When God Seems Silent

in , , by Erin Lynne, January 24, 2021

Throughout my life, I have both audibly heard the Lord's voice as well as been sure that He couldn't hear me. 

This, dear friends, is a story about both.


Basically since the day I started my current job, I knew it was one I wouldn't retire from. I wouldn't last that long.

I am not stupid enough to say that my job is the hardest job on the planet, goodness, it's not. But it's by far the hardest job I have ever had. Teaching fourth grade was the most exhausting, but it was a good kind of exhausted, and at the end of the day, I had a couple of dozen students who told me how great I was (some of them still do!) 

When you are in charge of technology, it's often a thankless job. Just one day I would like for someone to call and say "Y'all, this morning, I came in, I turned on my computer, it booted right up, and dang this internet is fast!" While I know there are teachers who appreciate me and the work our DTO has done, it's just hard when you hear more complaints than compliments.  It's draining. 

A few years ago, I felt a stirring like maybe it was time to look for a new job. There was even a job open that I was going to apply for. 

But when I prayed about it, I heard God say "Not yet."

I have a necklace and a bracelet that say "Faith in God includes faith in His timing." I have always loved that idea. He clearly is smarter than me, His timing is perfect. Of course I had faith in both!

"Ok," I thought. That's fine. I can get things ready, and soon, it will be time. Honestly, it made sense. At that point, a lot of what had been built in the district as far as tech goes had me as almost too integral a part of it. If I lifted out, there was a chance things might fall apart. I had time to get my ducks in a row. A year, right? That's what made sense. I would work to get things ready for transition for a year.  I had a tiny UK notebook in my desk at work, I could use that for keeping notes of what to do each month in this job for my successor! I had a plan and a timeline. I was ready.

A year passed. 

Two years. 

No jobs in sight.

Things got harder. Devastating things happened in my personal life. At times, I was miserable. Surely God didn't want me to be miserable, right?

I continued to pray. Prayers turned to begging, begging turned to pleading, pleading turned to crying. There were a lot of tears. Sometimes I cried at my desk at work. I was overwhelmed. I was drowning. 


"Ummmm.... God? It's me again. Hey, remember when you told me "Not yet" that time? LOLZ, that was funny, huh? Why didn't you just tell me "No!"? I mean, clearly that's what you meant."

He didn't respond.

It's hard to pray when there's no answer. 

I'll be honest, I stopped praying altogether for a while.


My Google Keep is filled with excerpts of books I've read. I take pictures of pages and pages of things that I think I might want to/need to read later. But my very most favorite is this passage from Bittersweet by Shauna Niequest:

When you're in the middle, pretty much all you can ask for are little bits of flame to light the darkness that feels interminable. 
You don't know what the story is about when you're the middle of it. You think you do, but you don't. You make up all kinds of possible story lines: this is about growing up. Or this is about living without fear. You can guess all you want, but you don't know. All you can do is keep walking.
There is nothing worse than the middle. 
At the beginning, you have a little arrogance, loads of buoyancy. The journey, whatever it is, looks beautiful and bright, and you are filed with resolve and silver strength, sure that whatever the future holds, you will face it with optimism and chutzpah. It's like the first day of school, and you're wearing the outfit you laid out last night, backpack full of perfectly sharpened yellow pencils.
And the end is beautiful. You are wiser, better, deeper. You know things you didn't previously know, you've shed things you previously clung to. The end is revelation, resolution, a soft place to land.
But, oh, the middle. I hate the middle. The middle is the fog, the exhaustion, the loneliness, the daily battle against despair and the nagging fear that tomorrow will be just like today, only you'll be wearier and less able to defend yourself against it. The middle is the lonely place, when you can’t find words to say how deeply empty you feel..."

Y'all, I felt like I was in the middle for approximately 1.7 trillion years.

I cannot tell you the number of times I have said to myself, "But, oh, the middle. I hate the middle."

But God...

On my birthday, I went out for my free Starbucks in the drizzling rain, and happened upon the most beautiful end to end rainbow I had ever seen. It was gone so quickly, I didn't even get a picture. (I did get an Instastory of it though, because priorities). When I saw it, even cynical me said out loud "Hmmm... God's promises."

Two hours later, I found out about a job. Six days later, I got my "Faith in God includes faith in His timing" out of my jewelry box to wear it during the interview. 

On Christmas Eve, I got the call offering me the job.

God continued to wink at me several times in the 12 days between hearing about the job and getting the job, including the sermon preached the Sunday before Christmas which included this little nugget:

It’s one of the laws of spiritual physics that in order for our souls to grow, we have to get out of our comfort zones. And I think that in order to grow us and use us to do specific things in this world through our lives as Theotokos-- God-bearers-- the Holy Spirit of the Living God takes up residence within us and stretches us...

At work last week, I found that little UK notebook buried in the bottom drawer under dry shampoo, spare sunglasses, and can koozies (who wants to help me clean this place out 😝!?!) I pulled it out to take a look and see what needed to be changed, and on page 2, I saw this:


Three plus years of unanswered prayer.

10 days from application to job offer.

The irony of the juxtaposition of time is not lost on me. When I wanted this change and it was NOT God's time, no amount of praying or begging or yelling was going to make it happen. When it WAS God's time-there was nothing that was going to stop it. 

The end is beautiful. You are wiser, better, deeper. You know things you didn't previously know, you've shed things you previously clung to. The end is revelation, resolution, a soft place to land.

For those of you still in the middle, I sympathize. I won't even tell you that it will get better, because folks told me that and I wanted to tell them where to shove their beatitudes. But I will just say this for you and with you "but oh, the middle. I hate the middle."

Also, thank your IT department. 💙

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