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  • Writer's pictureMarnie Hammar

For When God's Whispers Land Like Shouts

By Casey Hilty

Hear Him Louder Essay Series: Casey's Story

A wise teacher once told me that a loud voice amplifies the students’ noise level, but a quieter voice invites them to lean in. By this point in the year everyone is ready for summer. Noise levels are amped up. Energy levels are ramped up. I teach drama and communication, so my classroom is naturally loud, but by this point in the year, it’s next level.

I have two options to communicate with my classes: I could speak over their voices, or I could command silence in my room before speaking. Sometimes my knee-jerk is the former. But if I want them to not just hear my voice but listen to what I say, I wait for them to respond to my attention-getter. I pause as long as I need for their voices to subdue to silence before trying to communicate my message to them. The quieter my voice is, the more their attention turns toward me. Imagine their little bodies shifting forward, eyes searching mine, to hear me louder.

I think God does the same with us. Here in Elijah’s story we find an impressive list of communication options and yet, look at how God ultimately chose to meet Elijah:

“Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks

before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an

earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire,

but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah

heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the

Cave,” (1 Kings 19:11-13).

For three years, the first thought on my mind when I woke up every day was, “You should be

writing today.” Only morning people have clarity before the sun rises and I’m not a morning

person. And free spirits like me don’t have that type of consistency in thoughts. God was

whispering a directive and I took my good ole’ time taking the first step toward obedience.

Before His persistent whispered reminders, I had heard Him loud and clear.

I was attending a conference for Christian leaders when the Holy Spirit infiltrated my thoughts (and the message I was supposed to be listening to) to tell me I was going to write a book. His voice was so close to being audible that I turned to my husband and asked, “Did you hear that? I’m supposed to write a book?” The title, concept, and chapters were downloaded to my brain in that holy moment. 

So why did it take me so long to respond?

Life, ministry, motherhood, and entrepreneurship filled my life to the brim. Something had to

give if I was going to make room for a project of this magnitude. I assumed time would free up when my art business took off, but I kept hitting roadblocks along the way. Entrepreneurial hiccups aren’t uncommon, but what I was experiencing should have been easy to traverse.

In Numbers 22, Balaam’s donkey saw the angel of the Lord blocking his way and he turned off the path. Again, the angel of the Lord appeared and the donkey cowered against the wall. A third time, with nowhere to go, the donkey laid down with Balaam on his back. Balaam’s journey should have been an easy one, but God wasn’t happy with the direction he was taking. Balaam said to the angel, “I did not realize you were standing in the road to oppose me,” (Numbers 22:34).

It’s one thing to hear God; it’s another thing to respond. God didn’t let me forget what He was calling me to do.

He caught me in the quiet moments before the day ahead came into clear focus. He also caught me in the busiest moments at the height of what I thought I should be doing with my life. 

Like a classroom of students in March, He figured I needed the constant, repetitive reminders to follow His command. And just as I can anticipate when a student is about to make a bad choice, God did the same for me and stood in my way. The Lord opened my eyes as he did for Balaam and I knew what I had to do. Finally, I listened.

It’s been seven years since I closed my art business and I haven’t looked back. Art never took a back seat, it came alongside my writing in a new way. It was His plan for my creative juices all along. God has used my words, both written and spoken, and my art to minister to women as they grow to know Him. Seven years, two books, and many scripture art projects later, and He continues to give me opportunities to share His message—this post being one of the many.

Through our years of morning conversations, I tried telling Him that I wasn’t a writer, but

through that He has taught me that His anointing equips the called. But we must tune in to listen to His voice in all the ways He speaks, especially the whispers.

Photo credit: Unsplash, Ryan Moreno.


The Hear Him Louder Essay Series is a guest essay series where God's daughters share their stories of hearing God’s whispers in their every day. It’s meant to serve as an encouragement for the times when God feels far and seems quiet. May this series be an invitation for us to listen for His voice together.

Don't miss any posts in this series! Subscribe to receive each new essay in your inbox, posted every other Thursday. When you subscribe, you'll receive a FREE download of a Prayer Planning Worksheet, a resource to help you prepare your heart to listen for His voice in prayer.

New to this series? Check out the rest of the series!


About Casey

Casey Hilty is a Christian speaker, artist, worship leader, and author of Her Children Arise: Passing a Legacy of Faith to the Next Generation.

Using both storytelling and visual art, she is passionate about taking mothers on a journey from apathy to awe to fall in love—or back in love—with God and His Word. Casey recently jumped back into the world of teaching after being a stay-at-home mom for 14 years. She and her husband, Bo, have three school-aged kids, a gaggle of pets, and call South Louisiana home. You can find her at her website or on Instagram and Facebook.


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