordpress.com blog site on October 30, 2011.

 Learning and Discerning Vocations: Listening

The desire to hear God’s voice was growing inside of me. Up to now I had “gut” senses of what He wanted when I asked Him a question. I began to make room for Jesus in more areas of my life than just whether I should go to a dance or a movie.

I had a job that I enjoyed but did not make very much money. I found that if I needed something big, I had to save for a long time. When I am saying something big, I do not mean a car or a trip. I am referring to a winter coat.

Yes, I had to save my money; it was a challenge for me. Some people do not have trouble but I did.

Winter was fast approaching and I needed a winter coat very badly. I needed one that would withstand strong winds (chill factor) and strong fabric for good long wear as well as warm and fashionable. My list was long regarding the details of the coat. I began shopping for one.

Every Saturday for weeks, when I had time, I went for a couple of hours searching for this coat that I needed. When I saw a coat I liked, the price was well over what I could spend considering my savings. It was hard work to keep checking on coats in the less expensive racks. Finally, the first snowfall threatened. I felt panicky. What would I do? I took some friends with me to help me pick out the coat on the next Saturday. I tried on one that looked really good but the price was just above what I could spend. I was so frustrated. It was the only one up to this time that was good. My friends complimented me on the colour and style. I felt sad because it was more money than I had to spend from my savings. I said to my friends, “I need to keep shopping until I find something that is less expensive!” The next store had a coat on sale that was in my price range and it answered all the requirements as well. I tried it on. When I looked in the mirror, I found that it was not nearly attractive as the other coat. I felt desperate. There was a $45 difference in the price. I felt inspired to do something different. I prayed. I asked Jesus what to do? I explained about the two coats and that I did not know what to do and also explained that the cold weather was arriving and I needed this new coat. I stood in a quiet space in myself. I heard the words, “Go and put a deposit on the more expensive coat.” I was surprised at the words and that I “heard” the words. I told the Lord, “Okay, I will do it because I believe that I heard from you Jesus.” I went back to the other store and took the coat to the salesperson and asked if I could put a deposit on the coat. They said it would be fine and took the coat and my deposit and gave me a receipt. I said that I would be coming by as soon as I could and put more money on the coat until it was paid for. The salesperson smiled and nodded.

On the next Saturday, I wanted to put more money on the coat but my finances were not enough to do so. I prayed and asked the Lord to help me get the money for the balance outstanding on the coat. I did not hear anything. Several Saturdays went by before I finally had some money to put down on the coat. When I arrived at the store, in the window, on display was the same style coat that I had “laid-away” and the sign said that it was on sale. It was marked $45 less than the original price. I had enough money with me to pay off the coat. Would the store allow me to do it since I contractually purchased it several weeks ago? I approached a salesperson and explained the situation and she said that it was not a problem and if I took the coat today, I could have it at the sale price. Glory to God! Wow! I felt like I had been given a special surprise gift. My God proved to me that He heard me and I heard Him. What a lesson!

I knew that God loved His people, but that day I felt that God reached to me and touched me. I have never been the same. When I feel loved, I desire to love back. God is my provider. He knows my needs even before I “tell” Him what I need.

I felt this desire to love God back growing. I thought that by going to church and being a good person was a good start. All that felt good. But I sensed that there was more. I felt like I was being cared for, listened to, provided for and not alone. I wanted more.

Copyright © 2011 Irina Demkiw, all rights reserved.

Copyright © 2014 Gloria Winn, all rights reserved.

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