The phone rang in the dark bedroom as I slowly registered what the sound was. "What's that?" my husband asked in a groggy voice. "My cell" I said as I rolled off the side of my bed and barely landed on my feet. Panic set in as I realized it was only 4am and only bad news comes on the phone at that time of night. I saw my sister's name on the caller id and began to worry about her family that lives in New Orleans.
"Hello?" I say a little anxiously. I heard her voice on the other end, "Are you ok?" she asked me. "What?" I answered not sure why she would ask me that, she's the one who called me! "I've been up all night. I had a really strong feeling that you weren't ok. Are you ok?" I groggily tried to process this information and came up with, "yeah, I'm sleeping!" To which she answered, "oh, ok, bye!"
I crawled back into bed and my husband asked, "What's wrong?" "Nothing, it's just Tiff, she wanted to know if we were ok, she had a bad feeling." We laid there for a moment, then I said, "I guess I should check on the kids." "yeah" he replied. "I'm too tired," I said. A second later I hear the bed groan as he got out of bed (I have the best husband ever.) He came back and all the kids were fine. Nothing was wrong. But of course I couldn't go back to sleep. I know my sister must have felt strong promptings from the spirit to call me at 4 am in the morning. So then I wondered if something bad was going to happen. Later I woke up to the alarm and listened for each child's voice as they began to stir. Relief filled me as each child was accounted for. Even the youngest's whiney cry that she didn't want to get up was music to my ears. Everyone was ok.
I called my sister to let her know that everyone was alive and accounted for. We discussed the strong feelings she had and she wondered why she would have this feeling for no reason. I suggested that maybe she just had to remember how much she appreciates her wonderful, older sister. "Nah, that's not it," she replied. But her husband had an interesting theory. He said that sometimes the Holy Ghost tests us to prepare us for when something really happens. To which I replied, "Couldn't we have gotten a head's up first like: This is a test from your Emergency Holy Ghost Broadcasting system, repeat, this is only a test!" Wouldn't that be nice?
I always wonder why we get these promptings sometimes and nothing comes of them, but if we didn't listen to them the outcome could be horrific. So we listen and heed the warnings even when they are tests.
I began to think about how this relates to writing. I depend on inspiration to write. And sometimes I feel so inspired to write a scene only to realize later that I have to cut it. It's heartbreaking because I really believed in those parts. Was it only a test? Is this how the Lord is helping me to develop my talent? Is this what I need to grow? What about a whole book I felt inspired to write, but now I'm unable to continue? Is this just not the right time? The point is that I don't know why we get "test" messages sometimes, but I do know that we must listen to them. They are there to help us grow and to help us recognize the Spirit when it's not a test.