It was a Monday morning in August. I sat in my office and listened virtually to Speak Up faculty member Kia Stephens as she discussed how to be prepared for radio, TV, and podcast interviews.
My cell phone chimed.
I recognized the name of the caller. Previously, I had spoken on-line for the organization she represented, addressing this topic: “No Matter Your Age, You Have a Life Purpose.” That fun episode was aired over YouTube on the “Learn a Latte” program. I used worksheets to encourage a large virtual audience to take inventory of their lives.
Jennifer asked if I would be willing to be interviewed on the Real Possibilities TV Show for Michigan AARP. Quietly, I chuckled and then said, “Yes.”
That was an easy yes to know His lead. But how do we stay tuned-in when several arms reach for our time and attention? A spouse, a teen, a child, an aging parent, a career, an illness, or volunteering in church, and/or doing too much of everything else, because truth be told, it’s easier than what He’s calling me to do. When you throw in loss, grief, emotional pain, and our character issues that we’ve chosen to ignore, life becomes muddied and noisy.
So how do we stay turned-in to His voice?
- Recognize the sovereignty of God in your life.
“…[He] is the blessed controller of all things, the king over all kings and the master of all masters…” (I Timothy 6:15 Phillips)
- Listen to the voice of God.
“My sheep listen to My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” (John 10:27 NASB). Can you hear Him? Do you know His voice? If you’re not in the Word daily, I challenge you to stop, be still, and grow your desire to fall in love with Jesus through reading of His Word and tuning into the high frequency of “the Jesus channel.”
- Pray, pray some more and gather your prayer team.
I highly recommend Speak Up faculty member, Janet McHenry’s book, Prayer Streaming to learn to live a life of prayer.
- Be coachable and be held accountable as a leader.
Your pathway will be full of plans and pain, writing and rewrites, speaking and sitting, acceptances and rejections, growth and grit, soaring and surrender. We need support.
- Evaluate your current roles.
These opportunities are open doors from God, with no guarantee of longevity. In 2011, my mom was still alive, I was married, and a busy mom of three teens. Daughter role in gear. Wife role in action. 24/7 Mom role in full swing.
Over a period of 40 days, I lost my mom, my abusive husband of 27 years walked out, and my three teens chose to live elsewhere. Just-like-that—poof! Gone! No longer a daughter, a wife, or a 24-7 mom. Talk about an earthquake-size shake and shift of my life. Appreciate the roles you have today.
- Define the character trait is God asking you to address.
It’s uncomfortable to be pruned, but worth it. Often, we’re in a position of waiting, suffering, and submitting. The way up in the Kingdom is down. And the way to a crown is the cross, and most of us have some sort of a cross to carry. The bottom line is that God wants us to want Him above all else and to grow in intimacy with Him.
- Recognize that you cannot be all things to all people.
I see this often as I coach gifted women. They draw, write, sing, paint, speak, redo homes, volunteer, serve, work full time, yet to laser in on something they sense God wants them to create and lift to a higher level for His glory can be excruciatingly difficult. You may have to say no to some of the easier activities.
- Stay in tune to God’s lead.
That requires grit and obedience to honor your story. No matter what our instant-fix-give-me-what-I-want-world of entitlement projects, enduring and listening to His lead is crucial.
Let’s go back to the TV show interview I was asked to be interviewed on—you remember, the one that made me feel like I must be “a woman of a certain age.” How did I know my answer should be an enthusiastic yes?
During COVID, I listened to a Michigan woman’s business show online. I sensed a Holy Spirit nudge that I was to reach out to the host. And I did. We met and had a heart-to-heart chat. She emailed and asked me to speak for the “Learn a Latte Show.”
Months later the interview for the TV show took place. Next a surprise nomination landed in my inbox. Then came a committee’s selection to become a recipient of “16 over 60” Awards in Kent County, Michigan. All of this transpired over a three-year period.
Remember—God is the timekeeper on the opening and closing of doors.
His sheep hear His voice. Let’s remain tuned into Him. I invite you to take His hand and I’ll take His other as we step up to His call.
Question: Which one of the eight steps for staying “tuned in” to His voice is most challenging for you?
About Darlene Larson
Darlene Larson is author of the life changing coaching devotional series, Enable Me, Lord to Shift: Are you stuck in idle? Learn how to shift into Truth and live, creator of the Christian Women Writer’s Recipe Box, a DIY life purpose course for women to get their hard story out to-paper-to-book. Darlene is an inspirational speaker, and founder of Hearts with a Purpose where she coaches women around the world to find purpose with their pain, as a Grief-loss and Life Purpose Coach®. To refuel her wellspring, Darlene relishes a daily walk in her four-season state, Michigan. To follow Darlene and to get more information on her resources, so to www.Heartswithapurpose.com and receive a free gift.