Something God’s been teaching me a lot about lately is the many ways He speaks in our lives, and how to open my heart and mind to hearing Him. Like any other relationship, it’s a two-way thing. I believe He wants us to speak to Him, and He also wants us to hear His replies.
As always, what He wants me to learn spills over to my characters! Maggie, the heroine of my new novella Least Expected, is a fifty-something bohemian theatrical designer, helping a friend by doing Christmas window displays for Pettett and Myfields London department store. She grew up in the church but has let life challenges and her own mistaken choices both shake her faith and stop her opening her heart to a romantic relationship.
When she meets Edgar Pettett, staid and sensible heir to the store, she discovers that despite their difference and his mother’s disapproval, God has other plans.
But first, she needs to slow down and be still enough with God to listen!
This is a scene I wrote that didn’t appear in the story, where Maggie talks it through with her grown up daughter Rachel:
Not wanting to discuss Ed with anyone until her tangled feelings were clearer, Maggie welcomed the chance to change the subject. Somehow, she knew that until she got right with God, she’d never get right with Ed.
Unlike her own wobbly belief, her daughter’s sure faith had never shown any sign of wavering. Maybe Rachel would know the answer. Maggie sat up straight. “Rach, what do you do when you don’t feel like God is listening?”
Rachel blinked, pushed her dark hair back from her forehead, and her face creased in thought. “Um, I guess I try listening to Him, instead. Maybe He’s trying to tell me something. Sometimes He speaks to me directly in my heart and mind, and I know it. Sometimes I don’t recognise He’s spoken to me till later, but then I realise He’s used a book, or a Bible verse, or something someone else says.”
She stopped and bit a fingertip, a cute habit Maggie remembered her doing even as a toddler. “Or maybe there’s something getting in the way of me feeling His presence. Something I haven’t confessed to Him, or someone I haven’t forgiven. Or I’m feeling angry with Him.” She laughed. “Or all of the above.”
Maggie nodded slowly. All of the above just about covered it.
Rach continued, “Sometimes we do just need to trust that He is listening. You know, trust His promises, not our feelings.”
Hmmm. That was the tricky part.
Thankfully, Maggie does eventually learn to take the risk of trusting, both God and Ed. :)
As I’ve had to do, in my own life! The biggest thing I’m learning, both with God and with my husband, is the importance of slowing down and listening.
What has God been telling you lately?
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And if you’d like to read Least Expected, it’s currently available as a free download to everyone who subscribes to my approximately monthly email newsletter. LOL, just sneaking in at the last minute with the Christmas-in-July theme that’s been going this month, it is set over the holidays, though it’s not specifically a Christmas story!
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