My entire adult life has been a struggle.
A constant striving to find comfort, security, and peace through things I can see and measure.
Reasonable things like my job, relationships, money, recognition, physical beauty, and the like.
Thin and fragile substitutes for real, lasting fulfillment.
These dim versions of hope and comfort are nothing but imposters. Deep down, you and I know this all along.
But, unable or unwilling to seek out the true source of such things, we gladly accept a watered-down cocktail that will at least quench our thirst for the next 5 minutes.
(Yet it whispers, it whispers…)
The problem is, eventually, our “happiness formula du jour” stops working.
And we’re left, yet again, to scramble in the dark for the next glimmer that might finally be The Oasis.
We bottom out in this place — this cavernous, bone-dry pit heavy with inky blackness — where our animal nature comes alive.
Our greed, resentment, anger, hate, despair, loneliness, self-loathing — it all rises to the surface for everyone around us to see.
(Yet it whispers, it whispers…)
We are starving for a cure, parched for the tiniest sip of whatever will calm our anxieties enough to feel… anything.
Anything besides this nagging lack of purpose and the crushing fear that we are lost to it forever, with no hope of rescue.
WHO are you? WHAT are you here for? WHY are you bothering with any of this?
Growing up in the Christian tradition, I was supposed to have the corner on happiness, purpose, and fulfillment.
Fortunate enough to possess all Truth, I was expected to feel joy and enduring hope.
But I didn’t.
I was following a formula, trusting in a label to save me: CHRISTIAN.
Slowly but surely, my steps became repetitive. My prayers dull. My heart closed.
My mind grew overwhelmed by the worry and fear and anxiety this God promised to help me with… where was He?
If He couldn’t come through for me, why was I still going through the motions of worship?
That’s it. I quit.
If this faith can’t quench my thirst, then I will be my own savior.
I will find my own purpose and hope, my own answers to life.
(It whispers, it whispers…)
And the next decade was filled with lots of possible answers and hundreds of versions of hope.
With input from everyone, I reached for purpose and worked hard molding myself to fit its shape.
Failure and guilt became my constant companions.
I was disciplined, driven, and organized — why could I never seem to live up to the purposes I designed for myself?
Why did every role — writer, wife, mom — eventually feel empty and confining?
With every reason on earth to be happy, why was dissatisfaction still burning in my chest every single day?
With nowhere left to turn, I made a last-ditch effort to find God.
Not the flowery, temperamental God I heard about before.
That one seemed intent on giving us rules and making us jump through hoops — I wanted nothing to do with it.
Instead, I turned to the gospels — to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John as they described their journeys with Jesus, who they claimed to be an exact representation of this God.
I read them one after the other, like a book, with no expectations. These were simply words written by men about a man they believed to be holy.
I could accept them or not.
For once, the end of this story was entirely up to me.
And it was there, in this place of honest searching with no tie to the outcome, that I found Him.
Slowly, taking in chapter after chapter, I realized that I had not known Jesus at all, much less the God He represented.
He was so different from the man I thought I knew.
He was human, like me. He felt anger, despair, sadness, and fear.
And he believed in us, in our capacity to find and accept our hope and purpose, to love each other and be kind.
He believed in me, whether or not I ever believed Him.
And for the first time, maybe ever, I experienced what it felt like to be loved without condition and accepted without hesitation.
I felt ACTUAL hope and the whispers of TRUE purpose.
It was a hope and purpose not governed by rules or formulas, not withheld until I said the right words or did enough good deeds.
It was just there, as it had been all along.
And what I learned over the next year of my slow, sometimes reluctant journey back to God is that it wasn’t a whisper at all.
It was a calling out.
A constant, ever-present wild commotion of grace, love, and mercy raining down on me every day, every hour, every second, my whole life.
Waiting for the moment that my ears and heart might be open just enough to catch it, move toward it, and join in.
And the same peace-filled symphony of hope and purpose is washing over you with a thunderous noise, even right now.
Can you hear it?
You have to listen closely for the whisper.
But it’s there.
It’s been there from the moment you took your first breath. Waiting. Whispering.
Watching for an opportunity, an imperceptible crack in your armor.
And it will never stop.
Because it knows you need rescuing, just as I did.
It sees you searching for the answers like a mouse in a maze. Hitting dead end after dead end. Feeling so close sometimes, you can smell it.
The answers you seek aren’t around the next corner.
You won’t find them in that dream job, next relationship, marriage, or baby.
They aren’t hiding in that six-figure paycheck, brand new Benz, or oceanfront villa.
No, they’re much, much closer than that.
They are all around you, next to you, in front of you — in the soft whispers of a God who wants to be found.
Not (as I once thought) to punish or judge you. Or to force you into some mold set by a religious label.
But so He can show you what He’s shown me — what it really feels like to experience actual hope and purpose.
The kind you can feel and hold onto.
The kind that doesn’t yo-yo in step with your social media “likes.”
The kind that makes every single day an adventure filled with possibility, instead of a mindless routine.
And the kind that brings everything around you into sharp focus — an explosion of light exposing all of your treasures and trinkets for just what they are: empty copies of the Real Thing.
Right this moment, He is whispering, waiting.
Calling out to you inside your pit, eagerly reminding you that isn’t where you were made to live — in hiding. Alone. In the dark.
You were made for the light. You were made with a purpose. You were made to follow the whisper…
Can you hear it?