In our previous “Called and Listening” series, we talked about how to hear God’s voice and some tools to help you do that. But what about those moments when God’s voice becomes so obvious. We’re talking about those small, but life-changing moments when your eyes are opened, the paths are made clear, and you know that God is with you. Leading up to Advent, we’re treasuring those moments in our series called, “Celebrating Moments of Clarity.” Today we hear from Charlotte Phillips about the consolation of when an answer is clearly and simple from God.
By nature, I’m a planner. I like to know what’s going to happen in advance, have time to think about whatever the event or activity is, and then make a plan. I have started to make mental Christmas lists, I write down what clothes I will pack for everyone when we go on vacation, and I’ve already got summer camp thoughts tucked away in the back of my head. While being a mom of four young children has made my “type A” personality a little more lax, when it comes to bigger decisions I like to make my lists and check them twice (or let’s be honest, three or four times) to make sure I’m making the best decisions.
Over the summer Becky messaged me that she was looking to hire an assistant and asked if I may be interested or knew of anyone who may be interested in the job. Immediately in my head I said, “I’m going to start working for Becky.” And just as quickly my interior dialogue responded, “Wait, what?!”
To start, she did not offer me a job; she had only asked if I were interested. Secondly, I had no idea what the job involved. And if that wasn’t reason enough to wonder why such a thought had entered my head, just a few months before I had accepted a part time youth ministry position that had me going back to work for the first time in six years while still having kids at home to work around! But none of that mattered; any time I thought about that brief out-of-the-blue message from Becky, I could not help but think I was going to work for her.
A couple weeks later Becky and I talked on the phone and she offered me the job. While in retrospect I should have verbalized my internal “yes!” then, the planner in me had a hard time saying yes to such a big decision on the spot. How was I going to work a second job? Since I had taken the youth ministry position my husband and I decided to enroll our youngest child in a Mom’s Day Out program in the Fall; but adding a second job would have me working more hours than this part time childcare provided. How was I going to balance working two jobs while still helping with homework, bringing my kids to their respective extracurricular activities, and keeping up with the day to day things around the house?
After Becky offered me the position I went to God in prayer. “God, what am I supposed to do?” Then I laughed, He told me the answer the moment I read that first message from Becky. All along I knew this job was mine. How did I know this was God’s voice, God’s plan, and not my own? While I had these questions running though my head, I was never really worried about them, I just knew deep down in my core that I would figure it out. These questions could have easily brought swings of consolation and desolation, but I was only filled with calmness and peace any time I thought about calling Becky to tell her yes.
There are many things to consider when we are in the discernment process, but it is so important to remember to quiet our minds and our hearts to hear God’s voice. This voice is different for everyone. Sometimes I hear God with a feeling of warmth that consumes my whole body, like I’m being hugged from the inside out. Other times like in this instance, I hear God by feeling complete calmness and peace about whatever I’m asking Him in prayer. When I called Becky to tell her yes, I felt such joy! After I hung up the phone, I said, “thank you, God!” While I knew I would have to learn how to balance my new role, I also knew I would figure it out since my yes to Becky was also a yes to God.
- Register for my new online retreat that walks you through these questions of discernment to the joy, peace and clarity that Charlotte now has. “Overwhelmed No More: 6 Ways to Discover and Live God’s Vision for Your Life” brings the preached retreat experience to your email with content sent weekly for you to work through individually, on your own schedule.
- Read about more moments of clarity in our Spiritual Direction: Why I Make Time For It series, where friends share about the clarity they’ve received through spiritual direction. Mark your calendar for the Online Busy Person’s Retreat, January 27-30, which allows you to meet one-on-one with a spiritual director everyday for 4 days.
Inviting you Deeper as We Walk with Christ:
- December 10: Women of the Well Evening of Reflection at St Patrick Church, Baton Rouge
- January 9-11: Go! Gulf Coast Faith Formation Conference
- January 27-30: Online Busy Person’s Retreat
- Sign up for my Prayer Team and pledge to pray for the weekly prayer requests posted on my Facebook & Instagram, and for the attendees of upcoming events. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.