Hearing His Whispers- Kacey Lake
i felt it coming. irritability is the outward symptom of the internal swirl of stress & hormones for me. and in my 3rd trimester nature, i knew it was coming.
yet just like with all behaviors, once we are in the midst of them, it is the hardest to get out. beyond the point of rationally recognizing what is wrong and working towards change. and i was in it.
and my sweet girl, the one who i take pride in the ways she resembles me- tough, determined, opinionated, loving bigger than she knows what to do with, loyal, deep. she was pushing my buttons. and quite frankly? i felt like i could see my own behavior in her. not the good ones. the ones where i speak harshly in anger or act out in emotion- my own version of stomping my feet or full-body lying on the floor in tears.
first, she hurt her sister. a pretty big hurt. then, as i walked in to get her to apologize, she was similarly attacking her brother. out of pure, uninhibited emotion. and the line keeps getting pushed further and further along as to what that behavior looks like.
it scared me, it hurt me, and i lost it.
you know when you want something so badly- kids who achingly LOVE & chase after Jesus and know they are unconditionally LOVED by Him- but you keep getting in the way? that’s how i felt. and i carried that with me all day. hearing the harsh words that came out of my mouth about showing love to one another. and yes, then apologizing and explaining that just like i need to apologize and she needs to apologize for nasty behavior and receive forgiveness, it’s just an example of the way Father God forgives us. that we need to learn the consequences of our behavior to equip us to seek and then receive forgiveness and mercy and grace from the unconditional supplier of forgiveness and mercy and grace.
“do you get what i’m saying?” “yes, mama.” my voice still feels harsh.
yet she’s so quick to apologize and they are so quick to forgive. and it’s beautiful and i know that it’s life. and this post? it’s not about yelling at my kids or needing to say i’m sorry or anything like that. because the real good stuff? that came next. and it comes every single day when we listen for it. His whispers and His beckoning me to walk into His love yet just rest in His love.
you see, that night, i had the privilege to gather with 50 or so other moms and put God (more) in His place in worship. to come before Him as a collective community and sing from the depths of my gut about His nature, His goodness, His love & acceptance. i got to lift my hands and dance in celebration of who He is. and then? a word had been planned for the evening. and by planned, i mean specifically put on the heart of a fellow mother to share. an incredible mother and blessing of a friend called rachel hughes. and she shared so many thoughts that resonated in my brain and stirred all of the souls present in different ways as the Spirit spoke through her. but then she settled in on this one point that i know He planned with me in mind- the good enough parent. yes, that’s a psychological term. and i’m sure we could both argue both sides of the point, but that’s not the point.
what does it convey to our kids when we are seeking perfection for ourselves? when we get down on ourselves for falling short or feel guilty about not being a certain way. or even feeling like it’s up to us to carry an impossibly hard load. yeah, no good.
and at that moment at the end of a service when there is a call to prayer, i spotted emma- one of the most faithful prayers & carriers of the Spirit that i know. that kind of woman who exudes peace, kindness, savviness, something. in the walk she walks into a room and remembers everyone’s names. or the way when you approach and she’s mid-conversation, she stops for a brief moment to catch you up and include you in to whatever is being discussed. emma, just waiting for me. and i asked for her prayer. and as i explained to her how i just always fall short and how i just want to be Jesus to them…it struck me. i am not called to BE JESUS TO THEM. i am called to be mom- a mom that desperately needs and loves Jesus- to them. and by “good enough” i am showing them that my “good enough” really is because of Him. and their “good enough” is as well.
and i allowed a sister to pray over me. place her hands on my shoulders and be the mouthpiece for anything else the Spirit wanted to say to me that night. and i trusted those words- a step that has taken me awhile to do. and walk forward in freedom from guilt and even more, forward into total acceptance and love.
praise Father God who knew what i needed that night and so covered me so lavishly in it.
or how about the next day, when there was a light knock on my door. right at the crazy hours. and by crazy hours, i know you know i mean 4-7 pm. and i had just gotten back from a 2-hour commute to and from fallon’s school by public bus to pick her up & bring her home. and sidenote, the hour bus ride back where my 5-year old who loves BIG but speaks it in ways that you have to know to know- she held my hand the entire ride back. we sat quietly and looked out the window together. holding hands. gush.
so as soon as we walked in after this traffic-jammed commute, there was a poopy toddler and a preschooler who knocked her head on her run over to hug me hello. tears abounded. we cuddled up on the couch and this preggo mama put an arm around each kid and put on cartoons. i kicked my feet up and let it get dark all around us. on a random tuesday night. so anyways, this gentle knock on the door. and one of my dear sisters, val, was standing on the other side. new baby in her buggy and pink tulips in her hand. “just because.” she said with a smile.
and i invited her in. to our messy, unexpected house. to the smell of a poopy diaper still sitting by the stairs to go down. to my kids zoned out of life and zoned in to cartoons. and me, having taken off any under garments that help keep my girls in place and swinging free in a baggy shirt. “come in,” i told her. and that val, she sat across from us in our tiny living room and just chatted. val is one of the best people to tell a story to because she literally gets “full-body chills” or tears or way too generous laughter at everything you share. and i love a lot of things about her, but this is one of my favorites. she feels what you feel and so naturally rejoices with you and mourns with you. and as i sat there surrounded by kids, she loved on us just by letting us be us. and i fought off comments of “we usually don’t do weekday television…” or “we are all really tired from working SO hard today…” or anything like that. i didn’t cut our shows short and i invited her to stay for our sophisticated meal of buttered noodles and heated up frozen veggies. to which, she declined…
and i know, I KNOW it was because i was able to block out thoughts of fending off her judgment (that wasn’t there anyways), i was able to hear something else. and it was something that i could sense her struggling with. and i’ll leave it to her to share it with you, but what i can tell you is the same thing i was sensing, she brought up. thank you for the way you whisper to my soul, Spirit. and i spoke confidently for just a moment into that space. and further than that, i am lifting my sister up in prayer and fighting off the enemy with her even when we are apart. not settling for “well this is just how it is…” or “it will get better” but choosing His peace and His healing right now. and speaking with the authority that is granted me, RIGHT NOW.
part of my journey in hearing His voice took a step into new territory last month. whilst sleeping in a cushy white bed surrounded by my family in a villa in tenerife, i heard Him. i have spent this last season of life asking for the supernatural to become so normal in my every day life. so hungry for more of the goodness that i had no idea was available to me for most of my christian life so far. miracles seen, His voice heard, just ONE thing to call my own. and while i have been reminded that we need to have faith even when He fed the 5000 literally yesterday and not today…
He spoke. and it woke me.
you hear this voice? said a voice that i hear pretty much all of the time in my head. i’m pretty sure it sounds like me but my voice playback always throws me. this voice? is me. and that was it.
He whispers, He woos, He nudges, and this, THIS, is what i believe to the difference maker of being a Christ follower.