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  • Writer's pictureMarnie Hammar

What He Speaks To Us, He Can Speak Through Us

Updated: Mar 27, 2023

By Molly Flinkman

Hear Him Louder Essay Series: Molly's Story


The story started in a red leather chair.


I was a thirty-year-old mother of three small children, and I had just learned how to read the Bible for the first time.


The thing is, I had technically been reading the Bible for the majority of my life. There was a box somewhere in that house full of teenage prayer journals and completed Bible studies. The Bible had always been an important part of my life, but something had shifted. I realized—with the help of some outside people and tools—that I didn’t need to rely on someone else’s commentary or expertise to understand and apply the Word of God to my own life.


So, every afternoon while my kids napped, I sat in the red leather chair in our living room and studied.


I started in Romans. I printed out the entire text and wrote all over it with an orange flair-tip pen. I asked God for wisdom and help understanding, and then I circled repeated words and noticed recurring themes and summarized main points. I read slowly and carefully and didn’t pay attention to how many verses I read each day. When I got to the end of the letter, I understood Paul’s words in a way I never had before. Invigorated, I kept going. I read First and Second Corinthians. I included some Psalms. I even tackled Revelation and prayed John’s opening words would be true of me: “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy.” (Revelation 1:2, ESV)

And then, at a point in the midst of all this, a dear friend endured a deeply difficult personal crisis. Her circumstances often felt hopeless to her, and I felt helpless to support her in any tangible way because many miles separated us at the time. So, I texted her daily. I often wondered what words to say that could even begin to be a balm to her troubled spirit, and, often, it was God who answered.


I reminded her that nothing could separate her from the love of God [1] and remembered some verses from 1 Corinthians that spoke specifically to her situation. Mostly, I prayed many of Paul’s words from 2 Corinthians over her. I asked God to comfort her in her affliction [2], to keep her from losing heart [3], and to help her find her home in Him alone [4].


I didn’t always speak perfectly or say the exact right thing, but I remember being aware at the time that many of the words were not my own. They were the Spirit speaking through me, extending the love of God to a fellow believer in need of His care. And the words were the fruit of the hours I had spent in that red leather chair.

In her book, Women of the Word, Jen Wilkin writes that she once viewed Bible reading as though it was a debit account. She came to it with an immediate need and hoped to withdraw a helpful answer. “But we do much better to view our interaction with the Bible as a savings account,” she goes on to say. “I stretch my understanding daily, I deposit what I glean, and I patiently wait for it to accumulate in value, knowing that one day I will need to draw on it.”


This is what I experienced as I walked through that valley with my friend. God’s words had accumulated in value. He knew exactly when I would need to draw on them.


There are countless other times in my life when I have struggled to find words to extend in difficult situations. It’s not that God has grown quiet during these times; rather, I’ve stopped prioritizing His Word in my own life. If I want to be a person who extends the grace of God’s words to the people around me—and I do—then I first must know and understand and cherish the grace of God’s words.


Our red leather chair is long gone; the lessons I learned there remain.


[1] Romans 8:39, ESV; [2] 2 Corinthians 1:4, ESV; [3] 2 Corinthians 4:16, ESV; [4] 2 Corinthians 5:1, ESV.


Photo credit: Unsplash, Alexandra Fuller.

 

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:



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.

 

About Molly


Molly Flinkman is a freelance writer from central Iowa where she lives with her husband, Jake, and their four kids.


A lover of houseplants, neutral colors, and good books, she loves to write about how her faith intersects the very ordinary aspects of her life and hopes her words will encourage and support other women along the way.


You can connect with Molly on Instagram or through her monthly newsletter, Twenty Somethings.

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