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.
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