Tammy Helfrich

Life begins right where you are.

Be Quiet and Back Off

 

Photo credit: Creative Commons (Nicola Jones)

Photo credit: Creative Commons (Nicola Jones)

 

“Be quiet and back off. You are getting in my way.”

Not exactly something I expected to hear from God. Now, I know what you’re thinking. That is crazy. Did you really hear it from God?

Yes, I did. I am learning to listen more closely when He speaks to me. This is not something I have always experienced, believe me! And it is something that is somewhat scary at first. Sometimes it is a gentle simple voice. And sometimes it is very clear. Like this time.

What was he talking to me about? My frustrations and impatience when it came to my husband’s faith walk. I had just gone through an incredible transformation and truly learning to find my own solid faith for the first time in a very long time. I was excited! I wanted everything to be perfect. (Why do we always think that way?) I wanted him to feel what I was feeling and to experience it together.

Is that a bad thing to want? I don’t think so. However, when I heard those words I realized something extremely important. His faith walk is different than mine. Everyone’s is. What speaks to me isn’t going to speak to him. What excites me isn’t going to excite him. Constantly nagging him or expecting him to immediately be where I was, was unfair.

So what did I do? The only thing you can do when you clearly hear an instruction from God.

I shut up.

I backed off.

I got out of the way.

I stopped trying to control something I had no control over.

Did I stop praying for him? Absolutely not.

Did I tell him that God said this to me? No. (Not at that moment. More on this later!)

Did I stop trying to control everything and trust God? Yes.

Which makes me wonder. Who was the lesson for in the first place?

My husband or me?

So my advice to anyone who is frustrated with a spouse or partner or child and their faith walk is to BACK OFF. Be a quiet example of what it means to have a relationship with God. But don’t try to fix them or expect their experience to be like yours. In most cases, that is the worst possible thing you could do.

I’d love to hear something that you’ve clearly heard God say to you, and what you did about it.

10 Comments

  1. Yeah. I’ve heard the same message but to me God says “You’re the only thing that’s standing in my way…”

    whoops.

    GREAT lesson here, Tammy…and you’re right, all of our faith walks are different!! Why is that so hard for us wives to remember?!

  2. I’ve heard God tell me that exact same thing about my husband, it is interesting to find your blog with those words.

  3. I think God is speaking through you to me.

    I’ve been trying to do this with/for my girls. I have such tremendous fear that the things they learned and endured before they joined my family would make them question or misunderstand God. I am so afraid that they’ll be weak and make huge mistakes from which they can’t recover. I’m so afraid that they’ll slip into the same cycle of abuse and destruction that they lived with as children…

    But God says “Don’t be afraid.” God says “I am in control.” God says “I got this.” I’m just not sure I know quite how to trust him that much….

    • Wow. I would say that is a completely different type of trust for sure, and I can see where that would be hard for you. I am learning that when He nudges in certain areas, we need to let go and trust that His plan is better than ours. However, being a parent also requires much more teaching and leading and being a strong role model than it does with your spouse. God has blessed you with the amazing girls and He will help you lead them in the best way for them. You can definitely trust that. You are doing a great job!

  4. Love this, Tammy. “You are getting in my way.” I wonder how many times God has thought that of me. Great reminder!!

  5. Tammy,I can remember those words or similar ones from God to me several years ago regarding Mike. I am finding so much more freedom on the other side of “50” in this area of my life. I do remember one particular time when I was so upset over something that Mike was watching,probably a horror movie,always have and still do hate them,and as I started to open my mouth,I heard the word in my mind,STOP! I was kind of taken back,but I knew it was a confirmation of what God had already tried to communicate to me earlier,but I thought that I needed to “help” him out. I wish I could say that it was the first and only time,but I will say,God is patient with us..

    Thanks for your honest and helpful posts!

  6. He told me that my husband, much like Moses and Paul, will (eventually) do great things for him, but for now I wait. Like you I wonder, is the waiting for him or for me to prepare?

    • I think it is for both of you, Brooke. God will do amazing things in and through us, but we have to be willing to listen and to take steps he’s asking us to take, even when we can’t see the road before us. Great to connect with you!

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