girlreadingdarker

HE’S NOT YOUR PRINCE CHARMING: learning to hear

For the next few weeks we will be reposting from He’s Not Your Prince Charming, reaching way back in the archives to remind and reteach and rethink what we’ve been learning together. I have asked my blog team to help choose their favorites, and I am hoping you will add fresh comments to shed new light on these posts.

In the meantime I will be writing ahead for the new series, studying, reading, thinking, and praying about what to say and how to say it. Any suggestions and thoughts about what you’re wondering about will be most welcome— after all, you are my girls! 

From my heart,

Diane

(image by Hillary Kupish)

Healthy people do not need a doctor— sick people do.

I have come to call sinners, not those who think they are already good enough.

Mark 2v17

God blesses those who realize their need for Him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is given to them.

Matthew 5v3

 

It is early.  Deep dark, winter cold…quiet and still and… welcoming.

No alarm clock woke me, just a quiet whisper… an excited urging… an expectant sense of something more, of something I need.

Something I want.

And this: the certain knowing that Someone wants me by myself… for Himself.

That He has something to say… to me… today.

And that if I don’t get up I’ll miss it.

I’ll miss Him.

And so, hair wild, barefoot and barely awake, I shuffle to the kitchen to start my tea. While the kettle heats, I make my place: furry blanket, shiny tea cup, pretty napkin, scented candle.

Like a fort for a grown-up girl, this is my tucked-in place, my refuge before the day begins.

And He’s there, I know He is, with a knowing that cannot be explained and will not be denied.

I relish my first cup with Him. Heart open, mind still half asleep, I sink deep, listening.

I bring no list, no worries.

I don’t pray.

I just listen… and sip tea.

And after a while I open His Book of Words to the place I left off the day before, reading, listening, talking, asking, taking notes.

Hearing.

It didn’t used to be this way for me. For years and years I got up because I had to. Because someone told me I should. Because I needed to be disciplined and do my duty and do it right and do it every day, no matter what.

Because I like rules and this was rule #1: A good Christian reads her Bible every morning. Amen.

And so I’d be up when the clock said seven and I’d put in my time. No yearning, no feasting, no wanting, never listening. Just a list and my Bible and the clock ticking.

And sometimes I’d miss and feel terribly guilty. Ashamed. Less-than. So I’d resolve never to sleep in again, never to miss my “devotions”, lest I mess up somehow and miss the mark.

That went on for years.

Until one morning. A morning seared into my soul as if it were yesterday. Not a memory so much as a mark on the inside of me. Forever I will call it The Morning After.

That morning I woke up early too. Mind racing, questions clamoring for answers, I snuck quietly into the living room while three children slept, hoping they’d sleep a little longer than usual.

Desperate to hear.

The night before, at my husband’s urging, I’d met with the elders of our little church in Santa Cruz. In a cramped back room they’d prayed for me, prayed over me, anointed me with drops of less-than magical oil and asked God to heal me.

For no reason any doctor could find, my hearing was failing. And I was terrified… and angry… appalled that the God I had dutifully served would allow deafness to swallow me.

I’d come to these men wanting healing, willing to beg God in their presence as I’d been begging Him every day for months.

And as they prayed, something happened.  Something magical and mystical and biblical and wonderful— I heard God.

I mean I really heard Him. Not an impression, not an idea or a quote that somebody else had said about Him. I heard Him.

I heard words.

Not the words I wanted to hear, in fact, the words He gave me sounded much like the ones my dad had used when, as a little girl, I’d panic and he’d calm me with a stern sort of love. Nothing sweet or quaintly Christian.

To all my begging for healing, for ears to open wide, for the deafness threatening my world to go away— for the healing I knew He could do if only He would… I heard this—

Diane, it’s okay. It’s okay, Diane, it’s okay.

And let me tell you, girls, those were the most beautiful words I have ever heard. Rich with knowing, dripping with the kind of love I had only dreamed about, His words enveloped me in… glory.

In that moment of NO, I felt more joy than I’d ever felt before. It was okay! Gloriously, beautifully, magically okay.

I floated home from that impromptu prayer meeting, holding His words close in. I’d heard Him, really heard Him. He’d called me by name.

God spoke, He speaks… to me!

That is why I was up in the dark hours on that Morning After. I had to know if it was true, if I’d heard what I thought I had… or if I was just overwrought and delusional, a pathetic mess.

And that, my dear girls, was the beginning— the first morning of my love affair with the Savior. Because He met me there, filling my heart with more words— stern words, truth words, words about life and joy and trust.

He wrapped me in words and drew me into an intimacy I’d never known possible.

By the time the children got up and Phil started coffee, I was ablaze with joy. Spilling with hope, feeling so loved and known and cherished and full.

And every morning since it’s been the same. Quieter, for sure, less drama and more restful entering in. I come to meet Him, to talk and more than anything else, to listen.

Every morning, with the house all quiet, I come to Him— the One who knows me, all of me, and still wants me for Himself. I open His Word and let His words speak deep.

Sometimes, to tell the truth, I can barely hear Him. On those mornings I wait. I sip tea, I make another pot. I read further or I read it again. And slowly, if I’m willing and wait long enough, He quiets me enough to hear.

Because He is always speaking. Through His Word and around His Words, using words to love and teach and reveal and convict and set free. But sometimes I cannot hear… and always I hear imperfectly, like the deaf woman I am.

I know this post was a bit rambling again… but next week I have less mystical, more practical thoughts to share with you.

For now, know this:

  • God speaks… really says things… to you and to me.
  • He speaks mostly and most clearly through His Word.
  • We hear best in the quiet, and it’s up to us to clear space for that restful listening.
  • He speaks loudest to those who come in need— the ones, like me, who fail and cannot get up. The broken and thirsty, the desperately repentant.
  • He wants to be felt— experienced, heard, seen. He has sent His Spirit to make sure that happens. And He has given instructions to pave the way, with guidelines to keep us from getting… sort of… well… weird.
  • If you can’t seem to hear Him yet… be patient. He knows you want to and He’s helping you even now. Nothing happens fast in His Kingdom. Just let Him bring you close and teach you.

From my heart,

Diane

P.S. If you’ve heard Him, will you say so? Will you leave us a note to encourage those who are still wanting to hear but frustrated in the silence?

And if you’re one of the many who’ve told me you’re still waiting… will you leave just a simple message so I can pray alongside you?

Just your name is enough… and maybe “still waiting”.

 

 

 

Posted
April 14, 2014
In
Charming, Features
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70 comments... (add a comment)

  1. Caitlyn

    I get chills when ever I hear Gods voice. I always know to listen and focus more when those times happen. Im more of an action speaks louder than words person and of course He knows that about me so more than anything Im feeling his presence and hug around me. I live for those moments.

    • diane

      Caitlyn,
      I heard a woman I admire once say, “He speaks our own language”. Sometimes I think it’s more of a dialect- He adapts His words and ways to who we are- yet the truth stays timeless.

  2. Lisanna

    Lately, I’ve felt Him inviting me and nudging me to wake up an hour before I’m supposed to. Either will the cat start scratching my door or I just wake up for no apparent reason, but in that moment I convince myself that sleep is MORE IMPORTANT (what?) than spending time with Him. I think “Can’t He understand that I need sleep? There’s no way I’ll stay awake in school if I get up now! He can wait a while longer,” and fall asleep again. But He does know that I need sleep and He wouldn’t be asking me to wake up early if He wasn’t planning on giving me something much more fulfilling than an extra hour of sleep. I wish I could let go of sleeping and answer His invitation because I’ve realized that He really is inviting me! What I’m afraid of is that I won’t hear or I won’t feel Him because I’m not good enough. Which is silly, because He’s shown me that I’m enough for Him and He is actually inviting me to listen.
    Please forgive me, Jesus, for my silliness.
    And thank you, Diane, for this series and this post. It is a beautiful reminder.

    • Lisanna…He is doing the same with me. Gently nudging me awake before my flesh is ready to see the day. And I even know that it is Him. And that He wants to spend time with me. And I roll over ‘for just another minute’ and a couple hours later I awake to the obtrusive alarm and feel sad that I missed it; missed Him. And I ask The Lord to keep trying. Please don’t stop trying. Because the days get busy and as much as I think I will get that time back or can somehow make it up at some point during the day, I never can. It never happens.

      I do have an entire day today though, and I can already feel it…the floodgates of His wonder opening and I hear Him loud and clear.

      Even when I am weak and feeble, He is faithful and never stops pursuing us. :) His mercies are new every morning.

      • diane

        Nikki,
        And isn’t it beyond beautiful that He will keep trying… and that you actually feel sad when you miss? So much better than that old way of berating ourselves for being “undisciplined”. While it may be true, it’s only a part of the whole story.

    • diane

      Lisanna,
      You are well on your way to the discipline of delight!

  3. Jodi Stilp

    Beautiful. Why is it so often the message God gives us is not the one we think we wanted/needed but something totally different and oh-so-fulfilling?

  4. Angie Atkin

    Still waiting

    • diane

      Angie,
      Keep seeking, keep knocking, keep chasing after Him and soaking in His Word. He’s there.

  5. Elizabeth

    Still waiting

    • diane

      Your name, “Elizabeth”, holds so much promise of a story of a life fully His. Praying as you wait and lean in to listen.

  6. Hannah

    Still waiting.

    • diane

      Praying, dear Hannah, He knows.

      • Hannah

        Diane,
        The most beautiful thing happened this morning!

        Last night, I prayed that God would give me more desire to follow Him, and that if He’s willing, that He would wake me up in the morning. Then I went to bed.

        I woke up an hour earlier this morning, and as I was getting my Bible out, I felt an indescribable peace, and I knew God was there, 100% certainty. I prayed, and then I read my Bible for a while, listening. Although I didn’t hear him speak words, just being with Him was all I could ever ask for. Now I’m getting ready for school. :)

        Thank you Diane for you words, encouragement, and being one I can look up to-I’m so glad I tried to get up in the morning’s myself… when all is silent and I can really focus on God.

        -Hannah

  7. Sheridan

    Many years ago my husband came home from work excited about a new computer he wanted to purchase. My initial thought was to ask him if he had done his due diligence and researched all the choices, prices, etc. He had a big smile on his face and was truly lit up and happy. My questioning his decision would have burst his bubble. In a split second, before I could say anything God said to me “JUST LOVE HIM AS I HAVE LOVED YOU”. Needless to say I said “that’s great, what are you thinking of buying?” And his face continued to reflect happiness. That’s the only time I’ve heard God’s voice in my head but it has guided me ever since. I framed the quote as a reminder and it sits in my home office. I feel humble and blessed He spoke to me. Mother Teresa was quoted as saying when asked how she prays “I LISTEN”. Good enough for her, good enough for me. Blessings to you Diane.

    • diane

      Sheridan,
      Aren’t you so glad you listened? And now you pass it on to all of us- women (and men) wanting to hear and to obey.

  8. Sarah

    I always thought audibly hearing God was too charismatic and fruity and I strongly doubted its validity. Until one day I heard something that has made me think he might have spoken to me. And if he did, then that lends credence to the other stories I heard of Him speaking to others.
    I had been praying for God to heal me of my physical challenges for years, until they turned into a constant berating of Him. “Heal me, God.” and “Why aren’t you healing me”… on and on it went. One day I started to pray that again, and it seemed like I heard, clear but in a way I’ve never heard before, “What do you want from me?”.
    It was so different and strong. It shook me. What did I want from Him? Merely wanting to be healed in this moment is not eternal looking. It was a strong challenge and took a surprising amount of time to mull over. I still contemplate it. Asking for His peace in what I’m going through is a much better thing to ask than berating Him for healing for the thousandth time. Thanks for your story, it was nice to share in.

    • diane

      Sarah,
      I think God often gives us short phrases to hold onto and remind us over and over again. “What do you want from me?” Is so like Him. Truth with so much love and understanding of who we are. Thank you for letting us peek into your private world.

  9. Anonymous

    So encouraged. I am getting married in the coming months and currently live in a 2 bedroom with 3 other girls. I often can make excuses for not finding that quiet space, simply because it can be hard to find. I want this longing to grow deeper and more powerful so that I too no matter what the distraction may find this quietness to listen. My mind often rambles and spins with thoughts and frets of the day/week/month. Whenever I do have those quiet nights or quiet mornings with Jesus I find rest for my soul. This post draws me back into that desire to return to that seat I currently have on the couch with my tea, bible and devotional.

    Also, I have told my fiancé that I dream of having a place in our home (even if it’s tiny) where I can have my own chair, blanket, candle… a place for me to meet Him everyday. A place that invites me in.

    Something that was spoken at a women’s Bible study once has stuck with me. This idea of using this longing I have to nest (make a home, etc) for nesting a place in my own heart for God. For me, this means creating this space in my home and in my day that makes room for Him.

    • diane

      Dear A,
      I love the picture of creating a space in your new home where you can cuddle up and rest and listen and relish His words. I’m doing the same in my new-old house. Something about making a space beautiful that makes me want to come. It’s strange, but being deaf, I have to remove my cochlear implant to sleep- so I awake to the most comfortable silence… and usually do not “plug in” (My cochlear) until I’m finished listening…

    • The thing I have realized after 9 years of marriage, is I used think, once I get married I’ll have quality, quiet time with my husband. Then I thought, I’ll have better quiet time when I don’t have to work anymore (baby coming) ha. 5 kids later – if I don’t stop making excuses for myself…. Maybe I’ll be better when I get to heaven. Ha!

      • diane

        Dear Danielle,
        I hear you! Though I am at a stage of my life when I have time (if I choose) to listen for long periods of time, I feel like God is trying to teach me to listen all day long, even while I’m busy doing… so much more to learn…

  10. Christine Cocis

    Still waiting…. :/

  11. Amber

    Still patiently waiting.

  12. Stephanie

    Diane,
    There are very few times I have truly heard the Lord speak. The most prominent one I can remember that shook me to my bones was a few months ago. I was talking with the man I’m dating over text message and he was opening up about his brokeness. It was late; I was trying desperately to stay awake, but my body resisted and I was falling asleep. Seconds after I closed my eyes, I heard a voice; as if it was a person right next to my ear. It was clear and brief. “Stephanie.” That’s it; nothing more than that; my name. I suddenly awoke and felt an urge to delve into the conversation I was having; be present; listen and point him to the Lord so that He can fill this brokeness. It was an incredible conversation that centered on the healing of God. I will forever remember that moment.

    Learning to listen,
    Steph

    • diane

      Stephanie,
      I love it! Just your name, but can you believe He knows your name? And, I’m sure, all the love He has for you woke you fully and spilled onto your conversation.

  13. Michayla

    I couldn’t sleep last night.
    ..and I’m a really good sleeper.
    Originally from Portland, I moved to Australia in search of an adventure, not knowing that I would stay for two years.
    Whatever it was that kept me awake, urged me to step outside.
    I got up, walked out into the summer heat on the front deck, and wondered “What the heck am I doing?”
    I started to call my cat “Camrin” because my boyfriend who was still in bed thought I was crazy, I had no logical reason to be standing outside at 12:45 in the night.
    And then I looked at the stars.
    The whole earth was twinkling in their light. All was quiet.
    A still, small voice came from somewhere close: “It’s time to move on.”
    My own voice retaliated: “Then I’m going to need a sign.”
    A small star streaked across the sky the instant my rebellious heart made it’s remark.
    Goosebumps, followed by disbelief, followed by profound awe….followed by belief.
    I went back to bed. Still couldn’t sleep. Woke my boyfriend to tell him what had happened and we cried together. Knowing that God had spoken and that what He said was true.
    Waking up this morning, I called my sister to try and sort out my feelings…ended up crying and telling her the story.
    She told me my dad (whom I had been ignoring for about a year now) had called her and told her that he and his church were praying for me last night. He told her that God was building a bridge for me to come back to the U.S.
    And here I am at work, finding my favorite blog speaking about how “God Speaks.”
    I’m scared. And touched that after all my sin and wanting my own way, thinking that I knew best, that God still reached out to me.
    No idea where I will live or work or anything, I’m done ignoring God.
    If He’s taken the time to speak to me, I need to take the time to obey.
    Now I’m wondering how this day and week will go.
    Thank you for your blog Diane, as always God speaks to me through your words as well.
    xx

    • diane

      Dear one,
      You have a God who loves you and is pursuing you with unapologetic passion. Come home. Surround yourself with people who love you and love Jesus and fully understand that He is a Redeemer who wants nothing more than all of you.Do not let shame wrap its tentacles around you and pull you down. You made mistakes- probably lots of them. Isn’t
      that the whole point? He died because we couldn’t live… and He lives to set you free. It won’t be easy, but neither will it be as hard as you might think.Our church is full of women (and men) who are just like you- myself included. And may I caution you? You’ll still make some pretty bad mistakes… and Jesus will pick you up, wipe the mud off, and set your feet on solid rock. (read Psalm 40 for David’s story… and mine!)
      Hoping and praying for you, Diane

  14. Kerri

    I have heard the Savior speak but not as often as I long to…
    Set my heart on fire for you.. Precious Jesus

  15. Lisa Thayer

    I love this post! Hearing from Him is so fulfilling. It was said before but it often is not the answer we would expect. But it is always loving, kind and compassionate, is far deeper than our original question and rings TRUE!

  16. ANONYMOUS

    The most recent thing I remember God saying is, “Stop trying so hard.”

    I am finishing graduate school, trying to start a career that I hope will be for God’s glory, but I feel like I don’t fit in. I feel that I’m not good enough. I feel that I won’t be able to do the work.

    In the moment I heard those words I was crying out to God in frustration over many things, but the breaking point was a ridiculous mundane task: trying to get the door to the dryer open at the apartment I was staying at. The words were to me, about my life and my career, but as I stopped and listened, I suddenly noticed the button I needed to press to open the dryer. What he shuts no one can open. And what he opens no one can shut.

    • diane

      Love this! You sound like me, always too hard on myself. He keeps teaching me over and over that it’s not about me… I’m just his girl, and this is his story.

  17. Cara

    I have heard Him, but oh how I desire to hear Him more!

  18. Cassidy

    Glimpses…but waiting for fullness…

  19. Olivia

    About 3 and a half years ago I was in the midst of a summer following a bad break up. I was an emotional mess all the time, and the break up was really just the tip of the iceberg of what I was dealing with. I was coming to terms with issues I’d dealt with for years largely due to a pretty broken relationship with my dad, and I hadn’t told anyone else about these issues before. One day at work, as I was headed toward the broom closet (I remember it very clearly), I heard this gentle voice say, “Let me in on this, Olivia.” I couldn’t believe that the God of the universe cared so much for me that he would speak so directly and lovingly and clearly…..and I decided to trust him and tell a few trusted friends what I’d been dealing with for years, and through the process God set me free from the shame I’d felt and the lies I’d bought into, and I have never felt so loved in all my life.

  20. Liv

    Praise God!

    My God is coming back for His daughters!

    Amen.

    Thank you for your faithfulness towards Him — He is your delight, you are His delight, and He is filling you with good oil!

    Amen.

  21. Sara

    My life has been one crisis after another in my {short} twenty something years. For as long as I can remember I could feel and hear him {The Lord} walking next to me, sitting on the bed by my side, in all the doctor appointments and endless not answers or answers my parents {and sometimes myself} didn’t want to hear. But I’ve always heard the Lord, sometimes in a call, echoing across great distances, and others a whisper in my ear. When I have been wayward I hear him shouting at me, and see him running after me, calling me back into his arms. And then, like you {and anyone who listens, or is trying} some days I hear almost nothing at all. In my life right now I feel him next to me, calling softly into my open ears, whispering in my dreams, and dancing with me among my thoughts. He is so good, and more and more I want to listen, really listen, not because its the “right” thing to do, but because I can’t imagine not listening, not dancing and not laying next to his feet every morning.

    ~~Thank you Diane, you’ve been such an encouragement and a balm throughout the span of this blog.~~

    ~Sara

  22. Amanda

    Thank you so much for sharing, that was so beautifully written with such truths, so thankful that our Lord WANTS to speak to us! But until now, I never realized that I’m still waiting…
    I appreciate your prayers :)

  23. Your post encouraged my heart as I want so desperately to have a consistent intimacy with The Lord in the morning. So many things on my agenda come flooding into my mind in the mornings it is almost crippling to accomplish anything. However God does speak to me at various times and I know His Voice. Sometimes in major crisis and other times when He wants me to serve someone in need. He reminded me one night when I was alone my name means Victorious heart! Woman of valor! Before the foundation of the world he knew my name. He knew what I would need for the battle of this life. With His help I too will create a special place to delight in Him. Today will be day #1.

    • diane

      Nicki,
      Reading this gives my heart a thrill! He will speak to you differently than He does to me because you are different. I wake up ready to listen… so many of my closest friends wake up ready to work. A list is forming in their heads and to take time to be still is nearly impossible. And God wired them this way on purpose! Let Him speak to you in the midst of your doing- let Him write your list… and then settle in with him once you’ve accomplished what you need to do. Make your place and time when and where you hear best. Then relish every whisper.

  24. Brigitte

    Diane right now i feel like the young woman you described you used to be. Always trying to fix things and come to God because you have to. I want more of who God is deeply but i find myself still frantically trying to control and fix the things i find wrong with myself. Thank you so much for the encouragement and hope you bring through writing this blog. I am grateful.

    • diane

      Brigitte,
      I am studying up on a short story Jesus told in Mark 4:26-29. He compares us to the farmer who plants those seeds and then just waits… that is what you are doing right now. By getting up (discipline, work) and spending time in the Word with Him you are planting all sorts of seeds. Now wait and let Him sprout those seeds “without the farmer’s help” (v27) It will happen. It’s His way with us. And sometimes all our frantic worry just messes up the rich harvest.

  25. It was so beautiful to read how you spend your quiet time with the Lord. It was a glimpse into your beautiful relationship with Him.

    I too have the tendency to want to do everything “right.” Read the right thing say the right words wake up at the right time. But it’s a journey, it’s a relationship. And there is no right or wrong way to spend time with Him.

    I’m hearing Him. Sporadically. Some days clear some days silent. But I am feeling encouraged nonetheless.

    An encouraging word I would say is press in, dig deep, and don’t filter yourself. You can cry, shout, or whisper your prayers to the Lord. You can pray hard things. I’ve had to say Lord defend your church. Defend marriage. Defend your creation. And He hears me. He shows up. And He always defends Himself.

    Press in, dig deep, and keep listening, sisters!

    • diane

      Andrea,
      I love this! Especially the part about not filtering yourself. He loves YOU- not some version of Christian woman perfection you ought to be. Thank you for your words of wisdom and encouragement. Hope you’re finally starting to unthaw there in NYC!

  26. Anna

    I was going to write “still waiting” and then I realized He has been speaking… Last Fall, when John Mark preached about trusting God with our life, I heard God speak, “Do you trust me Anna?” And tears came streaming down my face as I realized I didn’t truly deep down in my heart trust God with planning my future. Things in my life kept going wrong, so I hadn’t fully given my life plan over to Him. I’m still working on it too but for 2014 I have heard God say, “Come find me.” The last few years I have been living up “rules” and not truly finding Jesus for myself but I was living by the ways others said the kind of Christian I should be. Rather than the woman God is calling me to be.

    I think when we get stuck in the pits and in the mess of our lives, we can often forget these short sweet whispers that can happen at anytime. Recently, I have been picturing Jesus with his arms wrapped around me holding me close. Its these small things that keep me from crumbling and walking in faith. Thank you Diane for writing on this. I admire you as a woman of God, and I enjoying hearing how you have struggled and grown. While I still am struggling to wake up, I am rejoicing in the mornings that I do and its something I am praying and striving for.

    • diane

      Anna, I think you have learned a key piece of wisdom: “The last few years I have been living up “rules” and not truly finding Jesus for myself but I was living by the ways others said the kind of Christian I should be. Rather than the woman God is calling me to be.” Jesus is calling you close into intimacy- not trying to get you to live up to a certain standard. He loves the way He wired you up. You are a unique reflection of Himself. And He uses those “pits and messes” to bring us into Him, finding grace and mercy and redemption. If we could just all get this straight: intimacy first, out of that comes the fruit that fixes all those broken places one at a time.

  27. Cäthy

    Still waiting…
    thank you for caring about your friends so much and sharing your heart again.

  28. Whitney

    First, thank you so much for this blog. I look foreword to Mondays so much for the encouragement it brings.

    I have heard God speak and it is wonderful and restful and amazing. The best place to be. I’m at college not here in Portland and one of the many challenges is finding a place to me silent and alone! It feels like every time I try a roommate comes home or someone needs help on homework, etc. I need to find a hidden cave where no one can find me ;) any thoughts?

    • diane

      Whitney,
      I have made those “hidden caves” in some crazy places. Being the mother of a family of six has necessitated some creativity on my part. I’ve been known to get up ridiculously early, even commandeering the bathroom in order to have a place to close the door and be alone! I find that I hear especially well in when I’m surrounded by God’s beauty- might you grab a cup of coffee, put on jacket and gloves, and find a place outside? You’ve already heard so you know what to listen for…

  29. Autumn

    Still waiting…

  30. Katie

    I remember the first time I heard him. It was just last summer, and a few friends and I set aside the evening simply to pray and seek his presence. After an hour or so suddenly, I could tell something was different. My heart was itchy, my spirit excited, and my body shaky. He was present, and it was beyond evident. I had an immense feeling of complete joy and fear I had never known until then. A fear of the Lord. He said, ” I am in control, Katie. Know I have been with you and am with you now. Trust me.” And it left me shaky and teary eyed. I’m 22 and have spent my life knowing him, but I experienced an aspect of him and finally saw where my identity lies. I forget it daily, but am gently reminded by the one who loves me. Who never gives up on me. Who is always spurring me on. That is where I find my love and joy. Where I hid when I’m scared and where I am comforted when I am hurt. He loves me and I now know that and am challenged to walk that out every day.

    • diane

      Katie, This delights me! I especially love the “my heart was itchy” phrase! That is exactly it. And itchy, uncomfortable heart that goes after God will find Him faithful.

  31. Anonymous

    I think I am afraid to hope for his voice. Because if it never comes, does that mean I am as unloved as I feel? I don’t feel worthy of his time. I don’t think he cares. But to be honest I don’t give him the time or attention to speak to me either…
    I want Jesus to be real. I want- so desperately- to know he loves me. But it seems the more I know I am dying inside, the less I let anyone in.
    How can this invisible man fill me enough to make life worth living again?

    • diane

      Dear A,
      Yes! That “invisible man” makes Himself visible if we will only pay attention. It is, I believe, a learned skill. At the same time, I know that fear and unworthiness and shame and self-recrimination and pride… all block Him out. I am praying for you, that He would open your eyes and ears to His beauty and that you would fall in love with the One who loves you above all.

  32. Rose

    Thank you, for this post. I’ve read it twice already. I just had to reread it. I love the part where you say “…He quiets me enough to hear.” That’s said a lot to me. I’m not sure who would agree, but for me… being quiet enough (quiet in my speech, thoughts and movement) is sometimes hard… really hard. My mind just keeps racing and going…and thinking… worrying. Now, I must allow Him to quiet me (trust Him with me and let go of control) and listen. Processing… hank you and God bless.

    • diane

      I so agree! Being quiet takes heroic effort at times. Worry is just so loud. I love what you said, “I must allow Him to quiet me…”

  33. Stacey

    God has spoken to me through dreams or verbally while dreaming or via journaling when I am in quiet study with him, but this time it was God getting a hold of me with a warning. God distinctly spoke to me audibly the morning after an emotionally devastating night. I heard God’s voice audibly in my inner ear. His tone was empathetic, stern, and “the ultimate authority.” I knew from his tone it was of the utmost importance. His voice reverberated my inner ear it was so emphasized. He said – “Stacey, move”

    For months on end, I struggled to understand exactly what he meant by move. For my situation – move could mean lots of things. Severe depression, fear, and confusion came over me. Things at home were not good- and getting worse. One morning I woke up feeling worthless. Then God spoke to me again, but it was fainter. He said the same thing. “Stacey, move.”

    Knowing God sees me and cares enough to reach out to me while I’m hurting means so much. I’m leaving my future to God at this point, trusting him for healing, strength, guidance, and all forward movement!

    • diane

      Stacey,
      Coming back to your comment and hearing the pain there, I find myself praying for you again. Praying for clarity and wisdom and deep peace.

  34. iris

    Sort of heard…then it went away again. Waiting for return please.

    • diane

      Iris,
      Praying… and learning a lot about waiting to hear… watch for another post about this soon.

  35. Karen

    Over 21 years ago, I ‘heard’ God for the first time. I was newly married and my husband and I were fairly new believers. We had just had an ugly argument and I was on my way to church for an event. While driving, crying, and ranting to God about “this man who I can’t believe I married,” “this man who is nothing like me,” “this man who doesn’t understand me at all,” God spoke so loudly it was as if he was sitting in the passenger seat of my car. “Do you trust me?” Huh? Again, I heard, “Do you trust me?” I knew it was the Lord because the question was so tender and spoke directly to my broken spirit at that moment. “Yes, I trust you, Lord.” He answered, “Then put your eyes on ME; trust ME, let ME change your husband.”‘

    While I would love to say that since that moment, I have been an amazing, Godly wife, it would not be the truth. But I do know that when I truly seek the Lord, when I am able to quiet my restless, type A, overachiever spirit, I am fulfilled beyond belief. I have a peace that does not come from what this world offers.

    Thank you for today’s reminder – I am encouraged to be more diligent in making time to hear from my creator.

    • diane

      Karen, The word for LISTEN in the Old Testament actually means “to listen with the intent to obey”- which means that when you heard so clearly all those years ago it was because you were honestly listening with that intent to do what He says… don’t you sense that His speaking to us just gets clearer and louder every time we do that? Thank you for your real-life story, it helps tremendously to get a glimpse of how He speaks to others.

  36. Gini

    I have prayed out loud in between hard crying. I am jobless with broken finances, scared, worried and have tried for the past year to find employment. Strangely, there has been one closed door after another. This has about broken me to the point of giving up, selling my belongings and going homeless. But I am a professional career woman with many years of experience…how can this be? I have Prayed begging Him for guidance…silence. I have Prayed begging for His Grace and Mercy ….silence. How can I hear Him with all my fear of being a failure. Why would He want to speak to me?

    • diane

      Gini He wants to speak to you because He holds a love for you so strong and so passionate that He will do anything (even allow His own son to die in your place) to draw you near. But this I have learned… He doesn’t usually say what we demand. He has things to say that have nothing (and everything) to do with your panicked cries for a job. So here’s my counsel: Come to Him empty handed, with your Bible open, and talk to Him. Then allow silence to still your worried soul. Is He saying something you’ve ignored? I find I hear best in the Psalms… David’s emotional cries echoes my own. Take out a pen. Write down anything that comes to your mind. A list, a phrase. I often write out Scripture that just zings deep. Then do whatever He says. Praise, thank, worship, adore. You’ll get this, dear one. He wants to help because He knows you need His presence.

      • Gini

        Thank you Diane. You words were hard to read with burning tears. But, they did hit home, right in the heart. Thank you, for replying to my wailing, thank you for your kind and directing words. Oh, how I need his presence, his beautiful presence, love and guidance. I will open my heart with silence and listen. Thank you dear friend, thank you. Gini

  37. Katie

    I heard Him almost two months ago :)
    God is so good and I am so thankful that He has revealed Himself to me.

    Prayers to all who are still waiting!

  38. KaRonna

    I get a giddy little girl kind of excitement when I hear Him. Sometimes, it’s a lot harder than others to decipher between His words and my flesh, but He always comes through when I am still.

    It’s such a blessing, an overwhelming grace and mercy to hear from the Father. It hadn’t always been this way though. I didn’t use to be able to hear.

    Now, just as you said, when I come to Him in need and just sit and wait, He is always there, speaking the perfect words to my soul.

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