Over the weekend, I went on a crazy adventure to Austin, Texas. There I finally met over two hundred of my favorite people for the first time. We’ve all been on this wild ride of launching the (wildly fabulous, must-read) book “For the Love” together. Within our online group, we’ve laughed together, cried together, grown together and been challenged together. But, for the most part, we hadn’t actually been together—until this weekend.
I think we were all a little overwhelmed and I know I’ll be processing it all for weeks to come. One thing I heard over and over again was, “It’s so weird to finally hear your voice” or “It’s so cool to finally put a voice with the face.” It’s true. I had failed to realize how much of someone we come to know through voice alone. The way they pause on a word, the love they somehow communicate or the life they impart just with the sound of their voice.
My husband Ryan has a voice that drew me in from the beginning. It’s just like him—stable, strong, peaceful, kind. We spent many hours on the phone in the early days of our dating relationship. How I looked forward to the sound of his voice.
My daughter Avery crinkles her nose when she’s saying something with extra emphasis. Her voice tells such story, sings a song.
My son Hayden’s voice tells what the rest of him does—he’s becoming a man and ever so quickly.
Lately, I’ve felt a deep, persistent need to hear more of my Heavenly Father’s voice. But there was just so much LIFE in the way, you know, trips to prepare for and recover from, kids to raise, decisions to make. So much noise. I was talking about one of those decisions I was trying to make with one of those amazing new friends when she stopped me and said, “I think you just need to slow down and trust because you sound kind of frantic when you talk about this.”
First of all, Praise God for friends (both new and old) who aren’t afraid to step on your toes or up get up in your business a bit when it’s called for. How deeply grateful I am for the people God has surrounded me with who are constantly sharpening me, inviting me to a deeper place in Christ. But secondly, anytime I start to sound or feel frantic I know that I haven’t been spending enough time listening to my Father’s voice. Because he speaks peace to storms. He quiets my heart when the wind and waves pound the shores. When I feel insecure, unsure of who I am, he speaks and I am reminded that I am HIS and that is all that matters. When I feel unloved and unseen, he speaks and I reminded that I am seen, known and loved by the God of the universe—anything, anyone else is just a bonus.
Before I even got home, I began quieting those other voices, the ones drowning out the voice of my Father. All the noise, all the distractions—they had to go. In the silence, do you know what I heard? His voice. Can I gently remind you that whatever you have to release, whatever you have to silence in order to hear his voice, it’s worth it?
How he longs to speak with us, to walk and talk with us in the cool of the day. This is what we were created for, to commune with him, to know him and be known from the depths of our being.
What can you lay down today? What voices can you quiet in order to hear THE VOICE? I promise you, it will be worth it.