Listening to the voice of God, Jennifer Scheuermann observes, means giving Him the opening to win the battle for our hearts.
I don’t think I realized it at the time, but I was holding my breath.
I was at the doctor’s office for my routine yearly check-up and had just stepped onto the scale. Lovely … a well woman exam AND a scale. All in a 30 minute window! Could this day get any better?? I stood perfectly still as an eternity passed. Or perhaps it was just a few seconds. As I waited, I heard a quiet whisper speak inside my mind, “As long as she says any number less than _____ , you’re okay.”
The voice that spoke these words sounded so trustworthy. So full of authority. It sounded so familiar. So much like my own. In an instant, I believed it, taking on this statement as fact.
And a split second later I heard the nurse say a number just OVER the one the voice had whispered, that arbitrary number that would speak to my worth. I paused as a tiny piece of my heart went numb. The voice was conveniently silent now, allowing me to draw my own conclusion – an obvious conclusion that, based on this number, I must not be okay.
Since then I’ve continued to hear this voice. Almost daily it reminds me of the “acceptable” number as well as my “unacceptable” actual weight. I hear it each time I dare to put on clothing with an actual waistband. I hear it each time I pick up a menu and am faced with deciding what I will order. And I hear it each time I glance in the mirror.
This situation is not new. I’ve been here before. And in the past, I’ve responded in unhealthy and obsessive ways. I’ve previously allowed that voice to hold me hostage, forcing me to “serve” it, as I allowed it to dictate everything from my diet and exercise regimen, to my thoughts and sense of worth. I also allowed it to speak to my identity.
But this time? Something is different.
This time, I’ve noticed another voice. A second voice. It also whispers quietly, but the words are very different. They are full of love. Comforting. Reassuring.
And these opposing voices that run through my mind? They. Are. Battling.
This new voice tells me it already knows EVERYTHING about me … BECAUSE IT CREATED ME.
Who I am, how I feel, and what I think.
What I do, and where I go.
When I get it right, and when I get it wrong.
What I like, and what I dislike.
What I look like, and the size I wear.
It tells me it knew all of these intimate details about me before it created me, BEFORE I EVEN EXISTED.
And still ... this voice tells me it desired my presence and chose to create me.
Despite any and everything I could ever do, this voice tells me I am FULLY LOVED, and it is WELL-PLEASED with me. It tells me I am needed – AS I AM – because I was created for a unique and beautiful purpose that NO ONE ELSE can fill.
I know without a doubt this new voice belongs to God. It has become increasingly familiar over the last few years. I also know I am only able to hear it because I have been SO INTENTIONAL about making time to sit with Him each day. I am only able to identify it because I have gotten to know Him – by making time to read His Word regularly.
These voices … the original one that for so long has sold me lies and whispered words I would never allow someone to say to my children … and this new voice of God that is whispering truth into my heart – they’re battling. And I am SO grateful for this battle!
Because I know this battle means that first voice will no longer be able to hold me hostage.
This battle … it signifies freedom.
And so I ask you, what voices are you listening to?
What words do you hear whispered in the quiet recesses of your mind?
Are they ones you would allow someone to say to you out loud?
Are they ones you would allow someone to speak to your children?
If not, perhaps you too should get to know the voice of God.
Become intentional about spending time with Him, so you can learn His voice.
Offer Him a still, quiet space to speak so He can take on your battles.
I know He wants to free you, too.
About the Author
While living out her vocations of marriage, motherhood, and health care provider, Jen is often found on the sidelines of a ball game, searching for shade while cheering on her sons. An early riser, she sits with Jesus while it’s still dark and blogs about their conversations at Early Morning Coffee With Jesus. Get to know her more on Instagram or Facebook @earlyamcoffeewithjesus.