To Do: Stop Testing & Be Tested

The other night, I confessed something to my boyfriend that I’d never told another soul (other than my sweet mama, of course).

We were sitting on the floor of my apartment in a fort made out of bed sheets and couch pillows. It was raining and it was cold, so we decided to go camping inside my teeny grey living room and eat homemade pizzas.

“This is going to sound weird,” I said as I studied his face to attempt to read his reaction. “But when I was a little girl, I used to test God.”

“How do you mean?” he asked. His brow kind of furrowed as he squinted to understand. For a while I just looked at him and debated if I should scrap the story. I did this while talking in circles and adding a long-winded disclaimer to the confession, a habit I didn’t even realize I had until about six months ago.

Eventually, I took a deep breath and prepared to sound like a crazy person.

I explained to him how, when I was little, I used to ask God questions and gauge His response or His direction by whether or not the tree branches moved. I called it “waving the wind.” As the words came out of my mouth, I realized that what I was saying sounded super pantheistic (the belief that nature is equivalent with God), but I promised (and further disclaimed) that I knew the Gospel of Jesus and grew up praying to the God of the Bible.

Wave the wind if my mom will let me sleep over at Danielle’s,” I would say and immediately run over to the bay window in our living room. I’d brush the curtains to the side and smush my little face up against the glass and stare at the branches of a Japanese maple until they wiggled in the breeze.

As time went on and my life became more “independent,” my questions got more and more “serious.”

Wave the wind if I am going to get in trouble if I don’t do this assignment,” I would say.

Other times, the questions would reflect a particular worry or fear.

Wave the wind if Emma will feel better tomorrow,” I would ask.

I don’t even remember how old I was when I clued my mom in on the habit. Maybe 11 or 12. I didn’t think it was wrong or particularly sinful to do what I was doing, but when it came up in conversation one day, my mama was sweet enough to point out the truth.

“The Bible says not to put the Lord your God to the test,” she said, gracefully quoting Deuteronomy 6:16. “We aren’t supposed to look for ‘signs,’ Diana, but we’re supposed to pray for wisdom and guidance instead.”

And so I listened. And I tried my best to stop asking God to wave the wind for answers.


If I’m being honest – and I promise I’ll always try to be – often times, in concept, I still ask God to wave the wind before making a decision. Though the words aren’t trickling across my brain and I’m not running over to the window for some omen-like guidance from oak trees, I still ask God for signs and symbols and “sure things” before I make any life-changing leaps.

And you know what? I think that’s kind of wrong.

A few years ago, someone asked me some of the areas of my life in which I was exercising a great faith in God. I thought hard for a moment and was embarrassed to not have an answer. The truth was nothing in my life was requiring me to live by faith – be it meager or great. I lived my life in a way that shouted “cushy” and “safe.” I made decisions only when I was as close to certain as I could be that it was right and good and in line with God’s will for my life.

And you know what? I think that’s kind of wrong.

Sisters, I am not advocating haphazard or unwise living. I believe there is such wisdom in seeking Godly counsel from your community and bathing decisions in prayer. But if there’s anything I’ve learned in my post-grad years it’s this: Sometimes, our desire to live inside God’s will paralyzes us from taking great leaps. Sometimes, our fear of even having one toe land outside the lines paralyzes us from acting. Sometimes, our quest for righteousness becomes morphed into a self-preserving act of complacency.

And you know what? I think that’s kind of wrong.

If you’re anything like me – and I trust that some of you are – you want a road map. You want the steps plotted out before you and you want outcomes cemented before you take the jump. You want to walk roads that are paved with guarantees and you want to count your ducks sitting there in their perfectly straight little row along the way.

But sisters, we are called to a bigger and brighter adventure.

I read a book once that pretty much changed my life. In it, the author harps on one point over and over and the below quote sums it up pretty succinctly.

Bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers. God isn’t offended by your biggest dreams or boldest prayers. He is offended by anything less. If your prayers aren’t impossible to you, they are insulting to God.

Let’s vow to stop asking God to wave the wind before we dream. Let’s stop asking for signs. Let’s stop living lives that exude safety. Let’s be a sisterhood of big and giant dreamers. Let’s quit testing God – cold-turkey – and let’s let Him test our faith. Let’s be a generation marked by bold prayers that honor the very God that yearns to answer them and bring glory to His name.

Sisters, will you take the plunge with me? What big prayers can we pray together? What dreams has God knit into your heart?

Instagram: @dianapalka // Twitter: @diana_dawn 

Hi! I'm Diana Palka and I am a New York soul living and loving in sunny Charlotte, Nort Carolina. I am a writer; runner; and lover of grace, craft beer and the well-written. I always say that I crave people being unabashedly themselves: raw, real and broken, because I believe this is the only way Gospel-centered community can truly be cultivated.  When I'm not writing for Delight or my personal blog (link "blog" -, I can be found out and about around the Queen City, usually somewhere answering the question (again), "Wait, you really don't like bacon?"