I used to think that only super special and holy people got to hear from The Almighty.
You know, the ones that live exemplary lives, with full knowledge of Scripture and holes worn in the knees of their jeans from the many hours in their prayer closets. I also thought that only preachers and pastors that speak eloquent messages that shoot straight to our hearts could hear from God.
Yes—those were the extraordinary ones that got to hear the divine whispers from our Lord, but definitely not me. I’m just a simple girl who loves Jesus; you won’t find me listed in the “special” or “holy” category. The holes in my jeans aren’t worn in by hours of prayer. They’re there because I bought them already distressed to look cool, but I usually look more like a busted can of biscuits when my fluffy curves press through, longing for freedom.
Nope, I am not special. I try to live a holy life, but usually fail more than I succeed. I would like to think that my prayer life is long and pleasing to God, but more often than not, I get distracted and barely make it longer than a few minutes. It’s more like quick sentences shot up in desperate moments throughout the day—just enough that He doesn’t forget the sound of my voice but not enough to call myself a prayer warrior and definitely not special enough to hear His voice speak back to me.
Or so I thought.
Somewhere in this journey of spiritual maturity, I started to hear those still, small whispers. I can’t even begin to pinpoint when it started to happen or why. It just did, and, sister, I believe—no, I know—He is longing to speak to you too. My heart aches and prays that you will know what it’s like to hear from your Creator. The One who calls you His beloved, cherished daughter. I can’t wait to share some stories with you in hopes that it will prime the pump and get you to lean in and listen for it.
But first, here are a few things I’ve learned along the way about recognizing those sweet whispers from God:
1. It’s not an audible voice to listen for, but the best way I can describe it is that it’s more like a special sentence that drops in my soul. How can I tell it’s not my own thought? It’s way more holy and wise than I could ever come up with myself.
2. Those whispers draw me closer to God—never condemns or pushes me away. It will caution or convict, all in an effort to show me the power of His love and presence.
I used to think only special holy people or pastors heard from The Almighty. Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way about recognizing those sweet whispers from God.
3. It brings out the fruit of the spirit in my life…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. He will interrupt my most un-holy moments with a most loving whisper that usually start with “Child, don’t…” or “Daughter, you were made for more than…”
4. He will speak to us through and with His Word and His voice will never contradict what the Bible says. After all, it is alive and active, inspired by Him many years ago, yet still true and relevant for us today.
5. He loves to speak to us through nature, worship songs, and sometimes the most random things, including another person or even something you see or read on social media!
I will never forget the time He dropped in with one of the most powerful and simple whispers of love. It wasn’t necessarily meant for me but for my son, and ultimately, it taught me the depth of His love for me and for you too!
I Was Angry With My Son and Questioned My Parenting
It was a typical day in the salon for me. I had a client in my chair who was there for her regular thairapy time of a color touch up and trim. I was headed back to mix up her color when my phone rang. Seeing that it was the elementary school calling, I picked up and heard the principal’s voice greet me. She, too, is a client of mine so I just started chit-chatting like normal. I quickly realized she wasn’t calling to be friendly but to do her job and let me know there had been a bullying situation at school with my son and another boy.
I gathered enough details to know that he had said some mean and hurtful things and we agreed that we needed to have a meeting at school together as quickly as possible. I couldn’t just walk away from my current appointment, so I set a time for later. As I applied the hair color to her roots, my mind was reeling with so many thoughts and emotions. I couldn’t believe he had said those things to another little boy! We had taught him better than that…we expected better behavior than that! I felt so many emotions, from anger to disappointment…then came the feeling of shame and failure. “I must be a bad mom because my son did this…what will my other clients who work at that school think of me when they hear about it?”
I started trying to gather my thoughts on how to approach the situation. Thankfully, I had a client to finish or I would’ve hopped into my vehicle and peeled out of the driveway so I could burst into the office and let my child have it. I’ve always told my kids that if they caused trouble and I got called to the principal’s office that I would always hear them out first, but if I needed to I would ask the principal to leave the room and we’d settle it with a good ol’ fashioned whoopin’ right then and there.
This Is What God Told Me to Do
By the grace of God I had a little over an hour to calm down and think it through. I even called my husband and he agreed to meet me there as well. Somewhere in the middle of all that chaos, I did have a moment of clarity to pray about it. After all, God is a Father too and He gives the best parenting advice. I sent up a somewhat flippant prayer, “OK Lord, what do You think I should do? What do I say to my son after he disappointed me so much?” Just thinking about it again sent my mind boiling in anger but all of a sudden came the still, small voice of not only my Heavenly Father, but my son’s as well.
“Tell him that you love him.”
I quickly shot back a thought, “No way, he knows I love him, but right now he needs to know how angry and disappointed I am in him!”
“Tell him that you love him.”
I was frustrated because I wanted a plan for discipline and straightening him out. But yet again, that same calm whisper dropped in:
“Tell him that you love him.”
This time my heart softened as He gently reminded me of all of the times that I had failed, messed up, screwed-up royally and yet when I turned to Him for help, He didn’t greet me with anger or berate me and send me away to the corner in shame. No, He lovingly welcomed me into His big, daddy arms and showered me with love and grace to the point that I felt safe enough to listen to His heart beat with lessons of discipline or correction—the thing He wanted me to say to my son is the same thing He whispers to me when I least deserve it: “Child, I love you. Nothing you could ever say or do will change the way I feel about you.”
As that realization dawned on me, tears flowed from my cheeks and the anger disappeared from my heart. I finished up my appointment and headed to the school. I met up with my husband in the parking lot and shared my recent convo with the Lord. He agreed to listen to God’s advice. We got settled into the principal’s office with our son and I lead out with this approach:
“Before we get into all the details of what happened, we want to let you know that we love you and nothing you could ever say or do will make us stop loving you. We will hear you out and listen to what the principal has to say and there may be consequences for what you’ve done, but we will always love you.” By leading with love, it set the tone for a very constructive conversation as he shared the full story and realized he needed to apologize for his part. There were appropriate consequences from both the administration and from us, but mostly there was a major life lesson for all in that room and now, dear friend, I hope it speaks to you as well.
God Loves You—No Matter What
No matter what you’ve done or how many mistakes you’ve made, lean in and listen to your Heavenly Father whispering to you. “Daughter, I love you. Be sure that nothing can ever separate you from My love. Neither death nor life. Neither angels or demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate you from My love.” Romans 8:39
It’s the kind of love that makes stones drop and whispers, “Now go and sin no more.” John 8:1-11
It’s the kind of love that seeks: “I must leave the 99 to save the one.” Matthew 18:12
It’s the kind of love that speaks in agony, “It is finished.” John 19:28-30
Dear friend, that is the kind of love He has for you and me. We can’t earn it and we most definitely do not deserve it, but if you listen for it, He is more than willing to whisper it into your heart. It’s the kind of love that if you will let it, will free you to live a life of grit and grace.
“I pray that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19
For more inspiration on your journey of faith, start here:
A Modern Day Esther: Finding My Voice Through a Hero in the Bible
Building Faith: Growing in Your Relationship with God
How to Pray: for Beginners
Grace Is Not Weakness; It Requires Strength
God Wink Moments With My Kids
Overcoming Shame in the Grit and Grace Life
Don’t miss these popular articles:
7 Helpful Tips to Relieve Your Middle Schooler’s Anxiety
Bible Verses From the Grit and Grace Team on Love
2 Ways to Break Free From Self-Sabotage
7 Ways to Get the Most Out of Now
How I Find Time for Me (Even As a Mom)
You’ll love this podcast episode from This Grit and Grace Life: Grit and Grace, but What About God? – 105!