Over the past six months, I’ve been thinking a lot about the ways God speaks to us. My own struggle to discern his voice and conversations with other women caused me to ask the questions, “How do you know God is speaking to you? Is there a way to know for certain?”
As I continue to dig into scripture on this topic and pray, God reveals each day that yes, He speaks to us and yes, we can move forward in the peace of knowing a Word was from Him. If you stick around with me, we’ll explore this topic more as the year progresses but for now, I want to share a story with you.
The last quarter of 2022 was one of the hardest seasons I’ve walked through in years.
While the details are many – including chronic pain, my Dad suffering a stroke, and ongoing parenting issues with our teenage son – the options for relief were, and are, few. We take the action and the steps we can. But at the forefront of each and every one of them was prayer.
Some of my prayers, like the ones for my Dad, were answered swiftly and all I could do was thank God for a miracle I knew was from Him. But often, prayers often felt like those claw machines my kids always want to waste money on. The claw would make its way haphazardly around the stuffed animals and at the precise moment you thought it was going to grab the plush prize, it would shoot back up to the top with an unsaid, but clear, “Nope!”
A few weeks ago, I had a heart-to-heart with God while walking our dog in the cold. I was beyond weary. My pain level was at its worst, and the movement provided some relief. My honest confession didn’t leave me with any answers, but the release made me feel the weight lift a little. Still, I longed for some type reassurance. Like Moses before the burning bush, my heart whispered, “Show me your glory.”
That night my husband and I were sitting in our back yard, and I witnessed an unexpected gift I’d never seen: a meteor shower. Every few moments, a streak of light would illuminate the sky, and the magic of it left me awestruck. It was unlike anything I’d experienced in a long time.
As I put my head on the pillow that night, I sensed God saying, “I know you don’t always see it, but I’m protecting you in more ways than you know.”
There are fires He puts out that we never see.
Destructive masses flying toward us that are struck down before they reach us.
And while the struggle and the weariness remain, somehow I feel held right here in the middle of it. I know I’m seen. I know His love reaches places that go beyond those streaks of fire.
Friend, if you’re in a season where you long to hear God’s voice and see his presence in your life, I want to encourage you with a few things he’s taught me on this journey of faith. The more I walk with God, the more he shows me that hearing from him is not as complicated as we often make it. More often than not, my hesitation is due to my own fear. It’s due to my desire for a detailed GPS route with a clear destination on the map. But this isn’t how God speaks. He wants us to rely on him daily, and be in continual connection with him.
One of the biggest keys to hearing God and knowing it’s his voice is simple: It’s paying attention.
Colossians 4:2 tells us being watchful and thankful is an integral part of our prayer conversation. If I’m not watching for God’s answer, I can’t expect to discern it. And if I rush past it, I will continue to ask the same question: Was it really God?
Because God is infinite, the ways he can speak to us are limitless. A few weeks ago, he spoke to me through a meteor shower. The way he speaks to you may be different because you are his one-of-a-kind creation. But make no mistake. He does and will speak.
If we want to see God in the midst of our struggles, we have to change the way we look for him. My book, Shift: Changing Our Focus to See the Presence of God, is filled with practical tools and insights to help you do so.
Here’s what one reader said after reading it:
“Abby McDonald’s heart for her readers shows through in every word. Genuine and gentle, she leads us to a place where we can shift our lenses to see God’s presence in all the moments: good, bad, and—especially—in between. Because as much as we like to focus on the highs and lows, God longs to meet us in the middle. Shift’s practical approach will help you see Him there.” -Kelly S.
You can pick up a copy of Shift by clicking the image below.
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I don’t remember how or when I found your blog but I enjoy reading your thoughts and how you share your journey walking out your faith. A few months ago you shared your link to Marnie’s website and I found other testimonies of how other women hear from God. I am always fascinated to hear how others hear from Him.
For myself I’ve heard His voice when I first wake up 3 times now. He often speaks to me through nature. Yesterday I heard a new song (to me) Jason Gray’s When I Say Yes and a little while later read an IG post from a Christian author talking about saying yes to the Lord and then my nighttime devotional read ended with a sentence praying Yes Lord I want to love others like you do! Those moments certainly get my attention!
Thank you for encouraging me on my walk!
Abby McDonald says
Hi Sherri, thank you for sharing! I love it when God provides those confirmations. So powerful!