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Learning to Listen to Those You Love, When You Need it Most

Learning to Listen to Those You Love, When You Need it Most

I ran out my front door late for an appointment, having grabbed everything I thought I would need. Behind me, before the door slammed, I heard my husband’s voice … “I know you’re late but don’t speed!” He knows me pretty well and it was an appropriate statement to make as I jumped into my car, putting it into drive and hitting the accelerator. The other thing he knows is that I don’t often heed warnings.

This was one of those days … 15 minutes into my drive I looked at the oncoming traffic and saw the quick turn on of flashing lights. I dropped my eyes to the speedometer; I was the one speeding and not just a little bit. In my rearview mirror I saw the state trooper make a U-turn. My heart sank as I pulled to the curb.

Before the officer arrived at my driver’s side window, I texted my husband, ”Just got pulled over…” A spineless way to confess, but what could I say? I had just done exactly what the man who knows me best warned me against. I certainly wanted to break the news before I landed back on our doorstep. He learned years ago that when I enter the house with a “do you love me” there is always some bad news that follows … I just thought maybe I’d change it up.

The ticket was given. My punishment ended in a huge fine and a 4-hour driving class where I was one of the only adults in a room filled with college students—the only way to gain grace by way of no points on my record.

I kicked myself for weeks. The fact that the class was college heavy reminded me that I’m a little bit old for this kind of nonsense. Not to mention the fact that I didn’t heed the person who knows my shortcomings and who every day, when needed, kindly reminds me and loves me anyway? What was I thinking?

Taking the earplugs out, the blinders off, and listening to those who have our best interest at heart is something that seems so hard to do, but it also helps us avoid the stuff we just don’t want to step into. Do you have someone who loves you telling you that the guy you’re dating is trouble? Why do we think they just don’t know what they’re talking about?

Is your two-year-old out of control, and your mom is reminding you that that child will one day be 16? Better get a handle on it now. The thought of a defiant 16-year-old should be enough to strike fear into any mother’s heart. Are you on a dead end road in your career? Is a loved one encouraging you that you can do more, you can do better? If they know you so well, maybe they are right! Don’t shrug off the simple encouragements that come from those who love you.

Maybe you’re hearing, “Have you been taking care of yourself when you are working such long hours?” Or, “Are you giving enough time to the important things: your faith, your family, and your friends?” Maybe even, “No, that dress isn’t that great. Try another one on.”

Don’t shrug off the simple encouragements that come from those who love you.

Identify those in your life who you trust—those that have only your best interest at heart—then listen. If I had I would have saved a bunch of money, regained four hours of my life, and simply not had the privilege of meeting the kind, but stern State Trooper. I would not have had to send that text to my husband and come back home, admitting once again that I didn’t listen to the one who knows me best.

I’m not going to do that again any time soon.


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Darlene, President of The Grit and Grace Project, is crazy enough to jump in the deep end then realize she may not have a clue where she’s landed. She has spent her adult life juggling careers in the music business, been an author, a video producer, and also cared for her family ... some days drowning, other days believing she’s capable of synchronized swimming.

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