Whether prayer is a daily practice, a sometimes thing or an emergency outlet, most of us have called out to the Almighty. In our last episode “God, Please Speak to Me,” we explored whether He communicates back; and if He does, how it could happen. Our guest, Kelli Shelton from Seek Well Ministries, really opened our eyes (and ears) and the episode is becoming one of our most listened-to. In this short bonus episode, we reflect on what we learned from it and explore ways we believe God has directed us (ways that we may not have realized until we looked back).
There are so many methods that God uses to communicate. It is primarily through His Word, but He also uses other powerful ways to guide our mind and hearts. You probably shouldn’t expect and audible booming voice to snap you to attention. We have found that God’s ways are gentle, loving, scriptural and are often customized specifically to each person. As you click play, we pray that the next few minutes will bring new meaning to your prayer life.
Sandy Kovach [00:00:01]:
Welcome to Imagine Yourself podcast, where we help you imagine your next chapter of life with grace, gratitude, courage, and faith.
Lanée Blaise [00:00:10]:
I am Lanee, here with Sandy, and today we're reflecting on how we can hear from God when we get nice and still and quiet and we really listen. We really seek God. God. A lot of this was inspired by the most recent episode where we had Kelly Shelton on from Seek Well. And she really taught us how to get a good feel for how God can communicate with us. So just wanted to kind of reflect on some of the different various things that we have learned from all that. And Sandy, how do you feel ever since? Have you been more conscious of when God is reaching out to you in your life?
Sandy Kovach [00:00:59]:
Yeah, it's so funny. When we went into this episode, I was like, I'm going to hear some stories from Kelly and I'm going to hear some stories about Lanee's life. And I'm going to sit there with and because I was thinking that I have this picture of Morgan Freeman in my mind from the movie with Jim Carrey.
Lanée Blaise [00:01:16]:
Bruce Almighty, I think.
Sandy Kovach [00:01:17]:
Right? Yeah. Bruce Almighty, which is an awesome movie by the way, that's what it's like. But God doesn't usually speak in audible voices. And in fact, I've learned that he speaks in various ways. And I've always gotten a lot from reading the word and that's going to be your primary measure. But I started realizing the different ways in my life that he actually has spoken to me. And one was, although it sounds super negative, it actually ended up being positive. And that was when I was in my former relationship and I had done something really crappy. When I say really crappy, I just mean it as like I wasn't really considering his feelings in a major decision and I was just being selfish. And maybe there was a part of me that wanted to hurt him. I hope not, but you never know in these situations. So what happened was some weeks later, I started feeling this super heaviness. And for no reason. It was a Friday afternoon. I was off work. I had the weekend off. Things were looking good, the sun was shining, blah, blah, blah. And just this heaviness crept over me and I started praying like, what the heck? Because it wouldn't leave for the longest time. And I felt maybe I heard I don't know, after hearing you guys, maybe I did hear the voice of God in a way in my own mind. Now you know how he feels. God had sent me the spirit of Heaviness to show me the hurt that I caused. And I apologized. I tried to make things right and everything like that, but I would have gone on my merry way and never really realized how hurt that I had made him.
Lanée Blaise [00:02:57]:
Everything you're saying makes me think about how God gets our attention. But in this case you had to reflect so that you knew that it was actually God getting your attention. Do you know what I mean? You had the feeling, but you had to recognize where it was coming from and why it was coming. It also makes me think that sometimes there's a place for good pain. Is that a weird thing for me to say?
Sandy Kovach [00:03:23]:
No. Well, I mean, the Bible does talk about be joyous in your trials, which has never been my favorite in the Bible, but sometimes, yeah, it does teach us things. Because how could you know that something that you did that you didn't even think twice about could cause somebody such deep pain unless you felt that kind of deep pain? And the funny thing is, very recently I started feeling it again for a moment and I was like what? And I think it was because God was reminding me of that time because I had completely forgotten it. And then after Kelly's episode, this happened and it was like, yeah, that is a way that I've been communicated to by God in a pretty crazy way.
Lanée Blaise [00:04:08]:
But it was confirmation. And there is something very special about this episode that we just had with Kelly Shelton because Sandy, I'm over here, my story is a little different, but a lot of things, confirmation wise have been happening with me as well. And it still brings me that same thought about the good pain. Mine is a little different, mine has been more recent. There is a message and I shared it on the past two episodes about how God wants me, Lanee, to slow down and stop, you know, but ever since that episode, I just keep getting that message blasted in my face everywhere I turn. If I look on Instagram, there's something about slowing down. If I look in the Bible, there's the aspect of slowing down and making sure that you don't stumble, that God will make sure that your foot does not stumble. And I even am beginning to feel like this message, the reason I say good pain is because I'd rather be getting these messages in this way than to have to get it in an even harsher way. And when I say that, I'm alluding to the fact that I truly believe that god is telling me, Lanee, if you don't get this message, this one particular message at this point in your life about slowing down and not rushing, something that you don't want to happen, will happen as a result of you being disobedient and just rushing, Mean, I don't literally want to fall down, but if you do rush around and you can fall down literally or something can just go badly, I think too. It's not just that God wants me to slow down, but he wants me to slow down and be with Him and listen for Him. And that's the other purpose of the Seek Well episode listening for God so that God can tell you whether you need to go to the right or to the left, what books you need to read, what food you need to eat, what clothing you need to wear. I know these seem like very basic dinky things, but they're not. Just living every day, every moment in God's presence and having Him just that whole aspect of follow me. This is the way you should go. This is the way you should speak to people, the way you should consider other people's feelings, kind of alluding to what you shared, just slowly, intentionally listening for God's word. Because if you rush off and do everything your own way, which we have the free will to do, things don't always work out as smoothly as if we just took a moment to think and pause, even ask God, is this best for me or not? Like I said, it's been in my face, sandy weird stuff. Like I have these crazy bugs that are in my house right now because of something that I did kind of a rash decision on and it's kind of like my fault. I truly believe that they're in my life for a reason. Everything happens for a reason. God's trying to take bugs. I don't like bugs. We're working on it. My husband and I were going to get it straight and I've prayed about it, literally pray, but please make these bugs not be in my house or not be alive or be asleep forever. Something. But everything is making me stop, slow down, look around and listen. Because if God needs to get your attention to help make sure that you prevent something going in a direction you don't want to go, then why not take his help?
Sandy Kovach [00:07:58]:
Lanée Blaise [00:07:59]:
Something about this episode, though, that it really hit me in my gut and my chest in a good way.
Sandy Kovach [00:08:05]:
Yeah. And I would definitely recommend if people haven't listened to Kelly Shelton and Seek Well it's called God Please Speak to Me and her whole ministry is based on creating these moments, these quiet moments where you can hear the voice of God through scripture, through nature, through other people, through things happening. And I'm sure other people have had things happen, like I'm describing where they felt some kind of pain or feelings that someone else felt. It's so funny because when I god into the episode with Kelly, I was like thinking it was going to be something completely different and it's letting God lead by creating that time, that space, like you were saying, stop rushing and creating time with Him in prayer and in his word and in total surrender. Because I think that's the only way that we are going to be able to be led by God.
Lanée Blaise [00:09:03]:
I believe that. And the thing that's so sweet and special to me is as many different people that I've talked about in my life and at Bible studies and at church about the ways that God has nudged them or spoken to them or moved them or they could hear their message from God through music or through someone else. I have not ever heard anyone say that it was from a feeling, and in this case, even like you said, a heaviness that God did ultimately lift for you. But that is so unique. It's almost like do you understand, Sandy? It's like something special and customized for Sandy Kovach.
Sandy Kovach [00:09:48]:
Thank you. I didn't feel that way at the time. Customized. That wasn't the kind of customization I was looking for.
Lanée Blaise [00:09:54]:
Right. But you'll know it next time, won't you?
Sandy Kovach [00:09:56]:
Yeah. And when I felt it again, it was like, what am I feeling here? And again it hit me when there was no reason for it, nothing bad had happened, it was just a normal day and I get this heaviness and sure enough, it's like, oh, I remember this feeling. And I think it was to recall it because I had been wondering about hearing from God and I had been thinking it wasn't for me. And it reminded me that, yes, God does speak in many ways and it helped me recall a few other things too. And if people, I think, look back on their lives, I know you're a big journaler, that's one way for people to look back and they say to always when you pray about something, to write it down, and then when God answers your prayer to write that down. And then that helps you to create faith for the next time that God's not answering your prayer at the moment. God's timing is always perfect, but sometimes we have to wait and sometimes the answer is no. And there are so many things but yeah, I just think it helped me even though the feeling was negative, it helped me recall something positive.
Lanée Blaise [00:10:57]:
And I think it helps people who are listening, who have, like you, had doubts about whether they will ever get that blessing and that gift of being able to know that they are being reached out to by God in whatever way that looks and it doesn't look the same. People might be listening and realize, oh my goodness, I've been overlooking it all along. It was this particular thing. And so we just have to open our eyes and ears a little and hearts a little bigger to really let in what God wants and to make time and space for it too.
Sandy Kovach [00:11:36]:
Yeah. They say, what is that thing in Proverbs? Man plans his ways, but the Lord directs the steps.
Lanée Blaise [00:11:43]:
Yes. And sometimes he laughs at our plans.
Sandy Kovach [00:11:46]:
That's right. That's another great quote. Yeah. No one's saying to just sit back and be in some kind of meditation pose, waiting for God to tell you the next move. It's live your life, make your plans. But as long as you're in prayer, and communication and able to listen. God will guide you in different ways. They can be big dramatic ways or they can be little tiny ways. Like you're talking about nudges.
Lanée Blaise [00:12:10]:
Yes. Practicing it too. Because again, like I said, my mother, honestly, when she goes into her closet, she says, god, what should I wear today? When she goes into her she does her refrigerator, what should I cook today? She honestly does this on a daily basis, which means that when the big, ridiculous, terrible, harder questions come along, she's used to stopping and asking, should I do this? Should I not do this? And she takes them. I mean, she'll just literally sit there for a moment and she does her process of asking God and then she moves forward with a confidence level. And you start with simple things. Should I buy this pair of shoes or this pair of shoes? Yes. Great. When God says, go ahead and buy both, treat yourself. But the fun things, the little things, the big things, everything, have God involved. Nothing is too small, nothing is too big, nothing is too cavalier for God to be involved in.
Sandy Kovach [00:13:19]:
I agree. Just the communication. And a lot of times it's not going to matter. Whatever your mom cooks, I'm sure is going to be fine. But it's just the process.
Lanée Blaise [00:13:28]:
It's the process, right. That's true too, actually. But sometimes it does, though, because sometimes you go in there and you fix up something and then your stomach starts gurgling, I fixed the wrong thing.
Sandy Kovach [00:13:39]:
Well, we won't go down that way of conversation.
Lanée Blaise [00:13:42]:
Yeah, we won't go down that rabbit hole too far. But just know and remember, we are not trying to say that if you're close to God or you listen for God, that everything in life is going to go terrific, but there are smoother pathways than others and God can see the whole picture. You can't. So if you're able to develop that relationship and that timing and that posture of asking God before you run off and do things, it's really, really helpful and kind of type A personality like myself, like Linnae Blaise, that's a tough one for me, but I'm trying to do it. So I don't quite do what my mom is doing, but I'm trying to take little pieces of that. I like it encourage you all to. So in essence, we're just going to say, imagine yourself believing with faith and hope that God has this wonderful customized way of communicating with you and that if you sit still and listen for it, it will enhance your life in ways that you never imagined.
Sandy Kovach [00:14:53]:
Thank you so much for listening and we would love to hear from you your feedback on your experiences or just what you think. You can leave that in a review. You can send us an email through the website or on social media. We're on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. You can find all those links at Imagine yourselfpodcast.com or in the show notes. And we'll also put a link to the episode we were talking about, the one right before this called God, Please speak to me with Kelly Shelton. And until next time when we have something new to imagine here's to you being blessed by God's guidance.