for THOSE struggling to HEAR GOD

I shared with a friend recently who is struggling to trust that she can hear from God, even through the Bible. I pray it can benefit someone else too.

“It sounds like you definitely have a heart to know and hear God but you don’t trust that you can.

I felt that same thing pretty strongly right after losing Wynter and I’m still on the road to healing in this area. I had been doing this journaling process I learned from Dr. Caroline Leaf to detox my brain and I kept up that format for about a year. In that process, she has you write daily about the toxic thought coming to you, but then she also has you listen for how God would like to respond to it. Through that process, I really started to believe that I DID know how to hear from God in my heart. I was always so afraid that I didn't know how because of my dad. He made us feel unspiritual because of his supposed daily revelations  in which he'd write down pages of stuff that "God was telling him". I never wanted to be a false prophet like him or a kook with outlandish revelations, so I always questioned things I felt God telling me.

But over that year of journaling, I finally felt I had broken through that fear and COULD hear him. It was amazing! I felt so much more peace in my heart and I could feel his love for me so much more.

Then after losing Wynter, I doubted it all. None of it contradicted scripture and it so often spoke exactly to my deepest need, even when I didn’t know what that was, and still I wondered if I made it all up in my head, wishful thinking. What if God was just my imaginary friend I created to feel less alone in life??

This thought broke my heart. God was all I truly had throughout my life. I couldn't bear it if he wasn't real. And in my mind I knew of all the proof of the Bible’s authenticity and the resurrection. I mean, I had been to Israel and seen the original manuscripts of Isaiah, where Christ was prophesied about hundreds of years before he was even born. But the horrible sadness of losing my only child covered all of that.

So a month after Wynter died, we went to stay at our friend's vacation house in Destin, FL for a week. It was Thanksgiving and we were so out of it. I had brought my laptop with the intention of finally facing God and re-reading all the journal entries I had done over the year before Wynter's birth.

I was avoiding it. Avoiding Him.

But when I reread it all, I realized that God didn't deceive me like I’d thought.

There were so many little messages in the parts where I typed out what I felt Him saying to me. He had told me to hold her tightly but hold her loosely. Wow.

I mean, did I think He was he supposed to warn me? If He had, I wouldn't have enjoyed my pregnancy and felt joy and peace. That would've sucked.

As I kept re-reading through the perspective of her passing, I could see that nothing truly contradicted what He had told me. The only thing that I still don't understand and still hurts me is that He said I was coming into a season of joy. But then as I read my favorite authors, they always talk about suffering preceding a deeper joy. I am hoping and waiting for that.

I also noticed how much I prayed for my marriage to improve and for greater purpose in life to minister to people. Something shifted in our marriage big time after Wynter died. We came together more. We still argue sometimes, but we are much more united since having and losing Wynter, and even more since fostering together. So I'm seeing this as an answer to other prayers. And now the book idea too. This could be an answer to my ever longing desires for greater purpose in life.

I'm trying so hard to think from God's long term perspective, not my immediate perspective. I have to believe that He's going to make it up to me with Wynter. That I'll either get to raise her there in Heaven or watch some interactive video replay of her life and not feel I missed out. I think of that often, even as I miss her daily.

For some reason, God has me here on Earth still, with this hole in my heart. I have to believe that even with that hole, He can make something good of my messy life. He did it for those who trusted Him all throughout the Bible, He has to do it for us.

So I am saying "I trust you Lord", even when I'm really scared to trust Him because I don't know if that means more suffering. No one knows.

But I do know that I couldn't bear the thought of Him not even being real and being all alone in life, with no purpose in our sufferings. I'm trying to remind myself of all the times I have known He was with me, whether a sense of His presence, something He showed me in His word that was timely, or through a person reaching out to me at the exact moment I needed them. I am not alone and neither are you, my friend. He is here and we are all doing our best to hear and follow Him. I am sure I've gotten it wrong several times. But somehow He picks up my mess and points me back on the right path. You are not forgotten.”

Much love.

#hearingGod #youarenotforgotten #drcarolineleaf #lovedbyJesus