Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Power of a WishWish

One of the most fascinating things that I've learned in the last five years is this:
If you whisper to someone they'll whisper back.

I've always known this, I just hadn't learned it.

My friend, Megan, helped me integrate this with real little friends who could be quite loud.
"Just whisper to them, Sarah, they'll whisper right back."
Amazing. It worked.

In my sad & sorry attempts to quiet twenty-some Arab First Graders I have tried this trick.
Turns out, it doesn't exactly work because... they can't hear me.
But I can shout at them to "WishWish" and they're in awe.

"WishWish" in Arabic is "Whisper."
When I want to quiet them I say something in Arabic & I suddenly have big, brown eyes on me. They giggle at their American teacher speaking their little heart language & settle in for more.

And I wonder if God is ever just using tool after tool to get to our hearts, to get our attention.
I know our God whispers.
I like when He whispers to me. Because I know it's only Him & not me.
When my heart is worried or I'm playing the terrible "what-if" game or when I'm too proud to outright seek Him, He whispers. And for whatever reason, like Hosea 2.14, I like to believe that God has allured me into this desert. Literally.

My friend, Julia & I joke about our time in the desert as being a time to be "lonely, ugly failures."

  • Failures because everything you try you get dominated in: culture, language, expectations, relationships, religion, public transportation, discussions, grocery shopping, etc.
  • Ugly because it doesn't help to be blonde or pretty here. "Dare to be ugly" is how one man put it to me. Constantly feeling frumpy, mis-matchy &… ugly is not fun. It wears on your heart. Even if you get marriage proposals every week & random men relentlessly calling your number just to hear you say "Hello."
  • And lonely because… you're alone. In so many things. All. The. Time.

I was writing to a friend back home about how I struggle to find connections here and how it's even harder to share this life of mine with people who actually know me back home. They'll never know this place, this time, these people or this Sarah. Whatever I tell them or show them or include them in is not a shared experience--it's mine. He told me, "I would find peace with people not understanding, they don’t need to. Heck, you don’t even understand, but what you do know is you're sticking it out… Eventually you will find the words to explain the experience, but it could take many years and a lot of beers. That’s what makes this whole thing so powerful is you can’t wrap words around it, it’s not like going to the pumpkin patch." [Now the pumpkin patch would be something I'd have trouble explaining here. I can't win. ;)] I think he's right and I'm upset I never considered that.

I don't want to be alone in this.
But I am.
And I freak out. And get scared. And get proud. And get mad. And get claustrophobic. [Not to mention 24/7 sensory overload.]
I have to be reminded of Psalm 139. And I remember that there's nowhere I can go where He is not.
Maybe, just maybe, it was His whispering all along that has brought me to this place.

As He "wishwishes,"
[not proper Arabic conjugation. In case you were wondering...]
In my heart language,
I am captivated.
I settle in for more.
I calm down.
I'm quieted.
I'm expectant.
I'm sure.

Sometimes, I even "wishwish" back.


  1. Love this post. Yes, God does WishWish to me all the time, too. ...I am learning to hear Him more and more amidst the NOISES that keep me from it... the noises in my head and all around! But, to listen for---watch for--- wait for His wishwish is my heart's desire!

  2. Wow! This was SO profound! I felt your heart and yearned to know what you were experiencing. In the meantime, I will take your encouragement to listen for God's wishwish. Love you!

  3. I could not live without the wishwish whispers from God. Thanks to Mimi, I've been linked to your dear blog.

    Stay strong in the Lord and wait in stillness for His whisper always. That will probably be the best life lesson you ever learn.


  4. Thanks, Jordy.

    Stephanie: That's what I'm talkin' about, girl. Keep gettin' at it. :)

    Mimi: Sarah tells me that you're an epic lady. Thanks for reading and for your encouragement! And for linking people to me.

    Martha: Thanks for reading and for your encouragement--those are good words, sister!



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