An ODC Story: Jen Farrar on Learning to Listen

If you haven't heard, there was a workshop hosted by Melissa & Zach Anderson a couple of weeks ago that focused on equipping us to truly listen for the voice of the Father.  I knew it was going to be a huge moment for those who participated, but I couldn't have anticipated the seismic activity that is rippling in and through Open Door as a result.  Below, Jen Farrar reflects on the experience of the workshop and what shifted (and continues to shift) in her life as a result.  For those of you who missed the first one or who want to freshen up on your listening tools, Melissa is hosting one-day workshop Listening Workshop this Sunday, March 30.  Contact Melissa (melissabelleanderson (at) gmail.com) to register.  Here's Jen's reflection: Several months ago I received an email from Open Door asking if they could use my house for a workshop.  It was easy to reply “yes” to the email, however, I had no idea what I was replying yes to.

More emails arrived in my inbox to prepare those signed up for the workshop.  To be perfectly honest, I didn’t fully read them, as I wasn’t committed to attending the training.  With three small kids and a husband who was going to be away for part of the weekend, what more of an excuse did I need to not engage?  I find myself entering into this type of excuse often, when I’m tired and the laundry is piled high, “I don’t have time for you God, there’s too much to do and I didn’t get enough sleep last night.” 

God had a different plan for the weekend.  Melissa & Zach Anderson and a crew of folks came in Saturday morning and took over my house, in a good way.  They had baby sitters, coffee brewing, snacks, and months worth of prayer and preparation to get folks like me to pay attention to what God was trying to say, no matter how “busy” we think our lives are.  

35 people came into our home that weekend for prayer, worship and to really learn to listen. 

The focus of the workshop was on listening to the voice of God.  My 7 year old often asks this question, “How do you hear God?”  It’s such an important question, one worth spending time learning and listening whether you are an adult or a child.  The workshop gave me tangible opportunities to listen to God speak.   One thing I’ve always longed to hear God say are the words, “You are my daughter, my precious little girl.”  My earthly father has never said those words to me, rather he’s told me how I never measured up to his expectations.  

Spoken, sung, prayed, whispered, I kept hearing I was loved and precious from God.  I felt God wrap his arms around me.  I saw the sky open up with doves flying and heard God say, "You are my beloved and precious daughter, whom I am well pleased."  My heart is still overflowing with joy from the singing that took place in our dining room.  It truly felt like a choir of angels singing together.  

The biggest shift for me was to feel God’s love.  Simply put, I know I am loved.

Over the past month, I have heard God speaking to me more clearly.  Not words of condemnation, but of acceptance and Love. 

Several weeks have now passed since the “high” of the weekend workshop.  Like any retreat I have ever been on, entering back in to reality is always a little difficult.  There’s often a little doubt that it all could have been true.  Could God really love me?  Is it really His voice I heard and hear on a daily basis, telling me I am precious?

I am on a quest now to keep hearing God and to find ways to hear I am loved. 

I have a strong desire to hear His voice and for it to replace Satan’s lies in my mind.  Instead of feeling overwhelmed, discouraged, frustrated, unworthy, I have heard God say to me, “I have given you the task of caring for 3 children and serving your husband.  Do this with joy and gratitude in your heart and in return, I will give you joy!”

The change that occurred in my heart was directly related to my connection and intimacy with God.  The ability to listen to Him speak to me is a tremendous gift.  I feel empowered and I feel like I have the authority to dispel the lies from Satan.  

In no way do I feel as if I have arrived or have become the confident, strong and faithful Proverbs 31 woman God created me to be.  I have made a small shift, however, in how I look at my life.  I am grateful for God’s love. I am grateful for all His blessings. 

I am His daughter and I hear Him whisper, “you are precious and loved, no matter what.”