For the last almost 2 years I have been on a spiritual journey, becoming the woman that God has called me to be. This journey started when I found out that our second blessing would be a girl. A realization that I was not expecting mostly because my husband and I were willing baby number 2 to be a boy….. I mean we had a boy, we knew what to do with a boy, we had boy things, we knew things like how not to get peed on when we changed his diaper. What we didnt know was how our lives would look with basically 2 of ME in the house hahahaha!! We didnt know drama, we didnt know the diaper rashes that girls seem to attract, we didnt know how to how to put bows in hair and nobody wants me trying to paint their toes!! Once the shock wore off of hearing those three words we didnt expect “It’s a GIRL” I found myself doing a true gut check on whether or not I was equip to teach my daughter how to be a woman. Not just in everyday things but spiritually could I really be an example to her, my precious baby girl, how to be a woman after Gods heart?
In this moment my journey started. It is has, so far, been one crazy ride. One filled with ups and downs, with tears of joy and pain, with confusion and clarity and more than all that growth. One of the things that I read very early on was a devotion out of the book Unglued by Lysa Terkeurst and I think that we as women need to hear it often.
“Imperfect changes are slow steps of progress wrapped in grace….imperfect progress. And good heavens, I need lots of that. So I dared to write this in my journal:
Progress. Just make progress. Its okay to have setbacks and the need for do-overs. Its okay to draw a line in the sand and start over again – and again. Just make sure your’re moving the line forward. Move forward. Take baby steps, but at least take steps that keep you from being stuck. Then change will come. And it will be good.”
I love this. Often times we feel like we have to be “perfect” to be “changed” and the fact is is that just because we vowed for tomorrow to be different doesnt mean that its will be so with out bumps and bruises along the way. But with out those bumps and bruises, if it were a perfectly magical change that happend….what would be learn? What would we have to offer the struggling friend next to us that needs the wisdom that we gained by being in the trenches of change and imperfect progress?
One of the things that I have struggled with the most through out this journey is hearing Gods voice. People make it sound so easy. Like there is a burning bush or a big booming voice around every turn. And, although I believe that God still can speak to us in this manor if necessary, In everyday life I have some to learn that it looks a little different. Hearing Gods voice or hearing His direction can come in moments of clarity, in moments of being able to see His hand guiding a situation. Hearing Gods voice with your eyes.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” (NLT) This verse is on that I memorize while in school, something we did often at my Christian School that I attended from the 6th grade through graduation. It has been one of those verses that had revealed new layers to me as the years have passed. When I graduated it was about God making my path straight as I went to college, chose a major and entered the “real world”. As I got older it became a verse I quoted in times of anxiety. “Do not depend on your own understanding”. And the latest layer to come out of this verse is the “Seek His will in all that you DO, and he will show you which path to take.”
So before I really dive into Hearing God voice and how that looks for me and how that relates to your eyes I share with you, You must be moving for God to direct your path. Your feet CANNOT be stayed in fear or confusion or resistance or anxiety your must pick up your feet, take that baby step and know that God is a God of redirection. Know that if you are seeking Him with your whole heart and you take a step off His path off his GPS He will let you know. Ephesians 6:15 says “ And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace”. The Shoes of Peace as described to us in the Armor of God in Ephesians 6 are what will root us, will allow us to get traction in God plan and path in our life. They will hold our feet firm, like spiritual cleats, digging to the ground giving us the stability to continue to walk in His will. Put on those shoes and walk in faith.
One of the most powerful stories for me is the one of Elisha and his servant in 2 Kings chapter 6. At the time Israel was at war with the King of Aram. Elisha was being sought by the king because basically Elisha had sent word to the King of Israel letting this know where the Army of Aram was and to not go there, when the King heard this he was very angry and sent his army after Elisha. So Elisha and his servant get up early one morning and are met with an entire army of horses and chariots surrounding the city. His servant in vs 15-17 The servant said to Elisha, “Oh, my master, what can we do?” (16) Elisha said, “Don’t be afraid. The army that fights for us is larger than the one against us.”(17) Then Elisha prayed, “Lord, open my servant’s eyes, and let him see.” The Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw that the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
The man’s physical eyes were open but his eyes were not open to the things of the Lord. In that lies our ability to hear Gods voice speaking into our lives.
How do we open our Spiritual Eyes to the things of God?
1) Immerse yourself in the things of God.
- Praise and worship music, the kind that gets you singing in the car, the kind that your cant help but raise your hands.
- Reading His Word. For me Ephesians is where I start. Ephesians is a beautiful letter Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus from prison in Rome. He pours out his heart and shares with them how he hopes that they can, through the power of Christ understand the love that God has for them. He outlines how to live this new life of salvation and what that will mean for them not only in eternity but also in life, here and now. Its a book of encouragement written my someone who loved that church with this whole heart.
- Godly counsel. Go and talk with that friend that speaks truth into your life. They are an blessing on your life beyond measure.
2) Prayer Journaling – writing my prayers out like I am writing directly to someone not only allows me to stay focused but it also allows for a stream of consciousness to happen where im not trying to force prayers to happen they are just flowing from my heart to the page. It is also a great way to track your spiritual maturity and see the transformation that God is doing in your mind. Also tracking prayer requests and answered prayers!
3) Give your anxiety, your worry your concern over to God. How? Prayer! Constant, consistent, every time your feel your mind picking that burden back up you pray. You say God here I am again, trying to take this back over but I have given this to you. It is yours now. Yours to control, to change, to guide and direct and I am patiently waiting on you for my next step. This is so important because all of our complaining or rehashing or “just in case planning” and down right fit pitching can get so loud that we drown Him out of our hearts, our minds and out of being the Lord in every situation!! So give it up, and utilize the adage “if you dont have anything nice to say, dont say anything at all” but lets make a slight change instead of nice lets say constructive! If you dont have anything constructive to say then dont say anything at all and just sit in His presence, in silence and in the fact that you are not picking up that old cross again.
I am in no way perfect and these things are simply things that I have learned along the way. I hope that in some way this helps someone out there who is struggling with feeling like they cant hear God or that he is left them alone or that He isnt speaking to them. I have felt this way and I am here to tell you that that is the enemy fooling you, trying to make you miss something all to important from God. Deuteronomy 31:6 says “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Trust that this is true that the God of the Universe created you because He loves you, sent His Son for you, and WILL NOT leave you or FORSAKE you!!