I have had several experiences in my life where I feel that the Lord has directed me in what seems to me to be a very audible voice. Here are a few of them.
Many years ago, I was working mowing lawns for my husband’s grounds maintenance business. I was on a very noisy riding mower, mowing the grounds of one of the church buildings, which bordered on a field of tall grass. When I turned the mower off, a small kitten came out of the tall grass and came up to me. I decided that I would keep track of it while loading the equipment. The kitten was still there when the crew and I were ready to move on.
The kitten was hungry and I came to the conclusion that it had been abandoned. I took this small kitten home for the night and looked for a new home; unsuccessfully, I might add. I am a cat person, but I had promised my husband that I would not have another cat, as our lifestyle and working schedules at that time were not good for owning a pet.
The next day I went off to another job that I had working as a church custodian, when my husband contacted me and asked if I had prayed about this kitten. I admitted that I had not, and he suggested that I enquire of the Lord.
I went into the Bishop’s office and on my knees. I thanked the Lord for the opportunity of saving this kitten, but that it needed a good home. In a voice, almost like someone standing behind me, I heard, “It has a good home.”
My thought was to wonder what Gary was going to say. I called him and told him of my answer, and his response was, “That is exactly what the Lord told me, in exactly the same words.” So, we had many happy years with a cat that was prayed about.
Another specific experience I can recall is while my husband was going through chemo for non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma cancer treatments. He had a hard time with needles and veins collapsing, and the nursing staff having a hard time finding veins, and sometimes multiple attempts at finding a vein.
My husband Gary was the YSA Branch clerk at that time, and was going to church in Red Deer, Alberta, while I was attending church in our home ward in Olds, Alberta. On my way to church one morning I was contemplating my husband’s cancer treatments, the pain he was having with needles, and was wishing that I could take his needles for him, when the words came, “is he suffering more than my Son did?” My answer had to be NO.
I recalled that my husband had contemplated stopping the treatments, so the next statement I heard was “My Son also could have said I have had enough, but didn’t.”
The next statement that went through my mind was “Tell Gary that I have a purpose for all things.” When I shared this with Gary, he immediately knew the purpose for it all, so he carried on with the remainder of his treatments.
I am now a 64-year-old widow, and my natural choice of seating for Sunday Sacrament Services is with other single sisters in my ward. The Lord has other ideas.
Several years ago, he prompted me to offer to sit with a mother with three young children, whose husband had just been called into the Bishopric. After offering my services to sit with the Salmon family, I was informed that they just found out that mom was expecting baby number four, and that they had been praying for someone to recognize their need. Another baby was added to the family, during my tenure as surrogate grandma.
Sadly for me, this family was prompted to move some time later, and I was by myself again. So, the Lord prompted me to another young mom with one nursery aged boy, two young primary aged children, and a fairly new baby, and a husband in the Bishopric.
Yesterday the mom went out to the foyer with the youngest son, and I was standing rocking the baby while listening to the talk of a young man who is leaving on a mission. The closing hymn was “I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go Dear Lord,” when the thought zinged through my mind (again, almost out loud), “This is exactly where I want you to be, doing exactly what you are doing, with whom you are doing it.” After Sacrament, I shared this with the mom and we hugged with tears in our eyes, and went our separate ways.
During our Relief Society lesson, it seemed appropriate to share my experience with the sisters, and the young mom, holding the baby, asked if she could share her side of the experience. She had had a bit of a hard morning getting four children ready for church by herself, with her husband at early morning meetings. During their morning prayer, she asked that Sister Wickwire would know how much she was needed by them.
The Lord showed me His tender mercies. More tears, more hugs, and more resolve to go where my Heavenly Father wants me to go and do what He wants me to do.
I don’t know why I need to have these almost out loud voices speak to me, but it is my experience that I am truly blessed when I listen and heed these promptings. These were very tender moments for me and they have made me aware that Heavenly Father knows us and cares about each of us.