I’ve been having the hardest time hearing God in prayer, and so today, I asked some friends to listen for me. What they said changed everything.
For the longest time, I had what felt like a pretty clear channel between me and God. I said all-the-things and sometimes I heard back with images, words, or feelings. Some of what God showed me in that time seems pretty foolish today in a human context, but then I remember that we’re spirits living a human life and that actually, all things are possible. Sometimes it’s the curviest road that gets us where we needed to be all along.
But the questioning haunted me: can I trust my intuition, my thoughts, and my assumptions? Is God really speaking? Have I gotten it all wrong? In the aftermath of these questions, I found myself unable to pray with any kind of receptivity. If God was speaking, I couldn’t trust it anyway so why bother listening? I was at an impasse. My prayers had become one-sided and I was increasingly unsure if there was anyone at all on the other end.
So today I asked for help, a very simple outreach to a handful of friends, and it went like this: will you listen to God for me? Just sit and breathe and talk to God about me for a bit and then listen to what He says in a word, phrase, picture, or feeling. I’ll do the same for you and then we’ll swap what we hear. Simple. But it made this particular day feel like magic, in the unexpected things I heard on behalf of friends and in what these same friends communicated to me. All of their words came together in a tapestry that felt distinctly from the same source, and some of the details struck me like a ton of bricks, like when one friend said she had an image of holding my face in her hands while telling me to stop trying so hard. It’s precisely what my mother used to do. Or the friend who imagined me standing on stones with water running over my feet. She couldn’t have known how the particulars of that picture resonated with the water-forward symbolism of the deepest part of my spirituality. It was pretty incredible, and a lot for me to think on. Like Mary, I’ll treasure these things in my heart.
This day that started with a heavy weight of despair is ending much lighter than it began. I’m looking up, remembering the bigness of God and how He longs to connect with His children. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude for the friends He’s placed in my life and reminded of His providence in each connection I’ve made along the way. We’re in communion as brothers and sisters and so we can lean on each other in this way to hear from Our Father who loves us and has our lives in His Hands. It makes me feel safe, like it’s all going to be okay, or even greater than we thought, and that there’s a plan, and that we can trust it, and that we’re all family. And that every word is true.