Dawn Tolbert

Writer
Emerge Faith Reflections Writing

God just spoke through the radio

Clock radio

I think God just spoke to me through the radio.

It was a rainy, windy Saturday morning, and though my alarm wasn’t set to go off for another 20 minutes or so, I was in that warm spot between sleep and total wakefulness. My husband’s clock radio was already urging us to join the real world.

The radio program was airing an interview, and the words slowly wound themselves in and out of my consciousness, shaking me awake mentally, physically and spiritually. I began to hear, still not fully comprehending, as the conversation focused on the hectic pace of our lives as women and the seemingly endless choices we are asked to make, tasks others would like us to perform, people we need to invest ourselves in. The speaker, an author, was talking about her latest book.

“If I say ‘yes,’ I will have less time,” the interviewee said. “I have to decide if the less is worth my ‘yes.’”

Wow! At this point, I am sitting up in a tangle of blankets, furiously typing notes into my iPhone. The timing of the interview and its Saturday morning airing is not lost on me. In this new year of 2015, I have set some very specific goals for myself, claiming for myself the goal of emerging from daily busyness to be more fully the person God created me to be.

I know that my development begins in pursuing a personal, intimate relationship with my Savior, Jesus Christ. I have claimed as an unofficial verse of the year Jesus’ call to me: “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). Through Bible reading, prayer, and Bible study, I have felt Jesus calling me to rest more securely in His love, to allow Him to do the work in and through me.

Part of that work relates to the area of my writing. My prayer each day this year has been that God would use the words of my mouth (or, more accurately, my fingers!) for His honor and His glory.

My prayer each day is that God would use the words of my mouth (or my fingers!) for His honor & His glory. Click To Tweet

So, my heart was pounding as I heard the interviewee on the radio saying, “I process life through writing.” She felt called to write, even in the midst of raising young children, being a wife, working outside the home, and having countless other responsibilities. She sat down, listed all of those items and found she only had three and a half hours available in her week that she could focus on her writing. So, what did she do? She made an appointment with herself for that time and honored it as she would a commitment to spend the time writing.

“Who did they say she is?,” I asked Larry. “Who is she? Did they say?”

“They will say her name in the recap at the end, I guess.”

Finally, they did mention her work with the Proverbs 31 Ministries, and I realized it was Lysa TerKeurst speaking.

I listened even more intently as she began to talk about her search as she explored the question “What am I designed to do?” For her the first stop was selling kitchen gadgets. (Mine was scrapbooking supplies.) Then, she tried flower arranging. (I tried selling makeup.) Lysa added, “Then when I tried writing, I had this perception that I am just a walking mess.” BINGO!! That’s me, right there, in one sentence.

Lysa said that as she kept writing she failed often, but “recognized that I wasn’t just failing in these things; I wanted to fail forward.” To nurture her writing, she dove into God’s word, claiming the truth of Philippians 1:9-10, “And this is my prayer, that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best.”

As the interview ended, I sprung from the bed, dashing in here to my writing nook, excited to begin working on this blog post. No, Dawn. “Seek first My kingdom.” I could feel the Spirit calling me to spend time in God’s word. So, I throttled down my writing excitement to focus on my Bible reading and to continue the Bible study I am doing through Jennifer Kennedy Dean‘s book Altar’d.

Today’s topic: discernment.

Jennifer writes, “God wants you to understand His ways. He wants you to have ‘the full riches of complete understanding’ (Colossians 2:2)… He wants to ‘fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding’ (Colossians 1:9)… He wants us to have ‘a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ (Philemon 6). Why? Because if we know what could be ours in Christ, we won’t settle for anything less.

Because if we know what could be ours in Christ, we won't settle for anything less. Jennifer Kennedy Dean,… Click To Tweet

Pursuing the knowledge of the truth of God’s word and praying for discernment, Lysa said she “wrote one little article” and, though scared, “got brave enough to share it with a friend.” Eighteen books and an incredible ministry later, Lysa is having a profound impact on the lives of Christian women.

I don’t know God’s plan for my writing, for my life, but here I am, stepping out in faith, being brave enough to share this with a friend. Thankful that the God of the Universe used two incredible women to speak His truth to me through their words. I offer myself as a willing vessel, praying He will use my words to be a blessing to others.

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