Hi guys! Chantelle here … Wow, I’m sorry for the lapse of blogging, but life has been pretty crazy over at our household!! The last time I blogged it was about saving up for the holidays and boy since then life has been a whirlwind … but for the good!!
Today, I wanted to blog about what’s personally been happening in my life. The reason for that, is as I mentioned I am a Christian and the past six months God has completely changed things around for our family. I’m going to be posting about discerning God’s voice and how that can open your eyes to a whole new world! If you are believer already, this may or may not be new news for you. If you are a Christian but not sure you are living out your God-given purpose, then this article is perfect for you to read! If you do not have a relationship with Jesus, some of the things in this article may not make sense to you, but let me reassure you, God loves you and he has sent his one and only son Jesus to save you. Please continue reading! So, without further ado, let’s do this!!!!!
What ways does God speak to us? In my testimony I will break down different ways we can hear from God so that you can learn to discern when God is speaking to you.
God Speaks to Us through Others
About mid-summer I began to feel like I was running out of steam, living life by just keeping my head above water, balancing being a full time working mother and wife. I’m sure many of you can relate. That’s when I really began to listen to the sermons at church and I began to press and pray. I knew life wasn’t meant to drain you, to exhaust you and to stress you out, but this is how I was feeling, everyday! I would wake up, just to go through the routine of working a job that I had lost my passion for, to then come home and be an exhausted mother to my children, struggling through homework. My husband and I would both be so tired that we wouldn’t have any communication and we both would hit a wall of exhaustion to finally end our day. Reflecting on this makes me sad but so thankful that God opened my eyes. As I went to church and got my spirit fed, the lord began to speak to me through the sermons. I realized what my problem was, I wasn’t relying on God to get through life, instead I was doing it on all my own! The message that day was about people that get “Burnt Out” and of course, that was me! My Pastor preached how it is easy to get consumed with all our responsibilities, so how do we make it through? We rely on God. I started to think, am I relying on God? Or am I just spinning my wheels just trying to keep my head above water. I knew I didn’t have my priorities in life right. Instead of starting with God, I was starting with my “Job”! I was doing everything in my power to ensure my job was intact, work was getting done but in the end, it would exhaust me and consume me. I was getting home late, missing out on dinner with the family and missing quality time and moments with my boys. I will never forget when the Pastor said, “If this is you, if you are burnt out and trying to do life on your own … that’s not the gospel.” I sank!!! That message pierced my heart! I couldn’t believe how much that message applied to me, I knew God was speaking to me! The Holy Spirit began to convict me. I began being physically sick when I would go to work. At first I thought, okay … maybe it’s just that I’m not content anymore, but I knew it was much more than that. I knew God was working but I wasn’t sure in what way? I sought the counsel of my sisters in Christ, the ladies from my Small Group as well as my husband. God is so good and even designed a perfect morning for me to spend time with my Pastors which gave my husband and I a chance to seek wisdom and advice from them on what I was going through. I was on a mission to find my God-Given Purpose and was God trying to get to me to say “Hey … I have another life for you! Lean in and trust me, rely on me!”
Jeremiah 29:11 New International Version (NIV)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
God Speaks to Us through Our Circumstances
Now that I had sought wise counselors around me and my husband and I were in sync, we just kept praying on it. We prayed that God would give us signs … signs to know should I leave or should I go? What would you like me to do Lord? I knew I was unhappy, but I didn’t want to leave on my terms. It had to be on God’s terms. I had to submit! My husband and I had discussed that I could work part-time, as long as I found a part-time job, he would be okay with me leaving my full time job. We both prayed, we both asked for signs. God delivered!!! He continued to speak to us through sermons and finally in a circumstance. The following day after praying for a sign, I was called into my boss’s office and was told I was no longer going to be a Team Leader and that I was not going to be receiving the team they had been promising me. That was definitely God sending me a sign through a circumstance! My husband and I started praying for a part time opportunity that I could work from home or while the kids were in school. Our goal was to eliminate childcare during the week and instead replace those funds to be used for our basic necessities of rent, food, etc. This was a bold move for us! Let me tell you I was so excited to see my husband step in faith and let go from trying to control our finances. We both submitted in areas where we were not relying on God, this was huge and we knew God was going to continue to move!!!
Proverbs 3:5-6 New International Version (NIV)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
God Speaks to Us Through Scripture
At this time of the story, we’re now about in Mid October and my husband and I were leading a Small Group of our own. Leading that small group changed our lives! God was speaking to us through our study and through the scripture the teacher of the study was presenting to us. My heart was beginning to transform!!!! I began to fall in love with Jesus in a way I had never done before. Again, my eyes were opened! The whole theme of the study was about how God has this crazy love for us, so how do we show that love back? For us, it was perfect, we were ready to submit to God and we knew he was listening to our prayers! Our Small Group family joined in on praying for opportunity for me! Prayer in numbers, moves mountains!!!
Colossians 1:23 New International Version (NIV)
23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.
God Speaks to us Visually
I’m a visual person … so I have learned as I have matured in my walk, God will speak to me through images. I had been searching for a few months looking for part time opportunities, but nothing was coming through and I wasn’t getting any responses, until one day I saw the perfect job posting for me! I had been telling my husband that if I could find a freelance opportunity in my line of work, that that would be the perfect fit for me! Low and behold, I stumbled upon a job posting that was exactly what I was looking for. This is how great God works and how he connects things for us! The company was a familiar name to me. I knew some colleagues of mine (in pretty prestigious ranks) that left a prior company we all worked for, for this exact company. But, this was YEARS ago! What are the chances they are still there? I went onto the company website and clicked on the “About Us/ Meet The Executives” page and there it was! God gave me an image of the two women who I worked with so closely, they both were high level executives at this company!!! How awesome is that?! I immediately applied, filled out the online application, mentioned the names of my colleagues and left it in God’s hands. No coverletter, no resume, just pure faith!!!!!
Hebrews 11 New International Version (NIV)
Faith in Action
11 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
God Speaks to Us Through a Feeling
To finish the story, I’m sure you might have guessed it by now. I was offered the job! The pay was more than what I was currently getting, it was freelance so that meant I could choose the jobs I wanted and when to work them. Before accepting the position, we prayed some more asking God if this was the right opportunity for me. It was so clear in the numbers. I will never forget, it was 1am in morning and I was looking at the part time hours I was being offered, the pay and compared it to what I was making currently full time and paying childcare. I instantly knew again through the image of the numbers and a feeling in my heart (kinesthetic sense) that God was speaking to me. He was clearly showing me that this was the way to go! I would be bringing in more money for our family fund by working only 30 hours a month just on the weekends rather than working full time and paying childcare. I was floored and it was mind boggling to me that we never sat down to think about this before. It since has been five months and this change has been so fulfilling for me! My priority is my relationship with Jesus! He is constantly on my mind, he is consuming me in the most beautiful way! I have never felt my heart like this before. It’s like I’m finally living and I can finally say … “I get it!” I was put on this earth to serve my God. I believe this is just the beginning of my journey to find my God-Given purpose. Each day, I feel like he is revealing more and more to me. I’m continuing to pray on it. In the meantime, I am enjoying his creations, the sunlight I never saw while I was working full time, spending hours in prayer, devotionals and worshiping him during the week. I’m also serving on the Dream Team at church and coaching 4 small group leaders!! I’m also enjoying the cuddles and all the time I get at home with my boys being a stay at home mom during the week. It’s truly a dream come true for me. All from me pressing in, praying and making God my first priority. It’s really true, when you seek, pray, submit and obey God … he opens doors and he provides! This year has already been such a journey and I have my God to thank for that!!! All Glory to Jesus Christ!!
Romans 8:28 New International Version (NIV)
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
There are many other ways God can speak to you, some people here him audibly. I am not one of those people! My advice for anyone who is trying to discern God’s voice is to start with prayer. The more and more intimate you are with God, the more you will start to recognize his voice. Praying for you friend!
To read more about my story when I first began this blog, click here. For an interesting Easter read, give this a try! Enjoy!