I have a story I’d like to share. It’s a really good one, but the problem is…it’s unfinished. So I’ll give you all the good stuff but you’ll have to wait for the ending because even I don’t know how this one is going to end yet. Back when this all started, about two months ago, we were home. Michael, Sarah, my mom, and I. I was getting ready in our bathroom and I could hear Michael in the other room singing. He was singing one of my favorite hymns, “Here I am Lord.” When I asked him what brought him to sing that hymn specifically, he told me it just popped in his head. I have this theory that whenever a hymn comes to mind or if I start singing a hymn randomly, it’s God’s way of trying to speak to me so I really listen to what the words are and try and decipher what he is trying to tell me. I didn’t think much of the fact that Michael was singing that and I kept getting ready with a smile. We headed out that morning for daily mass but because there was a funeral that morning, we ended up in the adoration chapel instead. We sat and prayed together and it was a really beautiful moment. Praying together in the presence of God. While we were praying, we could hear (very clearly) the choir in the church singing Here I am Lord. In that moment we had such a sense of peace and knew this was in God’s hands.
A day or so later, I was laying on the couch napping with Michael next to me, when I woke up to someone saying my name. I asked Michael, “did you say my name?” To which he replied “no.” I know to some of you I sound like I’m losing my marbles. I may have brain cancer, but I swear I’m not crazy. I kind of brushed it off. Weeks go by. Fast forward to Saturday night, two nights ago. The night I wrote my last blog. I fell asleep a little after 10 and woke up because someone said my name. I promise you with every ounce of my being I heard (not just in my head heard), my name being said, clear as day. STEPHANIE (in case you didn’t know my name already). I looked over to ask Michael if he said my name, but he was snoring so I knew it wasn’t him. Ok, first time, sure I’ll brush it off. But twice? Nope. I know better, especially with how present the Lord has been through all of this. I shared this with Michael the next morning and he reminded me of a passage (Samuel Chapter 3).
The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions.
2 One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place.
3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house of the Lord, where the ark of God was.
4 Then the Lord called Samuel. Samuel answered, “Here I am.”
5 And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down.
6 Again the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” “My son,” Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.”
7 Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.
8 A third time the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy.
9 So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10 The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
11 And the Lord said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle.
12 At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family—from beginning to end.
13 For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God,[a] and he failed to restrain them.
14 Therefore I swore to the house of Eli, ‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.’”
15 Samuel lay down until morning and then opened the doors of the house of the Lord. He was afraid to tell Eli the vision, 16 but Eli called him and said, “Samuel, my son.”
Samuel answered, “Here I am.”
Pretty cool, right? So we go to church on Sunday (and sang with the choir!) and I kid you not, one of the songs we sing is “Here I am Lord.” This song keeps appearing in our lives in a hauntingly cool way. But as we were singing it I was reading the words more carefully and they became more vivid to me. “Here I am Lord, Is it I, Lord? I have heard You calling in the night.” Literally.
So that’s my story for today. It’s kind of a jumbled mess but I hope it made sense. I feel like I’m sitting on alert right now, waiting on a mission from God, which is why the story is unfinished. I am patiently (but really very impatiently) waiting to see what is next. What am I being called to do to serve our amazing and merciful Lord?