Sunday, June 1, 2008

It Is Well

I heard His voice loud and clear. Yes, God's voice. I was sitting in the sanctuary many years ago, among multiple other women who were attending the ladies seminar at church that morning, and I heard God's voice so loud and clear, that I looked around to see if anyone else had heard it. Since I didn't see any commotion, and no other women were appearing confused, dismayed or frantically gazing upwards with a look of "who said that?" on their face, I determined that I was, indeed, the only one who had heard it.

What did God say, you ask? He simply said, "Tracie, Go... and share your story". Did I say, "sure God! When can I start?!" Nope. I quickly and adamantly said "No God. Forget It". In fact I got into a bit of an argument with God in my head, assuring Him that I could understand His mistake of thinking that I would actually share anything spiritual or private with anyone, much less my most private experiences in life. But of course, God does not make mistakes, and did not make a mistake here. He simply knew my future before I did.

That was about eight years ago, and every year about this time, I am reminded of that day, and the miraculous things He has done in my life since then. A few years after hearing God's voice, in June 2005, I finally took a little step of faith, and attended the Proverbs 31 Annual She Speaks Conference, which is an amazing three day conference that equips women to speak and write for God's kingdom. I had no idea why I was there or what God had planned for me, but it turned out to be a life changing, heart altering, experience. As a result, every June, I am reminded of this memorable day - the day when I truly knew it was well with my soul.

For years I had hidden deep hurts down in my heart, and had allowed the enemy to keep me in a constant state of belief that God could never forgive me or love me. But after spending 48 hours in the midst of God's presence at She Speaks, all that changed. After a powerful worship session, I walked up to a big wooden cross, with tears pouring down my face, and nailed a little notecard to that cross with a hammer.

On that notecard I had written the key to my self-condemnation; the sin that I had committed; the burden I had carried around my neck for years; the reason I believed that God could not love me. I covered it with my hand, so no one behind me could read my secret. But when I secured it to the cross, and heard the pounding sound of the hammer into the wood, I immediately felt like I was in the presence of angels.....and a miracle occurred - the pain and the shame instantly left my heart.

I had kneeled at the foot of that cross as a broken woman, but stood up with a new perspective about who God was, and who I was in His eyes. For the first time in many years, the pain was gone, the shame was gone, and the shackles crashed to the floor. I turned and walked away a new person - a cleansed and forgiven person - with a renewed internal presence of the Holy Spirit in my heart. I accepted God's forgiveness with all my heart, and for the first time ever, I was able to forgive myself. Suddenly a peace washed over my soul that I will never forget. I left my burdens on that cross, and walked away in freedom.


In that fragile moment of redemption, I heard God's voice again. He gently said, "it is now well with your soul". My heart skipped a beat, and I felt short of breath for a second. God had spoken once again, and I had felt His words in my heart.

The Monday after that conference, I resigned from my corporate position, and began a new life with a new boss - God himself. Since then, God has done unbelievable things ... things which I would have never dreamed of, much less believed were possible. For I'm just little 'ol me, but I know now, that my God is a big and powerful God.

If you are registered for this year's She Speaks Conference, I can't wait to meet you! The P31 speaker team is praying for God to open your heart and make His path known to you. He has called you for a purpose, and you are in for a great awakening of clarity and spiritual renewal. If you are not registered, consider attending next year!

But either way, I know God has done something amazing in your life that will encourage others. So.......Do you have a miracle to share? Have you ever had that ah-hah moment, when you suddenly knew that all was well with your soul? Have you ever heard God's voice so clearly about something, that you could not deny it was Him?

I'd love to hear about it! I know everyone who reads this blog will be blessed by hearing of some of the amazing things God is still doing in the lives of His children.

As a little motivator, post your brief story on my blog, and you will be entered into a drawing to win a free signed copy of my book, Reinventing Your Rainbow (please be sure not to comment as "anonymous" if you would like to be entered into the drawing).

If you prefer to go ahead and purchase a copy of the book, and read my whole story of how I discovered God's will, and be reassured that He can use all things to His glory, click below to be directed to the Proverbs 31 shopping website.


http://shopp31.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=151

Or, if you are attending She Speaks, you can purchase the book at our resources tables.



I can't wait to hear from you! Have a blessed week!










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12 comments:

Kim said...

Hello Tracie. Thanks for sharing that experience. It reminds me of the time that I was sitting at church listening to a missionary speaker from New York. I heard God's voice, just as if He were sitting right next to me. He told me that I was going to help hurting women. He told me to trust Him and obey Him and He would lead, guide and direct me. I went to the altar that morning and gave my life to do whatever He wanted me to do for Him.

I was a battered wife for almost 20years. I was married to a Baptist preacher. I stayed all those years b/c I just knew that God was going to make everything ok. I wanted my family to be ok. I didn't believe in divorce, so I stayed for 20 years. During that time, I drank and took pills to cope. I've been to a Detox and 3 rehabs throughout the years. In Oct. of 2005, I finally got the courage to leave my husband. I have 3 children and we live with my parents.

Since the time that I heard God speaking to me, He's led me to finish my education. I'm majoring in Sociology. I have a passion for hurting women. I also work at a battered women's shelter. I love the women. I am able to share with them that there is hope after an abusive relationship. Most of these women are also addicted, so I'm able to share my experience, strength and hope concerning addiction.

Has it been easy since I heard God's voice that Sunday? NO!! Have I been perfect in obeying God since that Sunday? NO!! In fact, I have had a major relapse with the alcohol since that time. Satan tries to tell me that I'm not good enough to do this. Well, I'm not, but God is. He tries to tell me that I'm too weak b/c I still struggle with the alcohol. Well, I'm not strong enough, but in my weakness, I am made strong through Jesus!!!

I'm sorry this was so long, but I just had to share. I'd love to read your book.

Thanks for all you do!!

Kim Tifton, GA

Laura said...

Tracie,
I came over from your devotional today and just wanted to let you know how you have touched me. Your words are one of the ways God is using to speak to me today! I can't wait to see you at SheSpeaks!
Laura

Kelly said...

I have a brief story to share. I was in my early 20's and had only been a Christian for about a year or two. I was in the drive-thru line at the bank, feeling depressed because I was driving an old beat-up car, working at a job that didn't pay much, and feeling anxious about paying bills. While I was waiting in line, a little brown bird landed on the hood of my car and just stared at me through the glass. All of a sudden, I "heard" a voice speak, inside my head, but I could 'hear' it, and it was a very gentle and loving voice that said "I take care of the birds...what makes you think I can't take care of you?" I remembered something about a verse that sounded like this in the Bible and looked it up later in Matthew 6:26...but I remember just feeling so relieved after hearing God tell me that, like I just knew everything would be okay and I could trust and rest in Him. I went from fretting and anxious to calm and peaceful and trusting in a second!! I know He sent that little bird just for me that day!
Blessings,
Kelly

Jerralea said...

I find that God speaks to me through circumstances a lot of the time. About 12 years ago, I needed to find a job because my husband, who is bipolar, was becoming ill more often and was missing a lot of work. I had been out job-hunting and frankly was feeling pretty down about it all. My 10 year old asked me, "Mom, if you could get a job doing anything you wanted, what would it be." I don't know why, because I had never thought about it before, but I said "I would like to be a church secretary."

The very next day a cousin, that we hardly ever run into, called me and said, "I was praying because our church needs a secretary and the Lord brought your name to my mind and I wondered if you'd be interested." Long story short, her church did hire me and I've been a church secretary ever since.

Many other times God has arranged circumstances just for me to show me He has all under control!

I'd love to read your book! Thanks for sharing.

Roxie said...

Tracie, Loved your devotion today. Your "tune" in thoughts made me think of all the stations on satelite radio and how you have to have the right equipment to pick them up. Just like we have to "tune" ourselves to hear God and to see him in our circumstance.

As a single mom, I have learned that God often speaks to me in the stranges places in the stranges ways. I went through a phase when every time I went to Wal-mart, I got a new revelation from God. I even managed to tell one of my children in the Wal-mart parking lot..."If you would wait just a minute, I'm about to give you everything you want." Only to realize that this wasn't for my child, but a direct word to me from God-LOL!

Blessings, Roxie

sunshineperri said...

Hello Tracie,
I am typing this with tears in my eyes for your wonderful heartfelt experience.
While I haven't heard God's voice, he has directed me. I started homeschooling my daughter in February 2005. In August 2006, I also started homeschooling my son.
In March of 2007, I received a phone call that my mom had lung cancer. She was told she might get 1-5 years left. I packed up my children, school supplies and went to her and my dad. We would spend a couple of weeks with them and then come home. Back we would go for another week, home and on and on. Unfortunetly, she only lasted a year. But I was able to take care of her and my dad. My children were able to spend time with her. If God hadn't directed me to homeschool, we wouldn't of had much time with her, only weekends.
She passed away on March 25, 2008 and we were all by her side.
Hopefully, if I start to listen more closely, I will hear our Savior.
Thank you for sharing.
Bunny

Digging for Pearls said...

Hi Tracie,
My story is a little different than what you were asking for I guess.

Almost nine years ago, our then five year old, fell off his bunk bed and completely shattered his spleen. He needed to be flown via helicopter to a bigger hospital, that could possibly save it. As they were preparing to take him away in the helicopter I knew that he could be in surgery before we were able to travel the distance in the car to get to him. I also knew that it was even possible that he wouldn't be alive. But as the helicopter took off I felt an overwhelming sense of God's peace and presence and knew that whatever happened I knew that I could trust God.

Just wanted you to know that I will be praying for you as you prepare for She Speaks. May God use you in a special way.

Blessings,
Pearls

barbaraK said...

Seven years ago I was in Wal-Mart in the yogurt section. I heard someone call my name "Barbara". After seeing no one near I knew, I started to continue my shopping. Then I heard my name again, "Barbara". I realized this audible voice was inside my head. This was a first, a big first for me. I would have loved to see my face on the Wal-Mart video security camera. My eyes were probably as big as saucers! I stopped in my tracks. The Lord said to me, "I am Faithful and True to what I tell you. Trust me MORE. I want MORE of your life." What does that mean I wondered? What could He want with me? I am a nobody. He must have mistaken me for someone who has abilities. Two weeks prior to hearing His voice in an out of the box way, I had my first encounter with God while I was praying. ( This is in my testimony for She Speaks). It was a life changing moment and this moment in Wal-Mart was just a follow up on what God started doing in my life. We are going places...together! God has called me to be a voice for Him. I am not crazy about being on a stage but I was made to talk about who He is. If I could be the "invisible speaker", I would be! I think the Lord has something "major" to say or "reveal" to me at She Speaks. I can't wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
His girl,
Barbara K.

Edie said...

Hi Tracie - I have to admit that I ran across your blog and this post tonight as I was searching for an encouraging Word from God, wanting very much to hear from Him. Tonight I have been feeling quite discouraged and found myself questioning Him; asking if He really does have a plan for my life, if there really is a part for me. Now the truth of the matter is that I KNOW the answer to the questions. In my head I know, but tonight my heart is battling with doubts. I might be writing this to help me focus on Him better.

I have heard God speak to me many times. I will tell you (briefly) of two times. When I was about 17 years old I was an agnostic. I had heard so many religious opinions about God with no convincing evidence that I didn’t believe what “man” said any longer and I wanted no more opinions. But I did want Truth. I decided that if there really was a God, powerful, loving, and merciful, then He was quite capable of telling me that He was real, so I asked Him to do just that. One day as I was sitting outside with a friend, God spoke to me and said “I Am Real”. I heard it in my heart but I HEARD it and immediately told my friend that God just spoke to me.

Another time I had been thinking about the rainbow. How I had not seen one in a very long time and how it had been a very, very long time since I had heard anyone even mention the rainbow. I began wondering how many people still considered the meaning of the rainbow, how many children had been told of God’s covenant, and I began to thank Him for His faithfulness. That even when no one seems to notice it anymore He still places that rainbow in the sky. The next afternoon it rained. As I was leaving work, I walked out the door and directly in front of me was the most magnificent double rainbow I had ever seen in my life. It was so close I could almost touch it and it took my breath away. I knew that God had created it just for me. To tell me that He heard me.

I’m sorry this is so long. Thank you for helping me to focus on His unfailing love. May He richly bless your ministry. I'm looking forward to reading your book whether I win it or purchase it.

Charlene Kidd said...

Tracie,
I remember that conference. It was incredibly moving. I am so glad to share and serve with you

mrsroneis@yahoo.com said...

Tracie,Your blog reminded me of the first time I knew God spoke in my heart, many years ago when I was a young woman (I am now a "young"grandma!)I was sunbathing at the beach and heard "Go talk to that teenager about Me!" I knew it was the Lord and I began to argue with Him in my mind, because I was not so bold and didn't know what I would say. He said "You go, and I will give you the words." Timidly I went to her and said "Hi!" and as we began talking, God gave me ideas and the words flowed. That was almost 40 years ago and I have forgotten the girl's name, but know I will see her in heaven because she prayed with me right then and there to receive the Lord Jesus Christ into her life! Wow! Over the years, God has inspired me to write songs and sing them occasionally, and I long to share them on a larger scale. Your book title brings to mind one of my songs "Sunshine & Rainbows", that I just sang to a co-worker at the university where I work. She thinks I should publish my songs, as do many who hear them. How do I find the time? I didn't know about She Speaks in time to sign up this year. Maybe next? Would love to read your book and/or hear from you- Becky E. - I'm not a normal blogger and am having trouble getting this to post. If it comes thru more than once, sorry. Hope you can delete the extras. Or maybe it won't show at all?

Marti Pieper said...

Words matter because people matter more. God called me to the ministry of writing long ago. But as I’ve grown in Him, He’s helped me to view my words as a vehicle to connect people with the One who loves them more than they can imagine. And I believe He intends to use both my written and my spoken words to accomplish His purposes.

As He’s grown my writing, He’s expanded my speaking opportunities. That’s why I began to pray about attending She Speaks. My husband, like many others, has faced the heartbreak of job loss this year. As important as the conference is, family obligations come first. A scholarship would allow me to attend.

I know the One who calls me to speak and to write is faithful. I’ll trust Him to meet the needs of all who enter. Thanks for offering She Speaks along with the scholarship opportunities. And because both words and people matter, I’m grateful.