I have learned the very hard way to listen to my gut, which I think is actually the Holy Spirit giving me a sign. Many years ago, before we moved here, while in the throes of grief over losing my dad, I called my husband’s boss, very angry about something that had happened at his job. I’m talking really furious. I completely lost my mind as I very aggressively gave him not just a piece of my mind, but the whole thing. It was extremely inappropriate. The thing is, I could have avoided the whole ugly incident if I had just listened to the still small voice inside, telling me that I should tell my husband about my plan to call his boss. If you’ve ever been in a spot like this, you know why I didn’t. I knew he’d tell me not to, and I absolutely was going to make that call.

Thankfully, I was given extreme grace by both my husband and his boss. Still, I learned a valuable lesson: If I want to do something and very specifically do not want to tell my husband about it, I must tell him. He is the brakes for me when I have passionate and impulsive ideas. The gut feeling when I don’t want to tell him about the plan I am devising is a God-given gift, which has saved me from foolishness more times than I can count.

It is crucial that we listen to that inner voice of caution, which can present itself in many ways that are rarely audible. It can be a gut instinct, or a tight chest, anxiety or apprehension. But we must quiet ourselves enough to feel and hear it. So many of us, way too many I fear, are listening to so many voices that we may not be able to discern God’s voice. It is no doubt easier to hear God when we are listening for him, and not inviting countless others’ opinions and views into our lives. I myself have made the decision to drastically limit outside input. I consume essentially no news and no social media. (Believe it or not, you can live that way! Very important news somehow makes its way to me.) With fewer voices in my head competing with God for my attention, I am better able to hear him. I can feel the “tension that deserves my attention,” and then seek the wisdom to respond appropriately. I have never regretted it.