There are times in our lives where we feel as though God is trying SO HARD to get our attention. We read His Word and glean some life-altering truth from the scripture. Then we hear someone speak the same message over the same passage as we sit in church. “Confirmation!” we say excitedly. We send up a desperate plea for help and it arrives immediately. We sense the Holy Spirit in the room with us the second we enter into praise and worship.
And then there are times when we have NONE OF THAT.
Times where we can’t remember a Scripture to save our lives. We find ourselves trying to talk to God – but it doesn’t seem He’s talking back. When we pray out of the midst of a difficult, soul-crushing situation and He doesn’t seem to be listening. Loved ones pass away, we suffer through the grief of miscarriage, our finances are non-existent, and our marriages are on the rocks. We think surely He can’t be listening – because the assault on our minds and our lives and our families continues. There are times when we try to worship Him, but the whole time we’re really just wondering where He is in all the mess we’re walking through. How such a loving God could possibly care about us when He seems so absent? It’s not the question an atheist asks – it’s the questions we sometimes ask ourselves as children of The Most High God!
In the past year and a half, I have gone through what has been the hardest season of my life with God. I have experienced three miscarriages, the death of my father, my stepdad, and numerous health issues within my own body. I have questioned God’s purpose for my life, the future of my family, and my career choice. I have had days where I had less than $7 in my checking account and no money for groceries. Yet in all this, I desperately tried to pray for wisdom, to see God’s plan and purpose in all the turmoil – just a glimpse, and even for a moment – so that I could muster up enough strength to come out on the other side of all of my problems.
If you’ve been in my shoes, or you are there now, I’d like to tell you I’m on the other side of all of the problems in my life. The truth is, I’m not. Yet. Through the grace of God, through it all, I’ve learned how to deal with disappointments and frustration without letting it harden my heart.
It was out of this frustration in my own life that the title of this blog was created – or given, depending on how you see things.
One day just a couple of months ago I was loading groceries into my car, frustrated with His seeming silence. I was praying silently, but I might as well have been shouting at Him,
“God, I pray and ask for wisdom, I ask for help and clarity, and you used to speak to me everywhere, and through anything, but You don’t do that anymore. It seems like lately, all You do is whisper. It’s like I’m always waiting on a whisper!”
I wish the clouds had parted into golden rays of sunshine, the Lord would have audibly spoken to me through a dove, and answered all the questions that provoked my tirade, but I don’t remember that. Instead, the phrase I had just prayed became a pinball inside my mind. “Oh, what a great name for a blog!” (What a seemingly random thought, right? Wondering if I’m easily sidetracked? Yes, I can be.)
The more I thought about “Waiting on a Whisper”, the more I felt called to start a blog. Having recently retired from teaching at the age of 31, I have quite a bit more time on my hands than I am used to having. During this time, and even before I had quit, I’d been asking the Lord what my next step was. I’d been asking for wisdom to know how I should spend my time; what to do in this next season of my life. I will be homeschooling my daughter this coming school year, so initially I thought that I might just start a homeschool blog with all kinds of fun ideas that I’ve had to make Hannah’s first grade year a great one. However, the more I considered who I thought would be my audience, my content, and the vision for the blog, and prayed over these things, I kept coming back to the name “Waiting on a Whisper”. I really struggled with this. I felt “Homeschool” should be somewhere in the title, but it just didn’t fit, so why did I feel God gave me the idea for a blog with the name “Waiting on a Whisper”?
Well, as He leads I try to follow, and I realized that He didn’t plan on me encouraging homeschool moms (a lot of sites already do that), so much as mothers – and future mothers – from all walks of life. He wants to encourage women in general. I sense Him saying that He wants to deliver women from the strongholds in their lives. He wants to deliver us from fear, anger, and resentment. He wants to break out of what religion tells us (those things that are human-imposed) into a relationship with Him through Jesus. He wants, desires, plans, and makes arrangements to prepare us for healing our broken hearts. He wants to unload us from our baggage and put it on a cargo plane set to crash in the middle of the “sea of forgetfulness”.
“He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” – Micah 7:19 (NKJV)
He wants us to let go of perfectionism and all of the demands that are socially and self-imposed. In order to do that, He wants us to WAIT on HIS WHISPER. He wants us to listen for Him. He wants us to know that He cares about the LITTLE THINGS in our lives. He cares about how we plan our day, how we schedule our time. He cares to help us with the small things that frustrate us or contribute to us losing our peace and joy. He wants to give us guidance for what goals we set for our future. It’s the little, everyday things that add up to a life of purpose – a life well-lived.
Israelmore Ayivor said, in The Great Handbook of Quotes, “God hides great things in little things. In every young girl, God hides a great woman; in every young boy, He hides a great man; in a small seed, He hides a big forest! A little is never inadequate if God’s hands are its creator! Don’t despise little things!”
Perhaps those things that we initially brush off as unimportant, He values. His Word says that He wants us to be faithful in the little that we are given so that He can trust us with more. He also wants to change our hearts to find important what He finds important.
“He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.” – Luke 16:10 (NASB)
We want to be faithful. We want to be righteous. We want to move past the things that we struggle with each day; the things that are whispered in our ears that we’re the only ones who struggle with them. When we take a step back from our lives for a moment, we do generally realize WE ARE NOT ALONE in the struggles we face, but oftentimes the feeling of separation is overwhelming nonetheless. The purpose of this blog is to combat the lie that tells us we are all alone and that we have no hope. The Lord wants to deliver us from these struggles. He wants to instill hope in the hopeless, give us peace for fear, heal our broken hearts, and break off the sin in our lives and the expectation of perfection we place on ourselves.
“Is this not the fast I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke?” – Isaiah 58:6 (NKJV)
So often, we put a yoke on ourselves that the Lord never intended us to deal with. They are self-imposed yokes. Can you imagine a couple of oxen putting a yoke on themselves and forcing themselves to work? Yet we do yoke ourselves to certain expectations that we end up needing His help to be set free.
When I was a mom that was working outside the home, I always felt like everyone else I knew had it more together than me. They were more organized, they had a higher percentage of clean laundry than I did, and they didn’t need a 2 hour heads-up when company was coming over. They somehow had their lives more streamlined than I did. They had it together. I didn’t. Despite my best efforts, I found myself unable to keep up. It seemed that if work was going well, things at home were falling apart. If I had my work at home flowing nicely (laundry caught up, floors swept, and dinner in the crockpot), then it always seemed like my job was suffering and I had hours of Algebra homework to grade. On weekends, I grocery shopped, ran errands, tried to catch up on the continually growing pile of laundry and tidied my messy house. I felt ran ragged all the time. Surely other moms had it figured out and all together – there were pins all over Pinterest showing their success! So week after week, month after month, I was reminded that I didn’t have it all together, I never could check every task off my list, and other moms weren’t completely wiped out after a day of teaching. I never felt like I had any “down time” or energy to spend with my little girl. I was a perfectionist who never attained perfection. I was perpetually stressed and constantly snapping at my very patient husband and my sweet little girl. The enemy would try to tell me that I didn’t deserve a larger family; that I couldn’t handle one, and that must be the reason why my family was not growing.
There were times when it came to dealing with the sorrow and grief of miscarriage, I felt like maybe I deserved it. I felt like I continually missed the mark as a mother and as a wife, but despite that I wanted a baby so badly. We wanted to grow our family. To make my situation even more bleak, I felt had no one in my circle of friends that had faced what I was facing. Everyone I taught with at school was older than me and had already had all the children they wanted. Women at my church who had experienced miscarriage didn’t really talk about it. I always found out second-hand. No wonder – miscarriage is absolutely tragic and can be life-shattering. Who on earth would want to conjure those dreadful memories back up and talk about them? I’ll take it a step further – maybe they thought that sharing their experience wouldn’t make me feel any better. After all, we are meant to encourage each other, and talking about such unsettling experiences doesn’t benefit the hearer, does it? Oh, I know my friends at church love me – no doubt about it – but they just weren’t able to share their experiences with me. I was experiencing despair at a level I had never experienced, and I needed to be reminded that there was HOPE in front of me. The people who did reach out and encourage me were sympathetic, but I didn’t feel like they’d been where I was. So instead, I always felt like I was on my own island of grief. There were many times I felt like my husband didn’t even understand the full effects of each miscarriage on my body and my heart.
The enemy would try to tell me that I was “the only one” I knew who God had let endure these things. That’s where he was wrong.
“For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” – Psalm 30:5 (NKJV)
Let me tell you where the secret of my fortitude comes from. It comes from a resilient hope, that in every situation, God sees it and has already put events in motion to bring me to the other side of my struggle. That somehow, He will redeem each situation to work for my good and His glory.
“But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.” – 1 Peter 5:10 (NKJV)
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28 (NKJV)
That hope is the hope that propels me out of bed in the morning to drink my coffee and read His Word. It is that hope that pushes me to pursue His purpose for my life each day. Life is hard enough with Jesus at the helm; I wouldn’t want to navigate through the “perfect storm” of this season of my life without Jesus in my boat. When I seek God’s will through prayer and His Word, the Holy Spirit comes in to assure me that no matter what battle from hell finds its way to me, that I can withstand the attack of the enemy.
“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” – Ephesians 6:13 (NKJV)
God’s Word is powerful, my friend! Reading my Bible has encouraged me, given me hope, and built my faith on the cornerstone that is Jesus. It has helped me discern the plots of the enemy to take me down. It has kept my feet from sliding out from underneath me when the current tried to suck me out into deep waters that would have crashed over my head.
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.” – Isaiah 43:1 (NJKV)
Reading my Bible convicts me of sin and wrong mindsets. It cuts away all the baggage that invades my heart and emotions. God’s Word helps me to reset my perspective of my life and adjust it using the lens of grace. It provokes me to question my motives and expectations to make sure they line up against God’s TRUTH.
“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” – Hebrews 4:12 (NKJV)
It is helping me to let go of perfectionism, pride, and control and to walk humbly with Jesus and the people around me.
“He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” – Micah 6:8 (NKJV)
His Word has broken my heart and built it back again, according to His plan.
“Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord!
Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with the whole heart!
They also do no iniquity; they walk in His ways.
You have commanded us to keep Your precepts diligently.
Oh, that my ways were directed to keep Your statutes!
Then I would not be ashamed, when I look into all Your commandments.
I will praise You with uprightness of heart, when I learn Your righteous judgments.
I will keep your statutes; Oh, do not forsake me utterly!
How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word.
With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wonder from Your commandments!
Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I may not sin against You.”
– Psalm 119:1-11 (NKJV)
If you pray for wisdom each day and read the Word, He will be sure to meet you and the Holy Spirit will start to guide your every decision. He will invade every area of your life that you invite Him into. When we learn to wait on His whisper, He can entrust us with His plans for our lives. When we learn to wait, He is given the time he needs to come heal our hearts and set us free from the sin that ensnares us and the deception of the enemy.
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,” – Hebrews 12:1 (NKJV)
The more you read His Word, the more the Holy Spirit can renew your mind. The more your mind is renewed, the closer you get to God, and the more your heart will be conformed to His. That’s what we want – the mind of Christ and the heart of God!
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted to you.”
– Psalm 51:10-13 (NKJV)
He wants us to live a life full of purpose. He wants us to fulfill our potential. Maybe you feel like your potential has died right along with your hope. I promise you, everything that the Lord has planned for you will come to pass if you stay focused on Him, focus your attention on His Word and His whisper. He wants to bless us beyond what we can imagine.
“I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge –that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” – Ephesians 3:16-21 (NIV)
He wants us to keep hoping for more. For me, I believe He does want to grow my family by blessing us with more children. I believe He does want us to find joy in every struggle. He does want us to hold onto a steadfast hope that something better is ahead of us. I believe it brings Him joy when His children learn to be patient in their situation and to trust Him for every outcome. It brings Him joy when we build our faith. The testing of our faith produces patience.
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,
Knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” – James 1:2-5 (NKJV)
So, my friend, I would like to encourage you to start or keep reading His Word. Pray that the Holy Spirit will give you wisdom and that He will renew your mind and heal your heart when you travel through seasons of heartbreak. Ask Him to help you to wait on a whisper from Him. I know for me, waiting is not easy. That’s why it produces patience.
In all things, pray. Learn to wait on a whisper from your Heavenly Father.
“Your eyes shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left.” – Isaiah 30:21 (NKJV)
He loves you and wants to help you walk in freedom, living a full life built on faith, with a hope and a peace for whatever tomorrow brings. He cares about the little things in life. Give Him the big things and the little things, and see where He takes you when you Wait on a Whisper from Him.