…to hear Him speaking directly to you? Am I the only one? 🙂
When New Year’s Resolution-time presented itself at the end of 2015, my husband, Ryan, and I made a decision. We were determined to do things a little differently for 2016, so we created New Year’s “declarations” instead of a list of goals. These statements encompassed how we wanted to live during the coming year—similar to “Mission Statements,” if you will. A year of purposeful intention. Ryan and I both gave it some thought, then grabbed a piece of chalk and thoughtfully jotted our words onto a chalkboard at the top of our garage stairs. We can’t avoid them; their location serves as a constant reminder every time we enter or exit the house:
Ryan’s: “Positively engage.”
Mine: “Drive your fear. Don’t let it drive you.”
There was a great deal of depth behind these staccato “statements.” Though, if I’m being honest, I also had an internal statement that I didn’t write on our chalkboard that day:
“I want to hear God.”
Who knows why I didn’t write it. I meant this statement just as much, if not more than “Drive your fear….” I wanted to hear God. Truly hear Him. I knew that this was a skill that had to be developed and refined. It was almost a gift granted to those who intently sought God’s Will/Word/voice.
“And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” Isaiah 30:21 (ESV)
I’m not sure I’ll ever hear an audible voice; however, I do believe that God places detailed responses in our minds—words from His very mouth. But in the meantime, here I sit, working on connecting with our Father, wanting to hear his dialogue in my head—not just my own.
But we can be impatient sometimes, right? I know I can be. Like a child, I wanted this skill, and I wanted it now. I was Veruca Salt in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. And yet, I didn’t have to be…
More than One Way
God provides direction in our lives in a multitude of ways; we don’t necessarily need to hear ongoing dialogue in our heads. Now don’t get me wrong, I will continue to pursue that dialogue with Him; but it would be silly to close the door on all other modes of communication.
“I sought to hear the voice of God and climbed the topmost steeple, but God declared, ‘Go down again—I dwell among the people.’”
John Henry Newman
Have you ever sat in church and felt as if the pastor was speaking directly to you? Or you were diving through a book and its words leapt off the page, somehow honing-in on exactly what you had been feeling or experiencing at that time in your life?
God uses many different methods to guide us … to teach us how to navigate through this confusing world.
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.” Psalm 32:8 (ESV)
Several years ago, God inspired me to seek His voice through the stories of others. I then compiled each of these inspiring testimonies into the book, Common Stones. I was able to share true stories of survival from people fighting for better tomorrows. Stories that light a path. Stories where sage advice is just one page away.
Have you ever recognized a moment where a specific person walked into your life and you knew things would never be the same? You never saw it coming, but the clouds shifted, allowing a stream of light to alter the perspective of everything you encountered from that moment on? With one-hundred-percent honesty, that’s what Common Stones did for me. After interviewing each of these individuals, absorbing their life-altering experiences, I will never be the same person or see things in the same light that I had before. More importantly, to keep that light, perspective, and clarity to myself would have been entirely selfish. God had orchestrated these encounters and I knew I needed to share them with anyone that was willing to listen.
Maybe you’re feeling the need for something, something to pull you up from your kicked-down position. Or perhaps you want to see the world through someone else’s eyes. You want to paint your life in another color, seeing its edges and curves in an entirely different way. Maybe you too want to hear God—just perhaps this time, through the voice of another, after living a life that isn’t your own. Give Common Stones a try. Its pages just may surprise you. Shake you. Touch you. Empower you.
So if you’re feeling a bit like Veruca Salt these days, don’t feel too bad—you’re obviously not alone. 😉 In fact, if there’s one thing the-making-of Common Stones taught me … it’s that we truly never are.