How to Hear God’s Voice (& maybe your own)

Site of ‘Dwell’ Retreat–Grunewald Guild, Leavenworth WA–Textiles Room

The weekend of October 16-18, 2016, was a Heaven-come-to-earth occasion at ‘Dwell’, an intimate Writer’s Retreat co-led with my friend Kimberlee Ireton. We ‘Glory Writers’ camped in Psalm 37 for the weekend, particularly verses 3-7, and meditated on all those verbs–‘Trust’ ‘Delight’ ‘Commit’ ‘Rest’ and the tough-to-do ‘Fret not.’

My paraphrase of the definition of “Dwell” is, “to stay where you are so you can hear what you need.”

Here’s what I heard when I returned home, heart full and ready to spend time with God.

Pushing the patio chair into place undercover, I scan the deck for my little table. I want to sit a while and take advantage of the peace and quiet to listen. Not read my Bible, read a book, look at my phone, just sit with my journal and pay attention to what I hear, what I see, what my heart wants to tell me.

 But I need my footstool first.  My legs are too short to touch the decking and I can’t relax ‘til my feet are in place. Ah, there it is hidden under the plastic tablecloth out of the rain.

Now I’m settled. My eyes train on the birds at our feeders. I grin at their acrobatic antics, bouncing marionette-like from feeder to tree, swooping like jets coming in for a landing. I’m quite certain the only reason God created birds was to delight us and him.

Instead of writing anything, I begin to read the lines I penned over the past year; little conversations with Jesus and I show up on the page. ‘Aha’s’ are circled or highlighted, questions I pondered and the answer that came after it are underlined. There are pencil scratchings in the margin, messages from the Spirit of God right to my soul.
Someone asked the question recently, “What is saving your life right now?”
And here’s what I have to say–the spiritual practice of listening, stopping to hear God’s voice to me, and hear my own voice.  This is what I know:

    • When you give God room to speak (see ‘Dwell’ above) He will
    • When God gives you ‘food’ to eat, He might use it to feed others
    • But it will be in your voice and your view from where you stand

Part of my conversations with Jesus lately have been about story—mine, in particular.  My random thoughts run all over and it’s hard to rein them in.

At the end of the day I sat with my bedside journal–I have lined volumes in many, many places in the house. I scanned the lines I’d written, finding over and over again the truest parts of me on the page.

 The line that caught my eye before I turned out the light was, “Trust your voice.” I felt the Holy Spirit say, “I have a story to tell of my goodness and love through your life alone. I have a way of encouraging others through your testimony and your story.  Stop trying to be like everyone else and write what you know, tell the world what you hear.”

How might you take some time or space to make room for God to speak to you this week?

Trust what He says…and trust your own voice—we need you.

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9 thoughts on “How to Hear God’s Voice (& maybe your own)

  1. How I wish I could have joined you five, what an oasis that must have been. I just returned from a trip too, and while I feel the tug of waiting tasks, I want to sit with my journal today, maybe half the day, and see what comes. So grateful to be within the sound of your inimitable voice, Jody . . .

    1. Ahhhh, re entry is always a weight when all we want is to sit and listen. You might just ‘take 5’ and see what you see.
      And friend, YOUR inimitable voice is like an orchid on my windowsill–such beauty in the ordinary.

  2. Oh, I forgot to say that I looked into joining you, but travel at that distance just wasn’t going to happen. Perhaps another year…

  3. Love this, Jody. Listening, hearing, trusting–these would save a life! Thanks for sharing.

  4. You write with such honesty, Jody — straight from the heart of who you are. You have followed the Holy Spirit’s encouragement: “Stop trying to be like everyone else and write what you know, tell the world what you hear.” Often while reading your writing, I think, “Oh, to be as insightful as Jody. She’s always sharing such interesting, thought-provoking discoveries!” But God has given each Christian blogger a unique voice, many divergent experiences, and different audiences. Besides, repetition of style and message would become boring! A celebration of our wide, creative diversity is in order!

    1. Nancy, thank you for your affirming words. It is true, we need everyone’s voice–a “celebration of our wide, creative diversity.” I am so glad you’re in my world!

    2. Nancy, your words are always so affirming. Thank you. I am grateful for God’s ‘wide, creative diversity’, especially in people like you!

  5. Good words here, Jody! I love this message; it may be what you needed to hear, but it spoke to me, too. I felt rejuvenated reading this…

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