How to Hear His Quiet Love Over the Loud of Fear
By Kate Hurley
Hear Him Louder Essay Series: Kate's Story
A few years ago, I drove to my friends' wedding with my neighbor Jana, and her incredibly special four-year-old son, Luke. Luke and I bonded on the drive and were inseparable most of the weekend.
The wedding was beautiful. As the night went on, and the reception progressed, the part of the night that I always dread at weddings came: the slow dance. Everyone had coupled up. As an older single woman, the negative narratives I have believed my whole life were raging in my mind. The Orphan inside of me whispered, “No one will ever love you.”
Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye I caught little Luke looking at me. The bouquets of breathy white flowers the women in the wedding party had carried were strewn around the room on tables. I watched him as he went from table to table gathering them, a pile of flowers in his arms almost as big as him.
Then, to my total surprise, he came up to me, handed me his huge bundle of flowers, gave me a kiss, and whispered, “I love you, Kate.”
With that kiss, the sad parts of me quieted. I said, “Thank you, dear boy. You helped me remember that I am loved.”
My inner voice asks often, “Am I loved?” As I asked it yet again that day, I was reminded that the answer is, and always will be, Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.
I have a big decision to make this week, and my mind is like the scene of that wedding reception. Confusion and fear surround me again, but the One who loves me comes into that place, and amongst all the calamity, He gathers all the beautiful things He can find and hands them to me. He kisses my forehead and gently whispers to me.
I think of one of my favorite passages in the Bible. As Elijah is deeply troubled, He is beseeching God. The Lord told him to go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for He would pass by.
“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, NIV).
Then, Elijah and God met, and God told him very specifically what to do next.
This story captures what often happens in the interior landscape of our minds. The wind of fear rips through us. An earthquake of not knowing what to do shakes us. The fire of anxiety threatens to burn the place down.
But one truth I have learned about negative self-talk is that the stage where all of that chaos happens, in the theater of our minds, is not where our true self dwells. There is a deeper place. A place where God dwells with us. A place where the gentle whisper is. A whisper of love like Luke gave to me on that noisy dance floor.
It is in that place that our spirit lives, where we can listen to His gentle words for us. Wisdom whispers words to us there. Words of comfort. Words of direction. That whisper will tell us what to do next.
Perhaps the very thing I am scared to do is the thing that will propel me into the new chapter of my destiny. Sometimes, “I don’t know what to do,” actually means, “I know exactly what the whisper is telling me, but I am scared to do it.”
God’s perfect love can cast out that fear so we can take the next step and the next step. As Proverbs 4:12 says, "When you walk, your step will not be hampered."
To have a new life, there has to be change. For there to be change, we have to take a risk. For a risk to be taken, there has be a first step towards something different, and sometimes scary.
If that whisper will further God’s mandate of love, even if it hurts, trust it.
If that whisper lines up with God and his Word and character, even if you are scared, listen to it.
When you know in your know-er that it is God speaking, don’t pretend it isn’t there. That whisper tells the truth. When you hear it, pull your cloak over your face and stand at the mouth of the cave of your life. Because when that whisper is near, God is near.
We might be scared to take that step, but we can look down at the flowers in our hands that God gave us, and they will remind us that the answer to the question “Am I loved?” will always be, Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.
He ends every whispering sentence with the same words Luke gave me that day: I love you.
The Hear Him Louder Essay Series is a guest writer 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. When we read each other’s stories of how He meets us, it reminds and reassures us that He is near. 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 notifications for each new essay, posted every other Thursday. When you subscribe, you'll receive a link to a FREE five-day devotional (45 beautiful pages!) called, “Closer: Five Days to Hearing God Louder.” Each day features teaching on one posture and a guided journaling section to help us practice taking steps toward hearing God louder in our every day.
Learn more about each of these five postures:
1 | Seek: If I Seek God, Will I Really Find Him?
2 | Know: Will God Speak, Even to Me?
3 | Expect: Can I Expect to Hear God?
4 | Listen: How Do I Listen for God?
5 | Connect: Is God Really Right Here?
New to this series? Check out the rest of the series!
Interested in contributing to the Hear Him Louder Essay Series? The call for submissions opens in January and June. To submit an essay outside of those windows, contact me.
Kate Hurley is a singer-songwriter, writer, life coach, and teacher based out of Asheville, NC. She has written two books,Getting Naked Later: Making Sense of the Unexpected Single Life, about prolonged singleness, and the upcoming Prodigal Mind: Change Your Story One Thought at a Time on the topic of becoming compassionate observers of our thoughts.
She just became a first-time wife and mother of four stepkids at the age of 45. Kate is passionate about overcoming negative self-talk and has created a personality test and a course on the topic. Take the quiz at http://www.prodigalmind.org/personality-quiz. Find her on Instagram, at her blog at prodigalmind.org and find her music on katehurley.com.