Living the Reclaimed Life

Is That You, God? Why Does God Speak? ~ Norma Donovan Ep. 92

February 06, 2023 Season 2 Episode 92
Living the Reclaimed Life
Is That You, God? Why Does God Speak? ~ Norma Donovan Ep. 92
Show Notes Transcript

Have you ever wondered...  Can I hear God's voice?  How does God speak to us? How do I know if it's God, or just me?  We are going to cover all of this and more in the next four episodes with Norma Donovan. She will give you practical ways to hear God's voice in your everyday life, including inspiring stories of what can happen when we are attuned to hear His voice.

This month, in Feb. 2023 we are giving away 2 free copies of Norma's book, Restoring Our Hearts To Deepen Intimacy!
 2 steps to enter to win!
 1. Follow us on IG or FB at Reclaimed Story.
2. Comment on one of our posts this month and share a story of a time when you heard from God; this will encourage everyone who is following! Or email us at Either way, you will be entered to win Norma's book! 

Join us for the raffle, and listen to all four episodes starting now. We know you will be glad you tuned in! Let's kick off this mini-series Is that you, God?

You can find Norma's book, "Restoring Your Heart To Deepen Intimacy," on Amazon HERE
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This transcript is autogenerated.

[00:00:00] Denisha: Have you ever wondered, can I hear God's voice? How does God speak to us and how do I know if it's God or just me? We are going to cover all of this and more in the next four episodes with Norma Donovan. She is going to give you practical ways to hear God's voice in your everyday life, including inspiring stories of what can happen when we are attuned to his.

[00:00:26] Denisha: Now this month in February of 23, we are giving away two free copies of Norma's book. We want to create a space where we can encourage each other to engage with the voice of God to be entered to win the first of these two books. There are two steps. Number one. Simply follow us on Instagram or Facebook at reclaimed story number two, comment on one of the posts this month and share of a time when you heard from God.

[00:00:54] Denisha: This will encourage everyone who's tuning in and if your story is too [00:01:00]personal for public sharing, you can also email We will not share your email stories, but we will enter you in the drawing for Norma's book Restoring. To deepen intimacy. Join us for the raffle. Follow us at reclaimed story on Facebook and Instagram, and share of a time when you heard from God.

[00:01:22] Denisha: And be sure to listen to all four episodes starting now. We know that you will be glad you tuned in. So let's kick off this miniseries. Is that. God, welcome to Living the Reclaim Life Podcast. I'm Danisha. We're glad you're here for conversations that revive hope, inspire healing, and encourage you to live a vibrant life with Christ.

[00:01:46] Denisha: So grab a cup of coffee as we chat with today's guest. I am so full of joy to invite Norma Donovan back to the podcast If you remembered Norma from a couple of months ago, she is an [00:02:00] author, speaker, and the founder and president of Restoring Hearts Ministry with a master's degree in counseling. Her passions include mentoring women.

[00:02:09] Denisha: Being intimate with God and seeing others' hearts restored. Norma and her husband live in Kansas and have two grown children, and we've mentioned before, but I cannot say enough about Norma's book that is available on Amazon. It's called Restoring Your Heart to Deepen Intimacy. Norma, I am so excited to have you back on, and this topic about hearing God's voice that we're gonna dive into this whole.

[00:02:35] Denisha: I am really full of joy about our conversation today. 

[00:02:39] Norma: Well, I am too deniesha. I am so excited to be here and this is one of, if not my, the favorite topic for me to speak on. And so, because I just want everyone to catch what I've caught through hearing God's voice and because of what it did to my [00:03:00] intimacy with.

[00:03:01] Norma:

[00:03:01] Denisha: love that so much. You know, one of the reasons that we created this podcast was to help people to continue the conversation about God in there every day. You know, people may be listening today and they may be hearing, they may be driving in the car or running or at the gym. My hope is that as people hear your story and your life, that it creates.

[00:03:24] Denisha: and those who are listening because we know faith comes from hearing. And so that is one of the things that, uh, just really excites me about your passion for this, that it will also excite others as well. Tell us why, why are you so passionate about hearing the voice 

[00:03:40] Norma: of God? Well, Danisha, when I was 15, I first became a Christian and I was very intimate, very close to the Lord, but gradually I became more.

[00:03:51] Norma: It became more of a performance. My walk with him was more one of duty rather than just delighting in him. [00:04:00] But once I started, and it was around 2000, that I really started just having a concentrated intention on sitting still and listening to his voice. Once that happened, my intimacy with him came back and it just keeps soaring.

[00:04:16] Norma: So I want others to know how to hear God's voice because my passion is for them to become intimate with the Lord. , and that's something that I think we are continually growing in, or hopefully we're continuing to grow in that. In John 10 10, Jesus said that he came to give us abundant life, and that became true when I started to listen to God's voice as a lifestyle.

[00:04:44] Norma: Wasn't like I only do it once, you know, in a blue moon, but it became more frequent. And I wanna experience God in my daily life, not just when. Church worshiping him, or in our small group the other [00:05:00] day, he said to me that hearing God's voice is what happens when real life intersects with a real God. And.

[00:05:11] Norma: So I want people to experience real life with a real God through hearing God's voice. And so over the years, my inner ear of the spirit had to be trained in the past 20 plus years to hear his still small voice so that I can have conversations throughout the day with. He can give me specific directions or I can ask him questions and he can give me answers.

[00:05:39] Norma: But I guess the bottom line is I want to have the Holy Spirit be my guide throughout the day, and the only way that can happen is through hearing his voice. I've discovered through the years that one word from God changes everyth. . And over time, listening to his [00:06:00]voice changed my relationship with him into a vibrant walk and adventure.

[00:06:05] Norma: Christian author Derek Prince writes this, nothing is more important to our spiritual life than learning to hear God's voice and Danisha. I think there are at least two reasons why this is true. I believe his statement is when we listen to his voice. we're being known by God. Mm-hmm. and God is being known by us.

[00:06:30] Norma: And I know you've talked about Dr. Kurt Thompson, the Christian psychiatrist, and in his book The Anatomy of the Soul, he writes that knowledge alone does not satisfy. What does, satisfy is being known. You cannot know God if you do not experience being known by him. And the degree to which you know God is directly reflected in your experience of being known by him.

[00:06:56] Norma: And so to be known involves having [00:07:00] others, and in this case, hearing God's voice, having God validate and accept. For who we are rather than what we do or what we know. I think of one Corinthians 13, 12, and it says, now I know in part then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known, and so listening to God's voice.

[00:07:23] Norma: Has helped me feel fully known by God. I mean, there are things, I can't think of anything off the top of my head, but there are things that it was like, oh my goodness, you really just spoke right to my heart. Even if I hadn't prayed it out loud to him. He knew what was in there. He knew. , what was truth that I needed to hear from his heart?

[00:07:46] Norma: And so when God speaks, it's obvious to me that he knows me. He loves me, and he cares about me. Throughout this whole month's podcast, Danisha, I'm going to read some excerpts from my journals of what I heard [00:08:00] God say to me. And here's one from this past year that shows I'm being known by him. This is what he.

[00:08:07] Norma: You and I like to do things differently, even though I know the pull to belong, to blend in with everyone else. To not stand out and be different is operating within you. Go your own way. My daughter. Stay true to yourself. Look and be different. People may scratch their heads and wonder who you are. Be okay with that.

[00:08:28] Norma: I know it's a lonely and uncomfortable way to be when you're in the midst of it, but oh, the payoff is great. The excitement of the unknown adventure and growing closer to me are things you were made for. Trust me. And trust yourself that you're hearing correctly and watch what I will do and how in the long.

[00:08:49] Norma: others will benefit from your obedience. So being known Danisha is the first reason why I believe nothing's more important to our spiritual life than hearing God's [00:09:00] voice. And secondly, the process of listening to his voice solidifies our healthy attachment to God. It's so easy to have an unhealthy attachment to things, you know, to idol.

[00:09:13] Norma: Hobbies to other people even. But listening to his voice not only solidifies my healthy attachment to him, it provides our souls with greater security and wholeness, and even when things may not be going as I wish. I think because of what he has put within me over the years from listening to him speak, I can still say that it's well with my soul.

[00:09:39] Norma: we become emotionally connected to God when we experience him being attuned, perceptive, and responsive to our needs. And I discover like Hagar did in the Old Testament, that God sees me, knows me, and cares about me through what I hear Him speak to me. And as I sit still listening to his [00:10:00] voice, his presence comforts me, secures my attachment with him through the.

[00:10:06] Norma: And so, you know, when you think about it, it makes sense that creating space for stillness to hear his voice will deepen our intimacy with him because it's through communication that our relationships with God or others. are deepened. The closest relationships are created through times of communications, such as when God and I are both talking back and forth and listening to one another.

[00:10:32] Norma: You and I Danisha have developed a closer relationship. because of our little conversations before we start recording, right? But it took communication to do that. And so when you share your heart with me and I share mine with you, the connection takes place between us and we're getting to know each other.

[00:10:51] Norma: And that's no different than us. With the Lord. And so it's my desire to have an intimate relationship with God. Therefore, [00:11:00] I've resolved to do whatever it takes to make that happen. And listening to his voice has become an attitude in my heart, what my life revolves around. It's no longer, uh, Danisha that I need or want to hear his voice.

[00:11:17] Norma: It's become, I have to hear his. and hearing him speak within my inner man, my inner being has become my nourishment. and it helps me thrive, not just survive in this life. So I'd like to encourage the listeners that if they're not satisfied with their relationship with God, if they don't feel close to him, if they're experiencing loneliness and they want greater intimacy with him, then I wanna encourage them to not only listen to these four podcasts, but to make listening to God's voice, an intentional practice that they.

[00:11:57] Denisha: You talked about the hard times when things are [00:12:00] hard, how close God is, and how close his voice can be, and I remember a pastor saying that if things got their absolute worst, let's say every earthly thing was taken away from us and we were put in a prison cell naked, like there's absolutely nothing of earthly value that we have.

[00:12:18] Denisha: The one thing that nobody can ever take away from us is hearing God's. And I remember that was such a gym that I just held onto and that reminded me of that when you said that you know when things are hard too. So that is such a valuable thing. I mean, my heart, I really believe I can like my hands and my legs.

[00:12:37] Denisha: I'm like buzzing right now, just hearing you talk because this is such a passion of mine and I really believe that this is the second most important. to salvation is hearing his voice. We come to the Lord and then we begin to be known and get to know him. And so, uh, I just, I love everything that you said, the quote that the Lord gave you that you pulled up from your [00:13:00]journal.

[00:13:00] Denisha: Boy, I almost wanna like write that on my bathroom mirror just to remind ourselves daily of what he has to say. That we do get to stand out. We can be different because a lot of times if you say, God told me, people might go, you're really weird, . 

[00:13:17] Norma: She's hearing voices . 

[00:13:19] Denisha: Yeah. Who is this person? Yes. There's clearly something we need to diagnose here, but that's not the word of God.

[00:13:25] Denisha: The word of God tells us, my sheep hear my voice. So what would you say? And I know that we have people listening who might be going, wow, I'm really hungry for more of this, for to understand this more, to practice this, to be more intentional about this in my daily. But some might be listening and thinking, this is a little weird.

[00:13:44] Denisha: I can't see God. How can I hear from God? What would you say to those listeners? Good question. I was one of those listeners at one point. I remember thinking, I had friends that would say, oh, God told me. And I'm like, okay, all right, well next time I need something, I'll [00:14:00] ask you and see what God has to say.

[00:14:01] Denisha: Like, but I would kind of joke on them a little bit because I didn't understand. 

[00:14:05] Norma: I guess I would say try it. Just sit still before the. . Tell him you wanna hear his voice. You know, humbly say, Hey, just like Samuel did, he said, speak. Your servant is listening. And ask him, would you in your sweet love for me and kindness to me, share something with me and then journal it down and pray into it.

[00:14:30] Norma: Those are words I'll share more later on. Just some logistic. Of, uh, some tips, uh, what to do with these words or how to keep track of them because these are words that will strengthen you in the Lord. They will encourage your heart when you're down, when you just talk. Mentioned about hard times. Those are things that God, besides the scripture, which is a great encouragement to our heart, these personal specific, uh, [00:15:00] rema words to us, that the Lord speaks to us, they also birth life and carry us through.

[00:15:07] Norma: When did 

[00:15:07] Denisha: you first find out Norma, that you could hear God's voice? What was that experience like for you? 

[00:15:12] Norma: Well, so the first experience was in 1998. I was in the San Bernardino Mountains at a women's retreat, and the woman encouraged us. The speaker encouraged us to go outside in the mountains and listen to God's voice.

[00:15:28] Norma: Well, I went out in the mountains, sat on a boulder, and was distracted by watching ants walk by. So Danisha, I have Attention Deficit disorder, so I'm easily distracted. Sitting still is something that I've had to train myself in, so it is possible, but I didn't hear a single word that day. But since that time, and I'm not really sure when it exactly it started, I think it was closer.

[00:15:58] Norma: and that was 98. It [00:16:00] was probably in 99. And a friend of mine, she was at the Pensacola School of Revival, and she just said, Norma, why don't you get a journal and just sit still before him and record your words. And the more you do that, the more easy it is to hear him speak. And so he will give me a few.

[00:16:22] Norma: and I'll write 'em down and as I'm writing them down, he'll give me some more words. So then they become sentences and sentences become paragraphs. And not always, it could just be a couple of words, but I felt like I was like a secretary taking shorthand from the boss . And that's how you know, a mom recognizes her babies cry in a nursery because they've spent time in relationship with their.

[00:16:52] Norma: So I think the more time we spend with in relationships sitting still with the Lord, the more we will [00:17:00] recognize his voice. You know, so it, it's gotten to where I've heard his voice while I'm making my husband a peanut butter and jelly sandwich while I'm dancing in a Zumba class, while I'm putting on makeup or cleaning the house, I tell him I always wanna have one air cocked to hear his.

[00:17:20] Norma: no matter what situation I'm in, because I don't wanna miss out on what he wants to say to me. . I love that picture of the 

[00:17:29] Denisha: whisper. Yes. If I'm, if I'm yelling really loud, you don't have to lean in. Right, exactly. But if you start whispering to me, I have to lean in a little bit and go, wait, what did you say?

[00:17:40] Denisha: It's a great way, I know teachers get the attention of their class is by starting to whisper and everybody goes, wait, what'd she say? Hold on. What a great picture of how the Lord will speak to us. That it's a whisper. and to intentionally say, Lord, speak to me. Here I am. And allow him that time to show us that it is possible.

[00:17:58] Denisha: Friends, we promise you [00:18:00] this is real. This is true. This is in the Bible and this is, I love the real God in real life intersecting. There was a time in your life then before the day with the ants. when you did not know you could hear God's voice. And so I just wanna encourage our listeners today that as Norma shares these rich experiences with God and her wisdom of how she got to that place, there was a time in 1998 when she didn't know if she could hear from the Lord.

[00:18:29] Denisha: So if that's you, Take courage and grab a pen and paper, and let's take notes together because we're gonna learn from Norma in this. Norma, what was the process like for you to learn how to hear God's voice? That sounds like it's a process from the day with the ants to now. What's that been like for you?

[00:18:47] Norma: Very gradual. It has not been overnight. I'm a plot. , I'll take small little steps, but those small little steps eventually build and get you where you want to go. You know [00:19:00] when you talked about the whisper thing, Danisha, Derek Prince talks in his book, hear God's voice, that God doesn't shout, he whispers, and I think that's the reason why I think if you were way across the room from me and I wanted to whisper something to you, if you wanted to hear it, you'd have to draw close to.

[00:19:21] Norma: and we'll talk about this in a little bit about why he speaks to us. That's, I think, the key reason He is all about relationship. He wants to become closer to his sons and daughters. I mean, don't we as moms want to become closer to our daughters and our sons? . I mean, I, I wanna know their heart and I wanna share my heart with them.

[00:19:46] Norma: And likewise, the Holy Spirit is the same way. He wants us to know God's heart. You know, what makes him tick, in part, so that we can obey him better. You know, if I don't know my husband's [00:20:00] favorite candy. This is just a random idea, . Then how can I buy him that favorite candy, you know? So, yeah, and I think, here's one of the key points, Tanisha, is that initially I thought that if I heard God's voice, it would either be audible, which I've never heard him speak audibly.

[00:20:22] Norma: I know people have, or his voice would be a man's deep. Yeah. Okay. When in reality, the voice I hear sounds very much like my voice and it's in my thoughts, but because it's in our thoughts or in our spirit or inner man, and because it sounds like us, we tend to discount it as just thinking it. Often those are the ideas or thoughts or direction that the Holy Spirit is speaking to you.

[00:20:55] Norma: So it's been a gradual process. I want the listeners to not give up [00:21:00] hope. Do I hear God speak to me every time I sit down with him? No. Often I do not. I mean, even one time he said to me, Norma, is it okay if we just sit here together for a few minutes and you don't say anything? And I don't say anything.

[00:21:18] Norma: and I'll do that. He probably wants our presence more than we want. His presence. Presence is key to relationship 

[00:21:28] Denisha: and as you said, he is a relational God. He wants to know us and be known by us. Yes, maybe that's one of the reasons, but why does God speak 

[00:21:38] Norma: to us? Pastor John Wimber wrote this, that God reveals himself to us so that we may know Him love.

[00:21:47] Norma: and serve him. And I think the main reason, the overarching reason is because he wants us to know him because he wants to build an intimate relationship with us. [00:22:00] So someone wants to describe the word intimacy as into me, you see? and that involves being known and knowing someone. So the purpose of hearing God's voice is for us to feel loved and known by God, and to know and understand who he is.

[00:22:18] Norma: You know, again, communication is the foundation of any relationship. I may know about the President of the United States, but I intimately know my husband and his. Desires and his favorite candy bar. You know, . So God's not religious. He's relational. When he speaks to us, we hear his heart so that we can connect with how he feels and what he thinks.

[00:22:43] Norma: While we listen to God, we discover what gives him pleasure, what he loves, as well as what he does not love. What causes him dis. , my husband and I have been married, bless the Lord for 46 years. Woo-hoo. What would, yeah, what [00:23:00] would our relationship be like if we rarely talked with each other and never shared our heart's desires?

[00:23:08] Norma: Or if we had like a one-way relationship and I was the only one doing the talking, what would our relationship be like, do you think? Probably distant. Yeah. Yeah. It wouldn't be. . Yeah, so all relationships are built and deepened by communication and our relationship with God and the Holy Spirit is no different.

[00:23:31] Norma: We need to talk with God to share our desires with him through prayer, but we also equally, I believe, need to take time to listen to him. share his desires with us, and even his intimate knowing of who we are, how he created us. He's all about relationship, and I believe for me, more than any other spiritual discipline, although I try to do most of them, you know, hearing God's voice and obeying him [00:24:00] has deepened my relationship with him the most.

[00:24:03] Norma: One of the worst things he could do is to stop speaking to. Psalm 51 11 says, do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. And about 14 years ago, I went on a short-term mission trip to Scotland and I was sitting in the back row of the plane and. , that is not a good row. FYI, for the listeners, if you can avoid sitting in the last row cuz it's shorter and I'm only five, one and a half, so it's not like I'm tall, but I had only gotten out one time in the lengthy trip over the pond and when I stood up I had excruciating pain on my left side and uh, that pain was not going away.

[00:24:46] Norma: Advil was all I had. I didn't know what was. , you know, with me at the time. And I remember one night, um, laying in bed not being able to fall asleep because of the pain [00:25:00]and just crying and just telling the Lord, you know, I don't know what's gonna happen if I'm gonna need surgery or if I'm gonna be like this the rest of my life.

[00:25:11] Norma: But I said, whatever you do, do not stop talking to me. Mm-hmm. because to me, That would be worse. And I'm not minimalizing people's physical pain, cuz that's awful. Chronic pain is really bad to have. But I think not having that communication and that close relationship would've hurt me more. Yeah. So Psalm 25 14 says that the Lord confide.

[00:25:42] Norma: in those who fear him. He makes his covenant known to them. God likes to share his secrets with his children, those who are closest to him, just like we share our secrets, not with strangers, but with those we trust. And in October of 2011, this is what I heard him [00:26:00] say. Don't look at hearing my voice as if it's just one more thing a taskmaster is requiring you to do.

[00:26:08] Norma: Look at it from the viewpoint of a husband or a lover who simply loves you and longs to be with you, sharing his heart with you. and then 10 years later he said this, listen up my daughter. I want to speak to you constantly so that our relationship is intimate back and forth in conversation with one another, is what I desire throughout the day.

[00:26:32] Norma: Let me draw you closer to myself through my voice. I want you to know me better through the words I speak to your heart. So again, the first and primary reason why he speaks is to build a closer relat. with those he loves. Second reason, I think, is he wants to give us instruction or direction in the way to go and to answer our questions.

[00:26:55] Norma: So Isaiah. 30 verse 21 says this, [00:27:00] 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. And we read in Jeremiah thirty three, three, call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things that you do not know. My husband and I were both born and raised in Arizona, lived the.

[00:27:20] Norma: 32 years of our life there. And then he finished his last year of training in Chicago. He had a job to return to in Tucson. And you know, Tucson was the place I wanted to live till the day I died. Just don't tell that to the Lord . Cause he had other plans. So while we were in Chicago, a job opportunity opened.

[00:27:42] Norma: in Omaha, Nebraska, and I couldn't believe my husband was even considering, you know, applying for that. But while he was in Omaha for the first set of interviews, he and I were both doing our. Individual quiet times, [00:28:00] and the Lord directed us both unbeknownst to each other, to Genesis 12, one, and it says this, the Lord had said to Abram, leave your country, your people, and your father's household and go to the land.

[00:28:15] Norma: I will show you. , oh, the Lord used that scripture to direct us to move to Omaha. And then years ago, as far as asking questions, I remember my writing has been an uphill battle for so many years, Tanisha. And so I asked the Lord, well, how do I find my writing voice? You know, what does that even mean? And he said to me, to act as if I was writing a letter to a close friend, pouring out my heart and being transparent.

[00:28:45] Norma: So I wanna encourage the listeners, don't hesitate to ask God questions. I think he really enjoys answering them. So the third way God speaks to us is to warn us to protect us. And the scriptures I have here, one is [00:29:00] Ezekiel 33, 7 says, son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. So hear the word I speak and give them warning from me.

[00:29:09] Norma: And in Matthew chapter two, we read that after her had died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph and Egypt and said, , take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel for those who were trying to take the child's life are dead. Sometimes the Lord doesn't warn us through specific words or through a dream like in this case, but he gives us what I call a check in our spirit, like an uneasy feeling to warn.

[00:29:42] Norma: and we need to pay attention to that. So I wanna encourage the listeners pay attention to those gut feelings because it may very well be God's warning or direction for them. You know, it's 

[00:29:53] Denisha: funny you say that. I remember a couple of times in my life when something was trying to stop me. [00:30:00] and I was trying to get out of the house and everything went wrong from kids breaking glasses to someone choking on a lifesaver, like all these crazy things.

[00:30:08] Denisha: And I'm sitting there and rebuking the enemy, cuz I'm convinced it's gotta be the enemy who's holding me up, right? Like, you know, this is clearly warfare. and it ended up turning out in both the situations that are coming to mind right now, that it was actually the Lord trying to protect me. But I wasn't listening.

[00:30:26] Denisha: I was moving forward really fast, but he was definitely there to. Did he cause the choking on the lifesaver? No. But did it stop me and did he allow it to be part of my experience? . Yes. And it actually saved me and my children probably from getting in a very physical altercation, um, at one of our family members that had somebody break into their house the moment that we were supposed to be there, it was 11:00 AM.

[00:30:53] Denisha: And here I'm trying to get outta the house. I'm rebuking the enemy. I'm like in the name of Jesus. I'm praying everything I have. [00:31:00] And I remember I called a friend and said, I cannot get out of my house. And I said, would you pray with me? And it was then that I realized that the Lord was, actually stopping me and so I canceled our visit and found out that 11:00 AM which is when I was supposed to be there, was exactly when somebody had broken in their house with brass knuckles and there were broken collarbones and concussions, and I would've been there with two little kids.

[00:31:25] Denisha: So I've definitely experienced that warning even when I thought it had to be the enemy, cuz clearly. But it was actually God. It was him warning, and I just wasn't listening in the way of listening for a warning. I was just trying to get two little kids out of the house. So far, you've shared three reasons why God speaks to us, for us to know him and to deepen our intimacy with him, to give us direction and answer questions, and also, as you just mentioned, to warn us, what are some other purposes, Norma, that God speaks 

[00:31:54] Norma: to us.

[00:31:55] Norma: This is one of my favorites. He speaks to birth life to us. [00:32:00] to give us new names that speak identity and destiny. And he speaks for restoration, for heart restoration, for healing, to give us peace. You know, another one that just came to me, he speaks so that we're not lonely. So, Danisha, how in general do you receive encouragement?

[00:32:21] Norma: Not necessarily from the Lord, I'm just saying in general. Yeah. Through Word. If someone were to encourage you through words. Exactly, and I believe he has the same plan that he wants to encourage us through the words that he speaks to us. Prior to our move to Wichita, five years ago, I would frequently drive past a billboard advertising condominium in Midtown in Omaha, and it said, you'll love living.

[00:32:50] Norma: well, every time I saw it. Okay, let me back. I did not want to move to Wichita . I get very attached wherever I'm living, whether it's [00:33:00] Tucson or Omaha. Uh, yeah. And so, but every time I drove past that billboard, cuz I would hit it on the way to or from exercising and I would just declare out loud, I am going to love living in Wichita.

[00:33:17] Norma: And a few months later, after doing this for a. I spoke at our church's discipleship school on this very topic of hearing God's voice and one of the students at the end of the meeting gave me a prophetic word and he said she will love what I have for her there , and I was grieving. So much loss for moving.

[00:33:41] Norma: I anchored my faith on that word to carry me through and lo and be. . I love living in Wichita. I love what God has provided us spiritually and friendship wise here. It was a gift. So he also [00:34:00] speaks to us and gives us new names. You know, Romans four 17 says to call things out that are not God has given his children knew names throughout the Bible.

[00:34:11] Norma: He changed Abram, which means exalted father to Abraham. Meaning father of many Jacob became Israel. Saul was changed to Paul and God called Gideon a mighty warrior while he was being afraid and hiding from the Midianites. And I believe God also gives us new names to show us who we will become Danisha, who we really are, but we just don't know it.

[00:34:41] Norma: because names speak identity, and they speak destiny. And the first name God gave me, it was totally out of the blue. And actually it was 10 years prior to that women's retreat. And I mean just out of the blue I was driving on Grand Avenue, the [00:35:00] diagonal street in Phoenix by myself. It was prior to moving to Chicago and I heard the Lord say, Well, if you knew me back then, it didn't make any sense why he called me Mary.

[00:35:13] Norma: You know, if you were to compare me with the two sister scenario in Luke 10, I was like 98% Martha. Very task oriented. You know, my mantra was, if it's not productive, it's a waste of time. Okay. , so. Totally not like Mary. I wanted to do things in the kingdom, for the Kingdom, not just sit at his feet, which I really have come to believe that is the prize sitting at his feet.

[00:35:46] Norma: But sure enough, God knew all along who I really was. He knew he created me, and then he eventually transformed me into a Mary. And then a few months before nine 11 took. [00:36:00] I was in Syria on a prayer initiative, short-term mission trip with World Vision. My maternal grandparents are from Syria, so it was such a delight and privilege to go there to see my ancestry.

[00:36:14] Norma: And toward the end of the trip, we were touring an old Citadel, and we happened to be, you know, in one of the ruined rooms and with the tour guide, a Muslim tour guide, and he stopped and he looked right at. and he said, queen. And I was ba, you know, totally taken by surprise. And I said, does Norma mean queen in Arabic?

[00:36:38] Norma: I mean, I was lost. Yeah. And he just shook his head, didn't say anything else. And as I was walking out of that room, going wherever he was taking us next, the Holy Spirit said to me, that's who I see you as. Mm-hmm. , you are not the woman that is living under. , you are my royalty. [00:37:00] You are my queen. So he used that.

[00:37:03] Norma: Again, I didn't feel that way at the time, but he used that to lay a seed that he wanted to water and grow to transform my identity into one who is walking in his authority. Yeah, he spoke that word to speak that identity. I'm sure there are more reasons, Danisha, why God speaks to us. Those are just the ones I've highlighted.

[00:37:29] Norma: But the main one being he wants to know us. He wants us to know him and to build a closer relationship with him. And next week, Danisha just a little hook. ? Yes. We're your audience. I'll be sharing on how God speaks to us. What are the various ways he speaks to us, and also the obstacles. What prevents. From hearing his voice.

[00:37:54] Denisha: Norma, thank you so much. I love hearing about your relationship with the Lord, and [00:38:00] you mentioned that one word from God changes everything and that's, that's the motto actually at our church, is One encounter with God changes everything. And I love that because I think that that is so accurate. You gave me such a good picture of when you said that that anchor, that word is like an anchor, and I think of, you know, a boat, right?

[00:38:21] Denisha: You're floating in the water that anchor, that one word of encouragement, that one word where you go, wow, he sees me. You know you're gonna love living here. You know you're gonna love what he has for you. That word really was like a heavy weighted anchor. That got thrown down into the water, and it's typically on a chain, right?

[00:38:41] Denisha: So wherever your boat goes, whether you're having a great day in the ocean, whether you veered a little bit east and you're having a day where you're really missing where you came from. , that anchor holds you down and holds you to that place of knowing that God did see you in that [00:39:00] moment. So I love that visual of you saying the anchor, and I just thought, wow, that anchor tethers you to something that's immovable and that is really what God's voice, his words to us personally, really do.

[00:39:11] Denisha: So thank you so much for sharing, Norma. 

[00:39:14] Norma: Oh, you're welcome. Thank you for having me. I look 

[00:39:16] Denisha: forward to next week in all the ways that God does speak to. So I wanna encourage our listeners as we go today to check us out on social media, on Facebook and on Instagram. We are gonna have some ways this month that you can win Norma's book and so we are excited about that, restoring your heart to deepen intimacy off of Amazon.

[00:39:39] Denisha: So if you wanna just grab it cuz you're like, I need this. Just go grab one. But, uh, if you want, we are also gonna have a couple of opportunities for you to win one. So be sure to follow us on social and we'll have that information on there. And we'll see you same time, same place next week. Thanks for listening.

[00:39:56] Denisha: I pray you found hope in today's conversation, [00:40:00] and maybe even feel a little less alone in your story. Stay connected with us on Facebook and Instagram at reclaimed. Wanna learn more about living a reclaimed life and how you can be a part of our growing community of Reclaimers? Check out our

[00:40:18] Denisha: All of those links and more will be in the show notes. And if you enjoy this inspirational podcast, be sure to subscribe, rate and review. Not only will you be the first one to know when new content comes out, but it is also a huge help in helping us reach more people to live the reclaimed life.