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‘What did you say?’ ‘Can you repeat that?’

By CAPT. HOLLY JOHNSON

In 2016, my husband and I noticed that our oldest daughter Gabby (who was 8 at the time) was frequently asking us “What did you say?” or “Can you repeat that?”

We would ask her to do something and she wasn’t responding. We initially thought that she was purposely ignoring us as some children tend to do at times to get out of chores, but she kept exclaiming “I didn’t hear you!”

We finally decided to get her hearing tested and it took years to finally get a diagnosis as my family and I typically tend to move in our occupations as pastors and administrators for The Salvation Army, and this naturally causes us to switch health care providers in the process. Our daughter has since then been diagnosed with a mild case of hearing loss.

The journey to get to this diagnosis seemed lengthy and frustrating for her and us as her parents at times, but at least we now understand why she asks us to repeat ourselves; sometimes on multiple occasions. She also has come to understand why she can’t quite figure out what we are saying to her and why conversations are not loud and clear.

In these recent days of chaos, confusion, uncertainty, (and probably much more thoughts and emotions that I haven’t mentioned because the list might be lengthy) I have had to ask folks “What did you say” or “Can you repeat that,” not because I can’t hear, but because I am in shock and disbelief as I watch the news, go online, and even as I engage in conversations with folks about this viral pandemic.

It’s all we hear about lately and I am sure you can all relate. It’s stressful, it causes anxiety, and it has turned our world upside down. It has caused us to do things totally different than what we are used to — not all of this is bad mind you, nonetheless, it’s different; it’s foreign and the days are unclear.

I recently have been reading passages of Scripture that speak of how God hears us.

1 John 5:15 Amplified Bible (AMP):

15 ” And if we know (for a fact, as indeed we do) that He hears and listens to us in whatever we ask, we (also) know (with settled and absolute knowledge) that we have (granted to us) the requests which we have asked from Him.”

What an amazing passage! What a powerful testimony of God’s concern for each of us! So many things are unclear in these days and things may feel uneasy as a result of this.

It’s normal to have these emotions and it’s okay to feel this way, but we must not stay there; we must not dwell on the uncertainty before us.

I encourage you today to dwell on 1 John 5:15 which states that God hears you! God Sees you and God is listening! Even though things are unclear, God’s word is still speaking loud and clear and God never has to ask us “What did you say” or “Can you repeat that” because God heard you before you even spoke… before you even asked!

Amazing right! I don’t know what you are feeling for certain today – maybe it’s frustration, depression, anxiety, or maybe you feel overwhelmed. Those feelings are valid and acknowledging them can be helpful but try not to stay there too long. God’s word is loud and clear, and God hears you loud and clear. I promise you, He is listening to you even now, so please, go talk to Him today. Blessings!

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Finding Faith is written by area pastors. This week’s column comes from Captain Holly Johnson of Salvation Army Chapel, Lock Lock Haven.

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