As a homeschool mom, I use part of my summers to set goals and order curriculum. The summer of 1999 was no different, except I was doubly focused because I was expecting our seventh baby in October. I had to think through everything carefully before I didn’t have time to think anymore.
After much planning, one weighty decision remained. Samuel, who was just turning four, was struggling with speech. I suspected that speech therapy would help. But in a school schedule where something as benign as taking a phone call could wreck all, middle-of-the-day appointments could potentially stretch the family to distraction. On the other hand, what if this year was Samuel’s best language acquisition window, and I was too lazy to take him to a simple class?
I distinctly remember the Saturday afternoon that I headed out for a walk-and-talk with the Lord. I put it to Him this way: “Here’s what I must know: Should Samuel have speech therapy this year, or could I wait until he’s five?” It was that simple and that specific. Silence followed, but I wasn’t dismayed. The Lord would surely show me. I knew because He always had before. So I leaned forward expectantly.
The next day was Sunday, and our family was in church as usual. When it was time for the sermon, our pastor Jessica Moffatt surprised us by sweeping down the center aisle dressed in full costume as Suzanna Wesley (mother of John Wesley, founder of the Methodist denomination). In the monologue that followed, she described in first-person English accent what it was like to be the mother of nineteen children! She described her dependence on God on many occasions, and then came to her concern for her son Samuel. I sat up straighter. “Susanna” continued by explaining that Samuel Wesley was five years old and had never spoken a single word. Suddenly one day he began to talk in complete sentences.
Listening from my place in the third left pew, I was distinguishing the Lord’s voice. “Samuel will not need to speak until he is five. Wait until next year for speech therapy.” What peace, what confidence accompanied my plans for the fall. Samuel did take speech the following year, and his articulation dramatically improved.
The Lord wants us to ask Him specific questions and be guided by His will. He genuinely cares about the details.