In biblical times, God spoke to His children in a variety of different ways…
- To Adam and Eve, He spoke face-to-face
- To Zechariah and many others, He spoke through an angel
- To Joseph, He spoke through dreams and visions
- To Moses, He spoke through a burning bush
- God spoke to many through prophets
- His voice is described as thunderous
- His voice is described as still and small
- His voice is described as living and active
If the God who was, who is and who will be spoke to His children in so many ways before, why are we surprised and doubtful when He speaks to His children today?
God has spoken to me – a humble, ordinary, sinful girl, two significant times in my life.
Let me take you way back to the time of Blackberry Cellphones, Myspace, and the days where all the girls my age cried inconsolably over Heath Ledger’s death… Yes, 2008… When I could Pop, Lock and Drop It without being horribly mortified by myself.
I was a nineteen year old, newly married, pregnant, college student with a full-time job and a fourteen year old car I was proud to have. My husband, Conlee, and I had married as soon as I graduated from high school and we bought a home in a little town, twenty minutes away from our college and jobs. Now, that might seem ambitious, but it was actually because we couldn’t afford even a one-bedroom rental apartment in town. Conlee was in Pharmacy school and it wasn’t going well… not that he wasn’t plenty capable of making an A+ in every course, but because he had too many responsibilities to prioritize his education. He was thinking of quitting to do something else, but he wasn’t sure what. I, on the other hand, was taking classes for Business Administration because I wasn’t confident enough to allow myself to “dream big.” Of course, in 2008 when the economy was in the middle of a crash-and-burn, business wasn’t a great field to be going into either. Needless to say, we were concerned about our future.
One cold evening in December, I found myself eating a bowl of Ranch Style Beans for dinner as I sat in the floor of my laundry room to fold clothes. I was exhausted from a long day at work and college, plus emotional from being halfway through my pregnancy. I began to cry out to The Lord, “What do you want me to do, God? What is your purpose for me? What do you want me to do with my life? I feel like there’s something more. There’s something I’m missing and I’m not sure what it is. What are you calling me to do, Lord?”
Now, there are two things I want to point out…
- I was alone in silence, not in a noisy chapel full of people
- I was crying earnestly and genuinely, inviting God to see the depths of my despair
When God spoke to me, His powerful voice hit me like a ton of bricks. It was clear, strong and unignorable. No light shone down from Heaven and His voice wasn’t audible as if we were speaking to each other face-to-face. It was almost like a thought that was powerful enough to penetrate through my mind, heart and soul.
The Great I AM responded, “Brittany – I want you to write.”
“Write?” I thought. “Write what?”
I had never written for fun. The only things I ever wrote were for homework or school projects. I had certainly never tried writing to entertain anyone, nor had I even considered it. Why did God want me to write? What did he want me to write? How was I even supposed to write? We only owned an old desktop computer that was flooded with viruses from Limewire. (Ah, those were the days, weren’t they?) I could barely do homework on that computer, much less create some type of masterpiece that would pull me out of the chaos I found myself in. Plus, I had no time. I was working eight hours a day, six days a week, and taking eighteen college credit hours for my Bachelor’s Degree each semester. I certainly didn’t have time for a hobby.
Yet, God reiterated. “I just want you to write.”
“Okay, God.” I whispered between bites of Ranch Style Beans. “I’ll give it a try.”
The next day, I sat down to write and book ideas began to flood through my imagination. One after another, plots and characters were strewn together through my mind. I began writing these stories, one by one, and by the time I graduated from college a year and a half later, I had three written manuscripts and a gorgeous baby boy. Nothing made me happier than writing. It was as if God smiled upon me every time I typed out a new sentence. I had found not only my calling but my dream.
It was nothing less than a miracle.
Years went by as I wrote. Conlee joined the military, we had our second son, and we moved from Oklahoma to Florida. Then, we moved to Alaska. That’s where things became serious in my writing career. After trying helplessly to score a literary agent for my books, I decided to publish them independently. You see, in a time of Fifty Shades of Gray, my clean novels weren’t exciting enough for the industry. Yet, I didn’t let that influence what God had called me to do and what standards I knew He expected of me.
In 2015, Conlee’s enlistment in the United States Air Force was drawing close to an end. He wanted to return to civilian life so we could stay in Alaska indefinitely. We knew the only way for us to afford that was for him to take on another career immediately after his paychecks stopped and in order to do that he might have to take classes or return to college. My books weren’t making much money and we needed a reliable source of income to replace Conlee’s. So, I put my formerly homeschooled boys into private school, bought dress pants, and ordered business cards. I enjoyed my new job as a real estate professional, but dropping my kids off every morning broke my heart. I loved my office, my colleagues, and my clients but I felt like something wasn’t right. I missed writing and being home with my kids.
One snowy morning, I was driving to the office and in an attempt to quit crying over leaving my babies, I began to pray. “God, did your plan for me change?” I asked. “Why didn’t my books succeed? You called me to write, so why didn’t you bless me financially so I could continue writing?”
And, once again, God’s powerful, clear, loving words came to me with a passage from the 29thChapter of The Book of Jeremiah. The people of Israel had been carried into captivity by the Babylonians. The Lord told them to build houses, settle down, have gardens, marry, increase in number and prosperity. He told them to pray for peace over the city because they would prosper when the city prospered. He warned them not to listen to the prophets and diviners there because they had not been sent by God. Then, He promised the people that although they would remain in captivity for many years, when the time was right He would bring them out of the foreign land and return them to the promised land. He would listen when they called, and He would give them hope and a future.
“Okay, God… but what does that have to do with me, with my dreams?”
God’s voice was so calm and understanding. “Just like the people of Israel, you needed growth. You weren’t ready for the promised land yet, but this foreign land will mold you into the person you need to become. You will prosper in real estate, and when the time is right, I will return you to your books.”
And, just as He told me to do, I began to pray for my career in real estate. When my foreign land prospered, so did I. With time, I became able to homeschool my kids again and I mostly worked from home to be with them. Conlee and I bought our dream home, had our third baby, and became established in Alaska. We were busy but content, and yet I still missed writing. I tried to write some but with three kids, extracurricular activities, homeschooling, a job, and a house to care for, I didn’t have a lot of extra time.
Finally, after having my third baby, I felt a still, small voice urging me to write again. I felt as if now was the time to begin my journey back to the promised land. I wouldn’t arrive overnight. No, it would be a long, tedious journey. I’m still thriving in real estate because that’s the career God gave me when I needed it. I’m beyond happy with my family and my life, but I feel God calling me back to my books. I feel Him now saying, “Brittany – I have a plan to prosper you. It’s time to travel back to the promised land, back where you know you belong.”
So, that’s what I will do.
God is calling me to write. Whether blogs or books, fiction or non-fiction, bible study or entertainment, inspirational or serious, My Father wants me to write. That’s His calling on my life, and He cares enough about a sinful girl to speak directly to my heart about it. He chose me for my purpose, not because I’m worthy or perfect, but because I was willing to listen.