How I Started Hearing From God

*** Devotion in Motion ***

Some of my earliest memories of attending church were with my Grandparents and Great Grandparents at the First Baptist Church in Columbus, GA. I was dressed in my “Sunday clothes” which consisted of a dress, usually with an itchy crinoline underneath, tights, gloves and patent leather shoes. I guess the concept of air conditioning a church in the Deep South at the time was considered revolutionary and costly so they kept it at a minimum. It was a stifling, smothering hot with humidity that you could cut with a knife.

In those days, children were seen and not heard and expected not squirm. My Grandmother always sat right beside me and if I attempted to chatter with my sisters or move around, I would be painfully chastised with Mimi’s vice -like pinch to my leg. There was no escape to Sunday school to while away the time playing with the other kids, just the long endured hour (or two) of endless singing and preaching of “grown up” church that seemed to yawn out before us into the even hotter Sunday afternoon.

Church was not fun and I did not look forward to being there. The only conversations I had with the Holy Spirit at that time were about my growling tummy and when I could escape. More than anything, I wanted to shed those uncomfortable clothes and that stifling, restrictive environment so that I could run, play and be free to be me.

Growing up with the false perceptions of God being restrictive and boring with our only way of connecting with him was by “being still”, created a real rift in my relationship with Him. I became a very physical and athletic person, but never really thought about talking to Him or actively listening to him while I was performing physical activities. I would do my devotions and pray, but would never really expect to hear back from God.

Much later in life, I needed desperately to hear from God and did not have time to just sit still and pray. I asked and begged God to talk to me as I went about my daily activities. The people in the bible heard directly from God, why couldn’t I? It became a passionate pursuit of me chasing God to get him to answer my cries. Then, I began to quietly hear from my heavenly Father. Not in my “prayer closet”, but when I was moving! When I was dancing, gardening, folding laundry and engaging in repetitive movement is when I began to hear my heavenly father speak to me. At first, just in bits and pieces here and there and then much clearer. I had finally made the connection of how I am wired to hear and receive from God!

It is crucial that we all find our way to connect and hear from God and everyone is different. The key is finding what works for you. When I am doing physical work or exercise, I can completely clear my mind and flow in whatever activity I am engaged in. This is when God speaks most clearly to me. Whether it be through movement and artistic expression, observing Him in nature, or just “being still” we all need to hear from our creator. I encourage you to think outside of the box of traditional mindsets and explore new and different ways to connect and hear from God.

God wants us to enjoy our relationship with him. He is always speaking to us, but often we are not listening, or we simply do not know how to listen. Like a tuner on an old radio, we all have to find the correct station to be able to tune in to his voice and be able to hear what he is speaking to us.

God never wants us to feel restricted, stifled or uncomfortable with him. He wants us to enjoy our relationship with him. I think back to that little girl trying so hard to sit so still in church and I think that she was not at all missing the mark. The Holy Spirit was calling her out into the bright sunshine to run barefoot in the cool green grass with him, to play, dance, laugh and connect with Him in just the way he created her to.

-Renee McCormick