Intuition. Inner voice. God speaking. Whatever it means to you.
I used to trust it and rely on it. I can remember many times in high school and college that I would get a bad feeling about a party I was at, or a person I was talking to or a street I was about to walk down. I would leave the party, walk away from the person, find a different route to my destination. And I was serious about it. I remember telling Luke several times over the years that I wanted to leave where ever we were and he would say, “ok,” and off we’d go. I think that he even trusted my intuition. I don’t know if something bad would have happened if I hadn’t trusted my inner voice but I do know that nothing bad happened when I listened.
A little over 6 years ago we went in for our 20 week ultrasound with our second baby. We got to see his hands and feet and nose and penis (!). We got to see blood flowing through his heart. We saw his lungs, kidneys and brain. It was like watching a miracle. As a mother, you can’t believe all this is going on inside your body.
The ultrasound tech said she couldn’t get a clear read on his heart. She asked me to empty my bladder and come back to try again. I thought nothing of this. Luke and I were both healthy, with little family history of genetic defects. We had a healthy 1 year old at home.
When it was over, our doctor told us that they couldn’t see his heart clearly enough. She sent us to the high risk clinic downtown at the Medical University. Even then I wasn’t fazed. I thought of it as a precaution.
You know how there are some moments in your life that you remember perfectly clearly? Well, I was sitting on the examination bed after the ultrasound at the high risk clinic. Luke was sitting in a chair beside me. The room was small with white and blue patch tiles on the floor. There was a curtain with circles on it for privacy. The tech had a small desk with some unique ultrasound pictures, like a baby sucking his thumb in utero, twins who appeared to be holding hands, that sort of thing. There was a bathroom to my left. As usual, the room was cold and the leather covered exam bed was chilly on my back. The tech had left the room to give the results to the doctor. I turned to Luke and said, “Everything is going to be fine. I know it.” I felt in my heart, my gut, my soul that this baby was going to be fine.
A few minutes later the doctor came in to tell us that our son had a major heart defect. He was not fine. He was going to need open heart surgery within months, maybe even days, of his life.
This was the moment that I stopped trusting my inner voice. It had betrayed me.
My husband cried, too stunned and heartbroken to speak. I tried to ask as many questions as possible, also stunned but skeptical. Maybe if I asked enough questions, it would turn out that the doctor was wrong. Your mind is crazy in life changing moments like this.
Since this moment, whenever I have heard this voice, I have quieted it. I don’t mean that I put myself in questionable situations or around sketchy people, but I stopped really listening to my heart. Wow, that makes me sad to write.
But you know what? That six year old boy . . . he is fine. Yes, the first months of his life were scary. He’s had two open heart surgeries. He probably won’t need more but he will always be monitored. He makes jokes. He can read. He learned a forward roll (we used to call them somersaults when I was a kid) this summer. He idolizes his big brother and dotes on his little sister. His imagination is bigger than anyone I know. He can play with his cars and men for hours. He’s strong and loving and kind.
He is fine.
My inner voice was right.
And I am listening again.
The thing about intuition is that it doesn’t just lead you away from danger, it leads you to good.
I want to hear everything. I want to follow the path that my heart yearns for whether it’s with my family, my friends, my spiritual journey . . . or maybe it’s simply a book I want to read or an event I want to attend or a yoga class that allows me a few minutes to quiet my mind and listen to my body.
I have prayed regularly for years. I’ve given thanks, asked forgiveness and direction. I’ve prayed for others. I’ve prayed for my son and my husband and my other kids. I’ve prayed for myself. And now I am going to start listening to what I might hear in the stillness of those moments of gratitude and reflection.
I believe that your intuition can speak to you about everything and anything . . . your social, family, work life, etc. What is your inner voice trying to tell you?
I’ve discovered a couple of new podcasts this week. The Robcast by Rob Bell and Wild and Holy by Megan Hale. (I have a good bit of “down time” everyday while breastfeeding.) These are both spiritual podcasts that have struck a cord with me. I’ve listened to about 4 episodes of the Robcast and he has some unique and uplifting perspectives on life that have left me feeling super energized. He’s also written about 10 books that I’ve put on hold at the library. His podcast episodes are about 30 minutes so they are easy to squeeze into a car ride or breast feeding session.
To read more about Luke’s heart, read “The Human Heart and All of it’s Intricacies” on my Features page.