Me: “When your gut, instinct, intuition (whatever you call it) whispers inside you, FOLLOW IT. That’s the voice of God.”
Friend: “Is it? Or is it yourself having confidence in your ability? Does the feeling have an audible voice? Does the feeling have a sense of touch?”
Me: “I am CERTAIN it’s the voice of God. Confidence and vulnerability are 100% involved, but those come immediately AFTER the prompt.”
This post feels a little like walking through a crowded room with my skirt tucked into my underwear. So I stand before you naked but confident. This is the post that has been stirring within me. Only today, in response to my friend’s genuine questions, have the words finally come to me in a way that makes sense. I want to explain why I am so absolutely certain that those urges or prompts, those fleeting thoughts, and those random ideas we have are actually God speaking to us.
Beginning on October 28th, 2016, I experienced the “voice of God” through both actual words and an intense energy I couldn’t escape. To specifically answer my friend’s questions, instead of hearing the words in my ears, it’s as if they were each pressed upon my mind and my heart/soul in the form of thoughts and feelings with such strength and weight that I could not ignore them. Trust me, I tried.
The first word pressed upon me was PURPOSE.
Each word was repeated in my very core and resonated in my soul. And, yes, I could (and still can) actually feel the energy of my Creator vibrating in and around me. And to be honest, I was completely panicking. I was scared and excited and amazed and overwhelmed. I’ve experienced God regularly throughout my entire life but never at this level of intensity.
As if the initial experience of carrying the physical weight of these words and their meaning was not enough, they began appearing everywhere in the world outside of me! I literally read them, heard them and found myself saying them everywhere. I could not escape them. I was getting the message. How could I miss it? It got to the point where my few friends who knew what was going on would share an experience (a.k.a., a coincidence) with me. They would be flipping out and I’d calmly say, “Yeah. Apparently, this is how it works. You kind of get used to it after a while.” In reality, I never really got used to it, but I’ve become more comfortable with it and no longer have a panic attack every time it happens.
At the exact same time all of this began, the lid was blown off (I actually have this fantastic visual) of 20+ years of repressed questions and flat-out disagreements with the church. In 39 years, I’d never had the courage to challenge too much or stray too far from doctrine out of fear of being led astray by a cunning devil. Then, on October 28th, suddenly there was no more hesitation. It’s as if the resonations inside me were too much to contain and my faith exploded! In the short two months following the day the lid was blown off, I have come to understand and appreciate the importance of my religion as it was critical in shaping and guiding my path to a deeper faith. I have no intention or interest of leaving the church. I still need it but in a different capacity. As I mature in mind, body and spirit, I realize religion plays a relatively small role in my actual relationship with God, and that relationship with God is what life is all about.
Simultaneously (yes, a third and final piece from this experience), the names of seven random women were also pressed upon me. They were almost branded onto my soul. These were not seven of my closest friends. (Well, one was one of my absolute closest friends and one was an aunt. The others vary in degrees of relationship levels, but mostly women I really didn’t know well at all.)
Let me tell you the two-fold importance of these women and this experience:
1. To address my comment about vulnerability and confidence in the Facebook post… It was clear to me I had to talk to each of these seven women. I had to stand before them (through various forms of communication) in a complete state of vulnerability. Let me just say it’s incredibly difficult to tell someone, especially someone you hardly know, “So God sent me a message. I think you and I are supposed to do something great, but I don’t know what it is. Are you willing to accept this and help me figure it out?” I was confident I had to ask them, but I felt completely vulnerable not knowing how they would receive this – how they would receive me. I worried they would think I was a lunatic or fear me for some reason. In the end, every one of the seven women accepted my invitation. Some were so completely blown away and relieved, excited and/or appreciative, they broke down in tears. Many of them received my invitation as confirmation regarding their own unexplained urges and experiences they couldn’t quite grasp. Connecting with each of them actually pulled things together a bit.
2. I still don’t understand the plan for the eight of us, but I can tell you so far the experience of getting to know these women is by far one of the most miraculous gifts of my life. They are all remarkable women. As part of the WALK prompt, I have been walking with each of them and getting to know them better. I have witnessed them handle their lives and care for others with strength (even when they feel weak), determination (even when they feel stuck or like giving up), and grace (even when they are frustrated and stressed).
Earlier this week I spoke with all seven of them in one day which never happens. It was quite a day for a number of reasons. In the afternoon, I experienced what I can best describe as a moment of overwhelming beauty. From my vantage point, knowing the path that each of these women are on (only I know their lives – they don’t know each other), the radiant love I saw through my soul (it surpassed my mind) brought me to tears.
I’ve always lived by intuition and followed my gut, knowing it was God. But the thing that is relevant here, the change that has occurred, is actively listening. The “coincidences” are occurring so frequently now because I’m paying more attention. The connections with others are greater both in quantity and quality because I’m aware. I’m actually wondering how many missed or delayed opportunities I’ve caused by not following the prompts. And this is the key, my friends. The prompts, the feelings, the random ideas and impulses have and will always be there. All that is required is for us to recognize and follow them. You will be amazed at where He’ll take you once you’re willing to follow.
I am certainly not an expert here, and with this experience has come added stress and countless questions. But one thing I’m certain of is it is good.
Side note: The LIFT Project Facebook group was born out of this movement.
The group drscription is this:
The LIFT Project is a community of women whose intended purpose is to LIFT each other up. This is a place to both seek and offer understanding, encouragement and inspiration. The LIFT Project is open to anyone who seeks to connect, exchange ideas, and support others.
This is an evolving project. But the need for community has been so clearly expressed in recent weeks, the decision was made to start connecting right away through social media! So invite your friends and family to be part of The LIFT Project.
Feel free to host local social gatherings and service projects in your own communities. Then share your stories and pictures with the larger group here! Inspire us!
There are only two rules:
1. Be yourself.
2. Be respectful.
(Truth be told, you don’t even have to be a woman.) 🙂