On Praying to Hear Him (and How the Answer Might Come on a School Bus)
By Jodi Rosser
Hear Him Louder Essay Series: Jodi's Story
There are some moments in our faith walk that we will never forget. Maybe it was a time you felt a nudge from God or heard Him speak a truth into your heart. For me, it was the latter.
Let’s flashback to 2018. I had recently started writing weekly on my blog. The year before that God had placed a book idea into my heart, and I was just beginning to create my first book proposal. Originally, I thought it would only be about my divorce, but I felt God say in my heart, “There are two other heartbreaks that need to go into this book.” As I thought about my miscarriage and losing my friend to cancer, I was stunned as I realized most women have walked through one of these losses or knew someone who had.
Grateful for God’s words, I thought to myself, “How do you write a book with three different storylines?” For the next two months, this question became my prayer request.
Interestingly, when I began writing every Wednesday, I would pray every Tuesday night for God to give me the words He wanted me to share. Each Wednesday morning at 5:00 a.m., I would wake up with stories and phrases dancing in my head that I knew were from God.
If He can do it each week for my blog, I knew He would be faithful for my book. So in addition to praying for my weekly posts, I prayed for God to speak to me and give me a clear vision for my book.
The answer to this prayer is one of those marked moments in time for my faith. My youngest son was in fifth grade, and we had an hour-long bus drive to his field trip. Assuming I would sit next to my friend and gab the whole way, I did not bring a book or anything to do for the lengthy ride. She ended up sitting next to the teacher, and I sat next to a mom I had never met. We did not have much in common, and I found myself sitting there quietly with a whole lot of time on my hands.
I truly believe God needed me to be still and completely silent, so I could hear Him loud and clear.
Just that morning, I had a read a devotional from Proverbs 31 Ministries about finding hope in loss. As I read through the comments, women shared how God felt distant and they did not see light at the end of the tunnel. They doubted God’s goodness and were confused by His plan for their lives.
As I was sitting on the bus, thinking about those hurting women and the truth they needed, suddenly a very profound thought entered my brain. The word, STRENGTH, began to turn on its side, and words started to form for each letter.
S - Seek God and run to Him in the pain.
I sat there in awe of the God of the universe! He was answering my prayer by dropping into my head a beautiful acrostic for the word, “Strength,” which would become the outline for my book with my three different storylines.
I did not have any paper or anything to write these thoughts down, so I grabbed my phone and began an email to myself. More thoughts kept appearing and I just kept taking notes on my phone.
T - Trust God has a good plan beyond what you can understand.
As I was typing these words, I realized that there are two T’s in “Strength,” so I decided that should be the second one as it is hard to trust right at the beginning of the loss.
T - Take time to grieve.
As soon as these words dropped in my brain, I realized this would be the first “T” in the acrostic. It is so important to take time time to feel, so you can begin to heal. It later changed to, “Tearfully allow yourself time to grieve and process the emotions.”
E - Embrace God’s character development.
Each phrase He continued to give me left me speechless. Even though I never heard God’s audible voice, I knew God was speaking to me. In such a tangible way, it was like His words were downloading into my head. God was answering my prayer, right there on that bus! To this day, when I think of that hour-long bus ride, I smile and say, “In awe of God, 2018.”
Friend, God wants to speak to you too. Many times, life is too busy, and the world is too noisy to listen. Can I encourage you to find time to stop, be still, and wait on Him?
For me, it took an hour of silence and months of prayer, but wow, He showed up big!
I believe God wants to show up big for you too. He desires your time. He wants you to seek Him and ask Him for His wisdom and guidance. Maybe like me, you don’t hear Him audibly, but you sense His nudges or His voice in your head and heart.
Friend, these are the powerful moments that will deepen your faith. These are the marked moments in your walk that will change your life. I'm praying you hear from the God of the universe this week!
Note: To read Jodi's story and the full acrostic from the bus that day, be sure to grab Jodi's book, Depth: Growing Through Heartbreak to Strength.
Photo credit: Wix media
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. 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 resource, A Listening Guide + Prayer Map, which walks you through four heart postures to help you learn to hear His voice in prayer. This guide is a tool to listen for Him differently, and capture your prayer time in a new way, helping you know Him deeper and hear Him louder.
Learn more about each posture:
1 | Know: Will God Speak, Even to Me?
2 | Expect: Can I Expect to Hear God?
3 | Listen: How Do I Listen for God?
4 | 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 twice a year. To submit an essay outside of those windows, contact me.
Jodi Rosser is an author, podcaster, and speaker who serves women through her podcast, Depth, and her blog, Heartbreak to Strength. In August 2022, she released her first book, Depth: Growing Through Heartbreak to Strength.
Having walked through multiple heartbreaks (divorce, miscarriage, & cancer), Jodi now inspires women to grow deeper in their faith and to find hope, joy, and purpose through their unexpected storms. She lights up the most when she shares her testimony using her cracked clay pot, a visual reminder that God shines brightest through our broken places.
She is raising two teenage sons in Southern California. Jodi would love to connect you online at jodirosser.com and send you her 10 “Not Enough” Statements and a Bible Verse to combat each one. You can also connect with Jodi on Instagram, @jodi.rosser.