We're so excited to introduce to you, Jessica, our Newest Blog Contributor. Jessica has a deep love for Christ and a desire to follow where He may lead. She is a writer who desires for women to know that they are loved by a beautiful Creator, and in hopes to encourage women in their walks with Christ, she began blogging on her site The Path I Follow.Jessica currently lives in Norwalk, CT with her husband Mike, and two children, Charlie and Olivia. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, walks at the beach, helping with women’s ministry at her church, and relaxing on her parent’s boat. You can learn more about Jessica and read her weekly blog posts by visiting her website or FaceBook page.I love to take walks. I find them relaxing and also the times that I have the best conversations. I remember about 10 years ago that me and my cousin, who is also a very close friend, would go for walks at the beach and have those deep talks about the ups and downs of life. Then when my son Charlie was born, I enjoyed walks during the summer with my mommy friends and chatted about the joys and struggles of motherhood. Of course there are the walks with those who need a listening ear, or for when you need someone to talk with. However, above all, my favorite walks when I take a long walk with God.
When I am driving in the car, and listening to children’s worship music, it happens more often than not that Charlie asks me to not sing. I love to sing, especially when it comes to worship music, but I realized recently why he always asks me not to sing. He does it so he can clearly hear the words of the song, so then he can learn the song without the distraction of my voice.
This got me thinking, how often do I take the time to shut off the distractions so I can listen to the words that God has to say to me? I hate to admit it, but I do not do this as often as I should. This past summer I got an entire afternoon to do just that though when I accidentally booked my flight home from a work trip to Long Beach, California a day later than I needed to. I lived there after college for a year or so, so I gladly took the extra time to go to the city I used to live in to spend time at the beach, and go to my favorite deli for dinner with a friend.
Before my trip, I was beginning to be uncertain about the path God had for me, and no matter how hard I prayed, I felt He was silent. I knew I wanted to spend the day at the beach connecting and hearing from Him, but I admit that I was a little hesitant to hear what He had to say. What if He said something that I didn’t want to hear? What if He asked me to do something that would leave me heartbroken? Regardless of my hesitations, I knew that I needed this time away from the busyness of life to connect with Him, and give Him my undivided attention.
So I went and got an iced coffee and a pastry, laid out a towel, sat for a while in the warm sun, and then went for a walk. I walked at the edge of the ocean with my feet in the cool water. It was refreshing. This sounds peaceful, but internally I was still wrestling with my thoughts. I walked to the inlet that looked across to the city where I used to live, and that is when I heard Him speak. You’re irreplaceable. That’s not what I wanted to hear. I wanted direction. You’re irreplaceable. He knew. I was afraid. I was afraid that I didn’t matter. I was afraid of being unseen. I was afraid of being replaceable. To Him though, I was like a precious diamond that He would never throw away. To Him, I was known. To Him, I could never be replaced. That was what the depths of my heart needed to hear, and to know, no matter what lay ahead. He was in control and I was loved by a God who knew me better than I knew myself.
He knows exactly what you need, and speaks beyond our surface desires to the deepest place of the heart. So go. Take a walk, or a drive, with God. Open your heart to hear what He has to say. He is not a harsh God. He knows the deepest desires of your heart, and meets you there. Speak Lord, we want to hear you.