I have been waiting and resisting this post forever. But it’s finally time. I resisted sharing Christ’s goodnesss through me – because you might think it’s all about me.
I fear you’ll skip over the real reason – to know Him, seek Him.
And jump to a wrong conclusion – see me, applause me.
My neighbor, Linda Werner, is one of the most intentional women I know. I LOVE watching her blaze through life at 60 years old. She isn’t slowing down for a second. She’s reading, juicing, learning, leading and more.
When I was in her mentor group, she had us read the book, The Power of a Whisper by Bill Hybels.
I loved it – because it allowed me to reflect back on some moments that I thought might have been God … and with certainty, proclaim them as God’s whisper into my life. It also got me so excited to start looking and listening more often.
There aren’t just a chosen few that hear from God. I believe He’s alive and working every day for all of us. I believe with practice and leaning close to Him – we get better and better at hearing him. We start seeing him. We want to love like him more every day. We start seeing random acts of kindness more like divine appointments. Days become more like adventures.
I love the unkown. I love strangers. I love following Jesus and just taking one step – doing the right thing or the loving, kind thing – NEVER EVER knowing what it meant. It might be a text, a big act of generosity or an unexpected phone call. You never know. Sometimes, on this side of heaven – we understand the purpose. Or years later, the pieces come together. And maybe – we won’t know the purpose of our obedience or one step until heaven. We will get there and understand that our one word or email or meal – it mattered.
Here are a just a few examples that show… He whispers.
Michelle was a neighbor of mine in Atlanta. One of the funniest and sweetest neighbors on earth. Then, she moved to Kentucky and I moved to Florida. We occasionally “liked” a photo on Facebook and made each other chuckle with a comment once a year or so. One random day last May – I pulled out a Christmas card to pray for a friend and I pulled her card. I sent her a message and asked how I could pray specifically for her family that day. I was blown away by her response. She said it was officially the hardest day in years. She had been crying all morning. “God is good.” Is what her message said back. It reminded her that He was there and she wasn’t alone. What an honor to play messenger for Him. She is so loved. I saw her this week at the Mart. And I had honestly forgotten about that day last May – she had not. She told me how much that meant to her and how it reminded her of God’s love for her.
Meet Starbucks Friend.
Did your mom talk to every stranger and linger at church forever? Mine too. It highly annoyed me and now I’m my mom. I just love getting to know new people – and I have learned God is up to something usually. This week, I was getting my Starbucks from the bottom of the Americasmart in Atlanta and this sweet lady went NUTS over a shell necklacke I was wearing. I told her I would totally give it to her, really, but Ron got it for me on an anniversary trip (photo above) and it was really special to me. She understood. So, the next day – I went on a hunt for a similar one and went back down to see if she remembered me. I presented her with a gift of a similar necklace – it had several shells. She was squealing and hugged me about 10 times. “God bless you! Bless you! I’m going to cry! Oh my!” And her last line, made my day. “I think I like mine better than yours!” You guys! What pure joy – what cost me so little made this woman’s day. I hope it reminds her that God knows her and notices her and loves her. And hasn’t forgotten her in any way. Where above her is floors of fancy stuff with badges and security. She gets something too. Even better than she expected.
Note: I didn’t get a picture or even her name. I wanted her to know this was pure – no publicity stunt or blog post in mind – just really felt a nudge to love on her.
Meet Kristine and Amber.
Do you ever feel helpless – like there isn’t enough of you? My friend Amber was having surgery in Texas this week and she lost her dearly beloved dog. I wanted to click my heels and get there. I was staring at my phone and had this sense that all I could do is ask folks to pray for her. So, I did on Instagram. Within one minute, my dear friend Kristine (that barely knows Amber) texted me and said, “I’d love to take Amber a meal tonight – I’m in Houston.” I was so blown away. God rules. He knows Amber’s needs and the body of Christ is awesome. So, that night, three former Buckhead Church members, now states away – were finding a way to work together to love each other. He shows up. He meets needs. Thank you Kristine for reminding my friend Amber she isn’t alone and she is deeply loved.
My prayer in all three of these examples, is that you’ll see God. He’s working all around us. In the every day of life. He will talk and He will whisper. Not just for the super Christian or super spiritual. For those that don’t feel enough and for the ones like me that screw up many times each week.
I’m not sure it’s Him!
And if you aren’t really sure if it’s Him or not – you can simply ask, “Is it in line with His word?” Or pray that he will confirm what you’re hearing.
And, often – it will be against culture or comfort – but His whispers will never be out of the character or will of God. It will typically center around loving and serving His people. Or, that has been my experience.
And, the reaction?
For a minute, people are stunned by the kindness or the love. But when they realize how random or how I couldn’t have KNOWN… they realize without a shadow of a doubt that God knows them. They see that I couldn’t have figured it out on my own.
That the God of the universe went out of his way to whisper to me – to meet a need for them. They feel His love through that moment. Often, I don’t even have to connect the dots or say His name. I just do what I was nudged to do and walk away. He’ll handle the rest. I play my role, stay in my lane.
And, I want more. And so do they.
That is why I am inviting my kids to the game. And your kids. I want them to experience it way more than they hear it. I tell them these stories and bring them along. I encourage them to listen to their hearts.
Have you heard a whisper lately?
Your post reminds me of a book called The 10 Second Rule by Clare De Graffe. I love your heart, Courtney, and how you are encouraging others to obey the One we call Lord.
I have been teaching out of 1 Peter the past few weeks and came across the word “excellencies” in the second chapter leading into the submission passages that has a fantastic meaning (ESV/ aretas in Greek)- rather than some intrinsic royal qualities the English implies, but “the ability to perform powerful, heroic deeds.” When I think of all Jesus did and continues to do for me, that is the perfect description. So obedience in all of these “horizontal” relationships – no matter how brief or long in the span of time- just directs these souls to look at His glory. I think you’ve done that in your post, too. Blessings, sweet sister.
What sweet stories of God prompting and you listening! Thanks for the encouragement!
Beautiful! I’m excited to read that book now!
Absolutely beautiful post. I really enjoyed reading this and I am so glad that I follow you on BlogLovin’!
Life As I Know It
Court. Just no words. You said this so perfectly.
I call moments like those God winks. They are good ones to remember…from the smallest details to the grandest picture, our God is always working.
I LOVE this, Courtney! I truly feel this is one way God uses me in my gift of encouragement. He often whispers to turn around and leave a note on the car, to text someone and pray for them, to send a note of thank you or encouragement. The more I say yes, the more I hear it. Often times when its been silent for a while, I realize my schedule is too full and I’m too rushed. Time to make whitespace and invite Jesus all up in it. I’ll tell you this, I’ve NEVER been sorry about listening and obeying those whispers. But there have been instances (Jesus, forgive me!) where I didn’t answer the prompting and have been sorry. Like the woman at Chick fil-a obviously having “a day” with her toddler and baby and trying to get up and leave and the prompt was to ask if I could take up her trash. But I was so scared that she would think I was trying to rush her out during her toddler’s expression of not wanting to leave. But you know what? Its not up to us to worry about the reaction. We are working for Jesus. Our job is to answer the prompting. Our choir director even told me mom recently that she and I have a very special spiritual bond and that I often text her and pray for her on her worst days. How awesome is that?? I had no idea! Keep answering it, Courtney. And more importantly, keep telling people about it. Our job is to see Jesus in every day life and then SHARE it! We aren’t responsible for what others think. I promise. I’m getting much better at this. Long way to go. Prompt me Lord Jesus, every day and help me say YES! I’ll have to tell you about the high five he gave me one night related to this. I’m not a coincidence girl, and yes, it happened. How awful would it be if my child came downstairs on his birthday after I decorated and made a cake and he said, “wow, what a coincidence all this happened.” NOPE! God gives us gifts like these all over the place. Look for it! And give him credit!
These words are perfectly Him.
LOVE this! Felt this whisper last week on a date night when our bill was completely paid for…on our anniversary! Talk about being on a date with your true love and having him say I love you!