Catching God on the Whisper

I am just days away from the birth of my new baby, Zachary Joseph. Zachary is a surprise gift, given to me for my 45th birthday (my other children will turn 13 and 11 years old this summer)!

Reflecting on the past several years, I am truly astounded at some of the changes that have occurred in my life and in my heart. I am a complete believer in the fact that God can and does make all things new, including my marriage, my faith, and my relationship with myself.

Back in the Fall of 2014, I had an article published* in which I shared the story of how God worked in my life to, not only save my falling-apart-marriage, but to truly “make it new.” At the time I wrote the article, I didn’t know that a new little life would also be entering the scene! I wanted to share excerpts from that article with you here.

[Aside: the other day, as I was talking to someone about the new baby and how old my other children are, she asked if this is a new marriage. I had to pause and decide how I wanted to answer that! I kept it simple and said, “No, same guy.” 🙂 ]

My article…

Catching God on the Whisper
And then one day, the whispering turned to shouting. I could no longer feign deafness and bury my head. I looked up. Finally…I looked up.

It was June, 2009. I stood teetering on the edge between 39 and 40 years old. Looking at my life, I saw two awesome kids, a comfortable home, a flourishing faith community and work I loved. Life was good.

Or was it? I haven’t yet mentioned my marriage. When did my husband and I shift from being best friends to roommates trying to stay out of each others’ way?

The transition had been occurring gradually for years. When the kids were younger, it was easy to live in a space that was slowly filling with resentment, contempt and distance. Our unmet needs and unspoken expectations were nothing unusual. However, our lack of skill and courage in speaking openly about our hurts and our vulnerabilities presented a “toe-hold” for opening up wounds of yesteryear. The devil stuck his toe in that space and pried it further and further open. Until one day it felt as though a great crevasse lay between my husband and myself.

My old wound was the result of my innate desire for a Savior. Way back into my childhood, I recall daydreaming about the Prince who would ride into my life, rescue me and fill me up in every way. My mistake was expecting to find my Prince in the ordinary men in my life:
• The dad who lived across the street
• The trainer who worked at the health club
• The distinguished older man down the hall at my first real job
• My husband

None of these men were my savior.

When reality left its clues that my husband was not my savior, let me tell you, I was indignant! Ugh! How could that happen? I slipped into anger and resentment. I didn’t yet know that I was searching for something I would never find: A savior in an imperfect-but-doing-the-best-he-can human being. As the crevasse widened, I began to look at my husband with disappointment, even contempt.

And now the kids were getting older… They were noticing…and learning.
 

The Whispers

“And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; And after the fire, there was the sound of a gentle whisper.” 1 Kings 19:11-12

The winter of 2010, brought record snows. My husband and I took the kids sledding at a huge hill on the property of an arboretum. We drove in separate cars. When my family left, I stayed to hang out with friends who had met us for sledding. These were unmarried, kid-less friends.

A few days later, I was cleaning up papers around the house and I stumbled upon a note my 7-year-old daughter had written to herself about the sledding day. She wrote of the big hill, the deep snow, and the fun we had. Then she wrote, “Daddy, me, and Adam went home. Mommy stayed. I don’t understand why.”

God’s whisper…, “Go home now. Your children need you to return to your family; to your marriage.”

Another day, driving in the car, the kids asked how my husband and I first met. I told them the story of meeting, of dating, and of their Daddy asking me to marry him while we were watching the sunset on the beach. My daughter reflected for a moment, and then said in a sad voice, “And I guess now you just don’t listen to each other anymore.”

Another whisper…”Your children are learning about marriage based on what you are modeling for them.”

But what about those other voices?! The loud ones, relishing in my open wound:
“He never…”
“What did you expect…”
“You have a right to feel…”
“What about your happiness…”
“He is so…”

Lies of the Evil One; his attempts to control my thinking.

Days, weeks, 2 years passed.

There I was. Disengaged, discontent, hopeless. Right where the enemy wanted me.
 
And then came God’s shouting.

Thankfully, He was willing to abandon His preferred mode of communication. He obviously knew how desperately I needed to feel and hear His presence in a loud and tangible way. To actually hear the Lord shouting in my head and in my heart was a bit disconcerting. I looked up to see the words clearly, as if they were painted in the sky,” I, Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, AM YOUR SAVIOR. Nobody and nothing else will ever satisfy you. Stop your searching. COME BACK TO ME. NOW!”

This was not a suggestion or a plea. I heard this clearly as a command. And, quite honestly, I felt a little afraid (in a good way). I felt reverence for God’s authority – not mine – over my life. The Lord reminded me that He is the Truth and it was time for me to take a stand against the lies that had been controlling my behavior – and quite frankly, my life – for years.

The Lord also showed me that before anything could evolve in my marriage, much had to evolve in my relationship with ME. And only one thing was required of me to shift the trajectory of my life. The single action I must take: cling to the Lord from that moment on. On my own, I was to do nothing, say nothing, think nothing. His clear command was, “Pray without ceasing.”

Gently and slowly, He guided me to the people and places where I could heal my deep wounds. He strengthened my spirit and taught me how to resist Satan’s lies. He held me, loved me, and assured me that I was safe. He also showed me that, together, we have much work to do. He has a mighty plan for this world and there is a unique role for me in carrying out His plan.

Over time, and as His plan is unfolding, I see great purpose and refinement during that two year period, where I once saw only trial and despair. I know without a doubt that God uses every single circumstance we get ourselves into for our ultimate good and for His ultimate glory.

The Journey Continues…
These days, I am much better at catching God on the whisper. I’ve learned how to get really quiet and to stop believing every thought that enters my mind. I’m putting into practice Saint Paul’s great advice to “take every thought captive” (ref 2 Corinthians 10:5).

I now know that the greatest obstacle we face in living out His purpose is all a big lie, perpetuated by the Father of Lies. We must beware of succumbing to false beliefs, such as: “You aren’t good enough.”; “You can’t do that.”; “This is how you’re supposed to be and what you’re supposed to do.” These are lies that keep us small and doubting. God calls each one of us to be bold and confident in Him!

Our truth, our destiny
It is my hope that today is the day you return to your Truth. No matter what trial you’re facing. No matter how long you’ve believed that lie of the enemy. No matter how many mistakes, poor choices, or bad decisions have been made. Today is the day to return to Truth. I assure you, His loving arms are open and waiting for you.

With love,
De

* My article appeared in “Woman To Woman” magazine, which is published by Woman to Woman Ministries: www.w2wministries.org.

Join the conversation!
  1. Catherine says:

    I am absolutely in awe of your article! I find myself in your words and need to take a step back and realize the truth! The truth is God!

    Reply
  2. De, Thank you so much for sharing your story! I’ve had kind of a bad week, so this really brought me back to the truth of God’s love, in spite of everything else.

    I wish you amazing blessings on the arrival of Zachary Joseph!
    God bless you,
    With love,
    Dotty

    Reply

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