I woke up early (earlier than my usual 7a.m.) one day last week and immediately had the idea that I needed to take a walk in my neighborhood. I have lived in Maui Meadows for 9 months now and have never taken an early morning walk. I have a lovely routine every morning that I follow which includes breakfast, some yoga, prayer, journaling and meditation. I usually take a walk late afternoon when the sun goes down and it’s cool outside. I thought to myself “Why do I need to take a walk before I do anything else, perhaps I am going to meet someone that I hadn’t met before.” So, I got dressed, put a little makeup on and off I went. It was a lovely walk and I waved hello to other early morning walkers, but when I returned home, “nothing seemed to have happened.”
I would love to be able to share a powerful story that unfolded, but nothing happened – at least that I could see. You may wonder why I am telling you this story and even say, “Who cares that you took an early morning walk.” As I thought about it, I realized that I wasn’t attached to the outcome and I didn’t question myself or even wonder what that was all about. You know how that goes! I have learned to listen to the still small voice of God within and my intuition. When I listen to Spirit for the seemingly “small things” that I hear or feel I am to do next, I prepare myself for the bigger and more important things I am called to do. That voice may be referred to as God, Intuition, Spirit, Higher Self, Soul, Higher Power, Source or Universe.
We are all given the gift of intuition, but we may doubt it and not think it is from God or we ignore it because we don’t think it is important and have the time to act on it. It takes practice to follow our inner voice. The more you step out in faith, trust and listen to that small still voice within, the more you make yourself available for Divine Assignments. Ask Spirit to lead you; trust you will be led; expect that you will be led, and then step out in faith and do whatever it is you hear Spirit inviting you to do. Start out small and test the waters. Your words could transform and change another’s life dramatically.
People have asked me, “Pat, how do you know it’s God’s voice and not just your own voice or your ego?” And I tell them, “I don’t always know and It’s only afterwards when people tell me it was exactly what they needed to hear, that I know.” Sometimes it’s scary, my heart pounds and I want to walk the other way when I receive a message for someone. I could be totally off base. I need to let go of my ego and not worry about what others will think of me. I’ve also learned that I need to let go of the outcome, like when I took the walk and “nothing seemed to happen.” It often seems like it comes out of nowhere and just pops into my head. I feel a quickening in my spirit and then I listen and am still. Usually, when I don’t want to do it and I say, “You really don’t want me to do that, do you?” it’s a signal that’s from Spirit. If I am not sure, I ask for a sign or a confirmation that it is from God. I pray and ask for it to get stronger or to just take the desire away. Sometimes I know what I’m going to say and other times, I have no idea what I’m to say and the message comes when I open my mouth. I trust it will come and it always does.
It is important for me to say that “it is my voice” that I hear in my head but it feels different and I recognize that it is God’s voice because I have had a lot of practice since I have been on the spiritual path for many years.
I would like to share a powerful story of when I listened to that small still voice of God within from my book, Simply a Woman of Faith.
“As I drove across the Newport bridge for my weekend R&R, I prayed to be led and open to God’s spirit. Thoughts of my graduation day lingered in my mind. What a thrill it was to walk across the stage and receive my bachelor’s degree at the age of 44. I felt grateful for God’s love and presence in my life, and I wanted to share it with someone, especially someone who needed to hear they were loved.
God please lead me. I want to do your will.
I settled into my room and took a late morning nap before heading out to lunch to my favorite restaurant overlooking Narragansett Bay. I loved watching the boats and yachts come in and out as I sipped my lobster bisque. After lunch, I plopped my beach chair at the edge of the ocean along First Beach, watching the world go by. When I got bored, I took a long walk along the beach. The hot sun felt nourishing and the ocean breeze kept me just cool enough. All weekend long, I listened in my heart to hear God’s voice. But I heard nothing.
I’m disappointed God. I wanted to meet someone and share your love with them, but it’s almost time to go home. Maybe I missed something. I drove out to the ocean one more time before leaving, still quietly hoping God would lead me to someone. As I drove my car along the ocean road, I clearly and loudly heard, PULL OVER HERE. I quickly turned off the road and parked in the parking lot. I eagerly walked to the ocean, sensing God was at work. There were many people and children sitting on the rocks, playing ball and enjoying the sunshine and warm summer breeze.
Okay God, now what? Is there someone here who needs to know your love? YES! I heard quietly in my spirit. As I scanned the area, I noticed a woman sitting by herself on the rocks. She looked immersed in her own thoughts. Deep in my heart, I knew she was the one God wanted me to talk to. What do I say? What will she think of me? Am I nuts? Maybe this is all in my head and I should just go back to my car. I couldn’t; I felt compelled, propelled to follow through.
I know I asked you to lead me God. Why am I afraid and doubting you now? My heart pounded. I nervously walked over, stuck out my hand and introduced myself. I didn’t waste any time, because I knew if I did, I may have chickened out. “Hi. I’m Pat Hastings.” Looking at me kind of strangely she said, “I’m Susan.” “Susan, God wants you to know that He loves you very much.” Her jaw dropped. I could see that my words had taken her off guard. Yet, nothing came out of her mouth. I’m sure she wondered, “Who is this woman and where did she come from?”
The color drained from her face, and she stared at me in shock and disbelief. Tears rolled slowly down her cheeks. Then, the flood gates opened up as she sobbed uncontrollably and her body shook. I wasn’t expecting this kind of raw emotion and didn’t know what to do to comfort her. God, I need help. What do I do now? I gently put my hand on her shoulder and silently prayed. I realized I didn’t have to do anything, but just be there with her. It seemed like an eternity before she got herself together and calmed down. As she looked into my eyes, the words came tumbling out, as if we knew each other for years.
“I want to die. I wanted to kill myself at the very moment you arrived.” I gasped, trying to keep my cool. “Why? What happened?” I nervously asked her. “My husband cheated on me and left me for another woman. We were married for twenty five years and I thought we had a good marriage. I don’t know how I can go on without him. I was so distraught that I missed a few weeks of work. My boss called me into his office yesterday and fired me. I’m better off dead.” My heart went out to her as I reached out for her hand.
“I’m sorry for your pain, Susan. God sent me here today to tell you He loves you. God wants to help you. He knows your pain and what you’re going through.” Her body relaxed and her face lightened as she intently listened to my words. “I thought God abandoned me too – that I was being punished for something. I desperately need to know God loves me and I’m not alone. How can I thank you Pat for coming into my life today?” We sat and talked for a long time about God’s love and how He helped her in the past. She wanted to trust and believe He would do it again. God touched her heart and soul that day and slowly hope and confidence returned. Convinced God loved her, she found the courage to go on and face her problems. We thanked God together, both knowing our meeting was divinely appointed and a GODincidence. We kept in contact for a few years through telephone. Susan went back to school and became a kindergarten teacher, something she always wanted to do.
The presence and power of God is within all of us and we are the instruments that Spirit wants to use in this world if we are willing to trust God, ourselves and our intuition. I hear you saying, “But I don’t hear God like you do Pat.” I ask you, “Do you want to hear God and are you willing to do whatever it is that you hear?” Of course, to hear that small still voice of God within, you must we willing to take the time to listen. Having a daily spiritual practice is crucial to spiritual growth. Are you willing to commit to 10-15 minutes a day to pray and meditate? I assure you that your life will change and you will experience miracles in your life if you are willing to make that commitment to yourself first. You are worth it.
It’s a joy to know I’m making a difference in someone’s life and helping them on their journey to healing and wholeness. It really is fun. Try it you might like it! You can do the same because you have the same Presence and Power within you.
People say. “If I’m always setting goals and reaching for the future, then am I not squandering my now?” And we say if in your now you’re using a future event to make you feel good, you are still feeling good in your now. And that’s the best use of now that you could ever find. Abraham
I really like this quote because it reminds me of something I have been doing for a very long time and that is “acting as if.” It reminds me of faith-which is believing in something you cannot see.
When I went to Bermuda for the first time by myself 22 years ago, I frequented one of the nicest hotels and “acted as if” I was Mrs. Astor. I swam in the pool and sat on the deck overlooking the ocean. It was so much fun imagining I was wealthy and prosperous. I have to laugh because I still frequent the finest hotels while living in Maui.
We are given the opportunity to “act as if” in many areas of our lives. Even when I don’t feel it, I “act as if” I am healed, abundant, whole, perfect, happy and joyful. I “act as if” I have the perfect and right relationship, job, home and finances. When I feel afraid, I “act as if” I am courageous. And it works. We “act as if” something is already done, like making a vision board with all your dreams on it.
I am still “acting as if” and enjoying the life I have created in Maui. For example, last night when I took my sunset walk along the beach, and sat on the lounge chair at the Marriott Hotel, I spotted the table (overlooking the ocean) set for 2 with fine linens and silverware. I wondered who the lucky couple was who were going to be dining there. I heard someone say that is cost $600 to have this special table with their own private waitress.
I wanted to be that woman who was going to be wined and dined sitting at the table overlooking the ocean. “Why not me,” I said to myself. Since the couple hadn’t arrived yet and the waitress was waiting patiently, I walked over and asked the waitress to take MY picture at the table. She smiled and said, “Sure, I would be happy to do that.”
As I walked back to my lounge chair to watch when the lucky couple would arrive, a woman stopped me and said, “Oh, you must be the woman who will be wined and dined tonight.” I smiled and said, “No, not this time, but I just had my picture taken, so I will remember how it feels to be wined and dined with a special table on the ocean.” I “acted as if” I was that woman who would be dining on the ocean. I will keep you posted!
I would like to share a story from my book, Simply a Woman of Faith as an example of “acting as if” and stepping out in faith.
“We both sensed we were being guided to look for another house to buy. We found an affordable house we liked and felt strongly God was leading us and would provide the money somehow.
A friend of ours suggested that my husband apply for a VA loan since he was a
veteran and would be eligible. We scheduled an appointment to meet with the manager in two weeks. “I’m sorry Mr. Hastings. It’s unlikely you’d be eligible for a mortgage with all your money tied up in your new business.” “I know, but I can still apply, right?” my husband answered. “Yes, you can. I just want to be up front with you about the unlikelihood of it going through.” My husband thanked him and said, “I’ll give it a chance.”
Our real estate agent knew about our faith and that we were trusting God to get us the house. She tried to be positive, but it was obvious she had her doubts. She called one day and said, “Pat, I don’t think it’s a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket. What if this house falls through? What will you do?” Are you sure it’s a good idea to give your notice at the townhouse before you know for sure you can get a mortgage?”
“Thank you Darlene for your concern. I know it doesn’t look good on paper, but my husband and I are certain it’s God’s will and it will go through.” Sometimes, it’s just God’s grace that gives you that kind of certainty – a knowing deep within. We stepped out in faith and gave our notice at the townhouse. We started packing boxes, “acting as if” all was well. We didn’t hear anything for a while and hoped that was a good sign.
With only two weeks left before the closing of the house, we became nervous. The boxes were stacked high in the living room and dining room – we were moving, no matter what. When I answered the phone, I could hear the hesitation in Darlene’s voice that she didn’t have good news. I took a deep breath and listened carefully.
“Pat, this is Darlene, I’m sorry but I just got a phone call from the manager of Sovereign bank. Your mortgage wasn’t approved. I’m sorry, I know how you were trusting God.”
“Is there anything we can do?” I blurted out. “Would you give me the manager’s name at the bank? Maybe my husband can call him and explain our situation.” “I’m really not supposed to do this. I could get fired……but, I’ll give it to you, if you don’t tell anyone where you got it from.” “Thank you, I promise we won’t tell.” I immediately called my friend Charlene to pray together on the phone. We asked God for a miracle.
I called my husband and gave him the bad news. “Joe, Darlene just called and told me we weren’t approved for the mortgage.” “What? That can’t be. Can I call someone?” “Yes, Darlene gave me the manager’s name at the bank. It’s Mr. Simeone, but don’t tell him where you got his name.” Joe called the bank and got directly through to the manager.
“Mr. Simeone, this is Joe Hastings. I recently applied for a VA mortgage at your bank. We just got the news that we weren’t approved.” “Why are you calling me? What do you want me to do about it?” he answered abruptly. “I’m just asking to see if there’s anything you can do for us. Maybe there’s been a mistake.”
“I’ll check it out and call you back.” A half hour later he called my husband back and said, “Mr. Hastings, I completely agree with this disposition. You weren’t approved because your money is tied up in the new business.” Silence. For some unknown reason the manager then asked my husband, “What makes you think that this business is going to be successful?” My husband doesn’t even remember what he said, but made up some story of why he thought it would succeed. “It’s the only Christian bookstore in the area and I know it’s going to be successful.”
To my husband’s surprise and delight, the manager replied, “Okay, I’ll approve it.”Divine intervention. It was our faith, “acting as if”, trust and prayer that moved mountains. We did our part and God did His. I couldn’t wait to call Darlene and tell her the good news.
“Darlene, Joe just finished talking to Mr. Simone at the bank and he approved our mortgage.” “Wow. You must know someone upstairs. I have a stack of mortgages here in front of me that didn’t qualify and they were much better than yours. Can I send them over to you?”
Where do you need to “act as if” and believe God is acting on your behalf? Faith is trusting that God will provide and everything will work out for my highest good and for the good of all involved. Faith is believing in myself and that I have everything I need inside of me. Sometimes I must “act as if” and see it on the inside until I can believe it in my heart and it becomes a reality.
“In my heart I accept my perfect being. I accept that the joy I have intended is already in my life. I accept that the love I have prayed for is already in me. I accept that the peace I have asked for is already my reality. I accept that the abundance I have sought already fills my life.”
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