• Tiffany J Downs

The First Time I Heard God

As I look back on my childhood, I now know that God has been talking to me as far back as I can remember. This is really the first time I REALIZED God was talking to me.

To set the stage, let me paint a picture of my life back then. *As an adult reading this story, you might feel many different things, but remember that I was a child and I was happy. I know now that things were not normal, but that still doesn't stop me from enjoying memories from this time.*

I lived with extended family. My sister (who was 17 years older than me) had two kids. My mom had me, and my sister's long time boyfriend (soon to be husband) lived with us. My niece and I were only 4 months apart and shared a room. We slept on mattresses on the floor and they took up all the walking space in our room. We had just enough room to play legos and cards between our beds. We lived in a single wide trailer where my mom slept on the couch. My sister and brother-n-law were still addicted to drugs and alcohol. We lived in a trailer park, went barefoot, and regularly ate at our neighbor's houses. The house in our front yard and the one in our back yard had kids our age. Everyone's doors were always open and we floated from house to house as if each were our own home.

One day, a van came to the neighborhood. It was a church van. Some of the kids from the neighborhood had been going to that church for a while, and invited us to come. I am not exactly sure if we asked if we could go or not, but we three kids (me, my niece, and my nephew) ended up on the van every Sunday. We attended Sunday school and big church. There was no separate children's church for us during the regular service. I remember sitting by myself a few times (maybe my niece and nephew didn't come as much as I did). I fell asleep sometimes and tried really hard to listen to this southern pastor, Brother Something or other, tell me about God. I knew God existed. I was terrified of reincarnation as a four year old...that's a story for a different time. He told us about Jesus and God and tithing of course! I had been feeling a tug in my heart and I wasn't quite sure what it was. It was really more in my gut, and so I just figured I was hungry.

One day, for the altar call, I felt this tug. I managed to stay awake for this one, and I heard the pastor say that if you feel a tug or a pulling in your chest, then that is God speaking to you. I immediately thought to myself, "God is speaking to me!" The pastor also said that He wants to be your Daddy. This caused me to perk up because I needed a daddy. My dad and I have a great relationship now, but he lived miles away and I desperately wanted a daddy that could go places and do things with me. I decided that I NEEDED a daddy and if God wanted to be my daddy, then I wanted to be His daughter. The pastor said for us to come on down and pray with him to receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior. I was nine (9) years old and KNEW without a shadow of a doubt that God was speaking to me. This was the beginning of an adventure that I am still on and that keeps getting more and more interesting with every passing day!

God desperately wants to have a relationship with you. He wants to be whatever you need. Mom, dad, husband, child, wife, sister, brother, friend...anything you need, He wants to be that for you! If you feel that same tug in your chest, gut, head, wherever in your body, listen to that still small voice of God. He sent His most precious child to die for you so that He could make you clean and righteous in His sight and TALK to you. To accept this amazing gift of life and salvation, simply talk to Him. Tell Him that you are sorry for all of the things you have done and that you need Him! You believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross and rose from the dead three days later. (You must believe in your heart and say this with your mouth (Romans 10:9 "If you declare with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." We don't want to stop there though. Jesus then went on to say in Luke 11:13, "If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" So ask Him for Holy Spirit. Ask Him more and more and more every day! You cannot get enough of Holy Spirit, and as you read more of this blog, you'll see He is a key player in hearing God speak to you. Ask and you shall receive!

If this blog touched you in any way or you accepted the gift of Jesus for the first time (or are renewing a commitment to follow Him), please let me know by sending me a message. If you're already a follower of Jesus, let me know what He's been saying to you lately! I love to hear what God is saying to others.

#AudienceEngagement #Blog #christian #christ #jesus #mystory #HearingGod

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