A God Sign and Elizabeth Gilbert

They say that when the student is ready, the teacher appears… or some shit like that. Well I have always FELT ready and I’ve also always felt like the teachers take their good old time showing up!

I’ve been known to look up at the sky in prayer and say something like, “A-hem. I know you’re busy solving world hunger and all, but if you have a sec, could you please do something about MY mess? K thanks. Carry on.”

Usually followed by another prayer that goes like this, “I just watched the news and OMG I apologize for bothering you. Clearly you’ve got bigger fish to fry. I’ll figure it out myself. Go back to work. I’m good.” 

I’d always envied people who got a “sign from God.” That just didn’t happen for me. I wanted the lightning bolt! I wanted the big, loud, unmistakable neon sky-written God sign that said “Do THIS!

But I learned something through a series of ass-kicking life experiences: God doesn’t shout all the time. Sometimes God whispers. I like to think God is amused by the riddles he/she/it comes up with for us. In my case, the “signs” always seem to come in the form of words- words that show up in front of me at the exact moment I am at a loss for the right ones.

So let me tell about my God sign in the form of author Elizabeth Gilbert. (Eat, Pray, Love)

I am a long-time fan of Liz’s work, (in my head we are close enough for me to abbreviate her name, as though we text every day). I received a flyer in the mail advertising her lecture in Pittsburgh. OMG. She was coming to Pittsburgh. I couldn’t wait. Then my heart fell as I realized that her lecture was the night before I was slated to leave for L.A. for a networking event. As a mom of 3, I don’t miss those tuck-ins the night before a trip, so I made the tough decision to skip the lecture in favor of pre-trip snuggles.

But I said a little affirmation: “I WILL share the same space with Elizabeth Gilbert for just 5 minutes and breathe in her genius energy.”

The next morning, I kissed my babies goodbye and headed to the Pittsburgh airport. There, in crowded terminal C was a small blonde woman, wearing an army cargo jacket, sitting against the wall chatting on her phone, blissfully unaware of the people milling around her. That woman was Liz Gilbert. I couldn’t believe it. I did a double take. Then I stared. I asked a complete stranger if he thought that was her. We googled. I was giddy. He was semi-freaked out by me. It was HER.

We made eye contact. It was amazing. I know she felt it too.

Did I suddenly know what to do next? No. Did this sign suddenly solve any great riddle that had been plaguing me for years? No.

I got something better.

I got a wink from God. I got the most important answer I could ever get. The knowledge that he HEARS me. That little affirmation I made about sharing space for 5 minutes with Liz? He heard it. It might not have been exactly what I pictured (Liz and I laughing at something brilliant I say over lunch in NYC), but maybe that’s because I wasn’t specific enough. After all, he gave me EXACTLY what I asked for.

5 minutes in her space.

I felt something that day. Peace.

I wasn’t any clearer, but suddenly it didn’t matter.

Because God had taken a sec to slow down, come forth and give me a very reassuring, “Relax. I hear you. Get out of the way. I got this.”

I share this with you because I hope you will take away a few things:

  • Be REALLY specific about what you want. I have a friend who always says she just wants to be alone and I swear I fear that someday a freak occurrence will land her on a deserted island.
  • SEE it. Take a moment. Say what you want. Feel what you want. See what you want. Breathe it in.
  • TRUST. If you have a solid intention and you feel it with all five senses, trust the timing. You ARE being heard.
  • ACT. This little story should prove that all of us are carried by a Divine support system. So whatever you want to do, go forth as though its already a fully funded mission. Because it is.


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