What do you think of when you hear someone say, “I heard God tell me…”? Do you think they’re crazy or can you relate? I am so thankful that Angie Dailey from Metamorphosis is sharing her “when God spoke to me” story here with us. Angie and I got to know each other as cyber friends through the For the Love book launch team. The friendship grew and we were able to become real life friends at the launch party. Our friendship continues to grow. It is a pleasure to encourage each other in our writing as well as share an occasional phone call or message thread that goes on for days. Please welcome my friend, Angie Dailey. She brings her heart to your table.
Leaning Into the Father, by Angie Dailey
In the Arizona desert, I heard His voice. “Thank you.” He said, “You have served me well today.”
I didn’t share that with anyone. I wasn’t afraid. I was just quiet. I didn’t know what to say- “Hey, I think God audibly called out to me today.” Even I thought I sounded crazy. I returned home from this trip completely stunned and even more enticed to find my calling. I had a few things I already knew about myself, and I had a few more I was about to learn.
That was June of 2013, my first week long missions trip with my husband in the amazing Arizona desert. I watched the sacrificial living of a missionary family, day in and day out, living out a life of mission in a place they never expected to be. I saw Navajo families making life changing decisions, and homeless men and women who knew about Jesus, but had to make personal choices about their life direction. Seeing the dynamics of everyday choices in every one of these people’s lives made me long for a simpler way. It made me decide to slow down, so I could soak it all in. It made me want direction and a place to serve.
Months later, we were preparing to lead the team for the same missions trip, taking our youngest son with us. The trip was a disaster for us personally. Spiritual warfare was in full swing. My dad revealed he had cancer weeks before- It was eating away at me. I was in no way letting this happen to him. My adult children were going through their own things, and I was just unable to be helpful. I was in the midst of counseling more than one friend with marital issues. In the middle of all of this, God asked me to “be still”. I didn’t listen, because I was so distraught. This time, God’s voice scared me a little. Then it happened, and it happened fiercely.
The mission trip was hard, and I was worried. I often went out to pray, seeking guidance, direction and comfort. I had another moment in the desert, during sunrise on the last morning. My emotions were a storm inside me, wondering what would happen next as everything planned seemed to be falling apart. I knew when we returned home, things would be different for us. I heard God say, plain as day, “Be still. Seek me”. I called out to Him, and he calmed me in my current emotional storm.
When God spoke to me in the desert the first time, I was enamored. The following year, when He spoke to me again, he told me to slow down, to seek Him. He had already told me to be still once, the second time I listened more closely. I knew those marriages weren’t mine to fix, and my adult children would have to be adults and figure some things out without their momma. I knew I could not do anything for my dad alone- but my Father could do all things I asked of him. I learned to slow down once in the literal desert, and once in the desert of my making. I had alienated most everyone. I didn’t want to talk to my mom about this reality. I didn’t want to see my dad waste away. I just wanted God to move. He moved in me, by allowing me time to pray. I asked for direction, he told me to write it all down. I asked for clarity, he provided words. I asked for my dad’s life- he left him here with me. I asked for clarification with missions, and we were led to put it on hold.
Now so many months later, I have been taking better care of myself spiritually. I am not putting pressure on myself to read this or participate in that. I have been appreciating the lives of those I love every single day, and cherishing every single moment. I have slowed down to the point that when I pray, I can hear my very breath, feel my own heartbeat. I have the ability and focus to commune with my Father while my grandchildren run through the house giggling. I can pray in any circumstance because a few months ago, I didn’t have a choice. I had to pray when I had to pray. I had to come to my father when He called me. I had to learn to say no and lean into him, intentionally.
Intentionally leaning into Him has been its own journey. It is a slow process, but such an amazing one. The way scripture opens up when I pray first. The meaning of both hymns and contemporary Christian music, touching my heart, reviving my soul, just by hearing the actual words. Shutting off the technology that rules our work time and social time, and reconnecting with real live people on a regular basis. Spending quality time praying, meditating on the word. Leaning in when things look good, and leaning in when I feel crushed by circumstance. Slowing down and leaning in have been on my mind, as the busyness of the last year sinks in. A new year begins, with a new goal to slow down and simplify even more. I am pursuing my prayer life, one prayer at a time.
Meet Angie Dailey: I live on a small farm in rural Ohio with my husband and our family. Our garden is a mess, the laundry isn’t ever all done, and someone always needs their mom. I spend a lot of time writing and reading, drinking coffee and being more like Jesus. These are the themes in my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
You can find more of her writing at Metamorphosis.