Today, Melissa shares with us about hearing God’s voice in the everyday life moments, loneliness, the guidance the Holy Spirit offers us (meaning we are never alone), and what it means to be a missionary in your own city.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’” Isaiah 30:21
This speaks volumes to me. My heart started beating a little faster, and it was like my eyes (or ears) were suddenly open, when I read this verse recently. I was in desperate need of this reminder. I felt so much peace at this verse. It’s so reassuring to know that as followers of Christ we already have the Holy Spirit helping and guiding us, that as we draw closer to Him, and grow in our walk with the Lord— that we are that much more tuned into hearing what He has to say to us. When it feels like you’re struggling to see through murky waters, know that He is already there.
“When it feels like you’re struggling to see through murky waters, know that He is already there.”
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: Listening to God’s voice in everyday moments. I find that sometimes it’s easier for me to hear what the Lord is saying to me in regards to big, major life decisions. But it’s harder for me to discern his voice in what seems like the trivial moments of everyday life. I want to hear his voice when he whispers things like, “Stop what you’re doing and go encourage that woman over there”, “Give that stranger a kind smile”, and “Invite that person to supper.”
Profession: I work as a pharmacist at a local community pharmacy. I also provide dog sitting services, on the side.
A one sentence bio of yourself: Loved by Jesus and living to share the life and light of Christ.
When did you first encounter God: I grew up going to church, but the first time I remember authentically encountering God in a personal way was at a Christian summer camp around the campfire, when I was 10 years old.
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season: Abiding in Him; spending extravagant amounts of time with the Lord.
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” John 15:4
Specifically prioritizing time in my schedule to rest in the Lord’s presence. To carve out big blocks of time (at least a couple of hours), just to rest in Him. To read, to pray, write, and listen to worship music.
Just read/currently reading: The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst. Her books are serious game-changers. I love this one because it challenged me to step back and re-evaluate my rushed, overwhelmed schedule.
For a list of my top books read this past year, take a peek at “Recent Reads” on my blog!
“I love this one because it challenged me to step back and re-evaluate my rushed, overwhelmed schedule.”
Top three essentials: My Bible, a big mug of coffee or tea, and my husband. Does my husband count?! Also, either my phone or camera. And I literally bring a water bottle everywhere I go. It was too hard to pick only three essentials!
How did God speak to you recently: He’s been asking me to re-evaluate my schedule, my priorities, and how I’m spending my time. He’s been nudging me to slow down, to remember to put Him, His people, and His great commission first.
Hobby: Being outdoors, whenever I can! Canoeing, hiking, exploring and generally just being outside. I love reading, writing, music, and photography! I adore going to my favorite Pilates studio for barre classes, and I absolutely love swimming.
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong:
Devotional. Intimate time with the Lord, digging into his Word. Learning, growing, listening. A devotional book that has been super helpful for me is New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp.
Community. Engaging in small groups/community groups. He calls us to have fellowship with like-minded believers that lift us up, encourage, challenge, and strengthen. We need spaces where we can be open and vulnerable.
Outreach/Serve. This is a challenging one for me. As much as my husband and I are passionate about overseas mission aviation (my husband is a pilot— see my blog for more on that!), we are the first to admit we need reminders that we are called to be missionaries in our own city, with the people we interact with on the daily. And serving— not only making a habit of serving in our city, but also pouring into the church that pours into us.
“[W]e are called to be missionaries in our own city”
Favorite person in scripture: Paul. His conversion, his radical missionary journey… his story emphasizes that the Kingdom of God is for everyone, no matter who you are or what you’ve done. He lived a life fully sold out for Christ.
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you: I hope they see the joy of the Lord through me. I want to radiate the love and joy of Jesus through my actions, my words, who I am. But I also want people to see that despite their flaws and mistakes (I have many), they are loved beyond all measure by God.
Favorite season: Autumn for sure— the weather is perfect, the leaves are changing colors, the smell of changing seasons is in the air. And it’s the season in which my husband and I got married, so it has a special place in my heart!
Favorite holiday: A toss up between Christmas and Easter! I just love that the Christmas season has such a community feel— and even though not everyone is celebrating the birth of Jesus— the “Christmas spirit” encourages people to be extra kind and giving during this season. And there is just something so special about Easter. The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, and the significance of the resurrection is such a powerful reminder that death has no hold on us as believers. Easter is truly a celebration as followers of Christ, yes indeed, we can rejoice!
“The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, and the significance of the resurrection is such a powerful reminder that death has no hold on us as believers.”
A special day tradition you and your family engage in or keep: When I was younger one of my absolute favorite holiday traditions was to go to the movie theater with my family on Christmas Day!
Question you willing to ask when it you get to heaven: I have so many questions, and none, at the same time. When I get to heaven, there’s a good chance I’ll have no questions at all and just be at perfect peace in the presence of God!
Thing you want to raise awareness about: Battling loneliness and having true self-worth in Christ. Loneliness can come from social media “connection” leaving an emptiness in our souls. People experience loneliness despite having friendships, romantic relationships, within marriage… whether your validation comes from likes, followers, or even real human face-to-face connection— that’s not enough. People will let you down. No human will ever live up to your ideals or expectations all the time. No person will completely fill that emptiness. Only God in His fullness, God in his perfect, holy being can do that for you. He is the well that does not dry up, and He provides the hope that outlasts this earth.
“He is the well that does not dry up, and He provides the hope that outlasts this earth.”
What do you usually do before 9 a.m.? This one will be a lengthy answer because my mornings are always different! I have quite an erratic work schedule so my mornings are never the same. If I’ve just finished work at 11 p.m., then I’m usually still sleeping at 9 a.m. If I start work at 7 a.m. or 9 a.m. that day (and I’m not much of a morning person) — then I’m rushing in the morning to get my morning routine done. Teeth brushed, face washed, and a shower if I haven’t showered the night before. I’ll either eat a quick breakfast or grab something to eat in the car. Then off to work I go. If however I don’t start work until 11 a.m., 12 p.m., or 1 p.m., then I’ll have an easy morning and eat breakfast, do my devotions, read, run errands, or do housework (depending on how productive I’m feeling!).
What is on your nightstand? Books, journals, a bedside lamp, and my phone. Also, my water bottle is a must!
For more Melissa:
Until next time, keep witnessing!