Whose Voice is it Anyway?
I thank God that today I can laugh about it! But there were so many days I would have anxiety entering into the realm of social media. Not only did my personal life take a huge turn of events, my public-facing life was constantly up for debate. I wasn’t content to just accept that as my fight, but many days I was too hurt to do anything about it. A few short years prior, I saw being on television as a huge responsibility and a blessing. It was as if something inside made it clear that I would one day be in the spotlight, I just missed the part about how certain chapters would end lol. Opportunities started to come my way, and it seemed that voice inside was right. I didn’t go looking for these opportunities, they seemed to find me. And because I’d already had the inkling, I assumed these were opportunities I was supposed to take. In many regards, I still believe that to be true. What I’ve come to realize however, is that opportunities aren’t necessarily things that you will always love, but rather things that will mature you, if they don’t destroy you first.
Truth is, I despised filming. I was pregnant in season 1, nursing an infant and chasing after 2 kiddos under 5 in season 2, and pregnant and miscarrying in season 3. And that is outside of all the drama from the series itself and the personal experiences and emotions that come along with being a wife and mother of 3 young children. I was super protective of my home life and at the same time, was being asked to show up and perform for people I didn’t know. My hormones were never fully settled, and the fact that it was hard is such an understatement.
But what filming taught me was the importance of honoring one’s first mind, using your authentic voice, and standing your ground. There is not a single season that I look back and think I should have showed up differently (or at all). There’s not a single moment I look back and hate how I portrayed myself on television. I was honest, even when it wasn’t well received. I was authentic even when outsiders didn’t appreciate how I chose to respond to the problems I faced. And though it was reality TV and therefore not 100% synonymous with real life, how I showed up was 100% in alignment with my beliefs at that time.
You see, God was already moving through me and setting things up and I didn’t know it. And I still managed to miss quite a few opportunities to choose better. Those opportunities were there for my improvement, but there were times were I ignored the Holy Spirit’s voice simply because I didn’t know it. Many times the choices I was making didn’t feel right (specifically when it came to choosing partners) but I’d listened so much to the noise from the outside, that I thought I was the problem. I thought I was being too selective, or asking too much of others, and I wouldn’t be so arrogant as to say that couldn’t have some truth in it. But I kept putting the emphasis on things I needed to change for others, and could succeed if only I did more work on myself. What I have come to realize is that the problem was ignoring the voice inside (which was the right voice), and not seeking wise counsel. The problem wasn’t me, it was my choices.
There are times when the answer to an opportunity is yes, but not for the reasons one thinks. Similarly, there are times when the answer to a question is no, but again, not for the reasons one would think. People will show up in your life and the answer to them riding with you is no. Not because they are bad people, but because their presence in our lives may be for different reasons. Many people come into our lives to teach us something about ourselves; to hold a mirror to us. Being willing to let them go is just as important as discerning who is meant to stay.
I will confess that I was not very discerning in the sister-wife department. It wasn’t because I didn’t hear the voice inside whisper red flag; but because I ignored them in favor of “positive thinking”. What’s comical to me though, is the women who gave Dimitri and I a no. Many of those women I’m still good friends with. Perhaps they had a discernment I didn’t. Even with all of that, what I didn’t quite realize at the time, was that no choice was ever going to last because God wasn’t in it. Not because polygamy is a sin. But because apart from Christ, we can do nothing. God’s ways are higher than our own understanding. But because I continually denied the help of the Holy Spirit, it seemed that God himself– in all His righteous justice– decided to send my family into exile. This exile became what felt like a biblical wilderness. A place I would learn to hear, trust, and obey the voice of God.
The wilderness is a place our spiritual ancestors knew very well. It’s a place where they were tested, tempted, and tried. It’s also a place where provisions were made and paths were created. Not everyone made it out of the wilderness. Only those willing to abide in and obey God’s plan. Even Jesus himself went to the wilderness to be tempted. But being that He is the Pure and perfect Son of God, the devil could not trick him into sinning.
Inside each of us who believe in Christ, dwells His Spirit. We are not perfect like Christ, but the Spirit His gave us is. If we can simply learn His voice— and follow His commands— we can avoid the usual pitfalls that are common to humanity. At the very least, we can navigate the rough paths with grace.
The devil wanted desperately to destroy my family. Unfortunately, we made it quite easy for Him by a lack of faith and walking a different path than the one God called us to. Again this is not a judgement on people who practice polygamy or lead differing paths than the one I’m on. It just means, I was pretty consistent in doing own thing, and not the will of God. The good news is: He will never let those He has called wander too far. For by God’s grace are were saved, redeemed, and set apart.
Learning the above lesson the hard way, what became clear to me is this: The true enemy is never people. That’s what he wants us to believe so that we can destroy each other while he sits back and watches. He uses us to do his bidding. He confuses the mind and works his magic in both willing and unwitting parties. A little weakness in the mind is all he needs to set his plans in motion. A little doubt is the perfect fertile ground for his grand schemes. Before you know it, satan has led you off a cliff to destruction and pitted friend against foe. I’ve had the immense displeasure of seeing the enemy in action. Not only figuratively watching his plans divide and conquer, but physically seeing what a demon looks like when he is hovering over a weak host. It’s not always about being a willing participant (although some people do call on the name of the devil). Sometimes all it takes is for a person to give up the fight.
But God! Let me tell you! Weapons may form, but they will not prosper! The whole world might close in around you, but who He calls, He prepares! The devil ain’t got nothing on The Almighty– and he knows that. That seed of tiny faith you didn’t even know existed, all of a sudden shoots up through the mud and begins to grow and grow. The voice of the Holy Spirit inside of you shouts, “This way!”. And because at this point, you’ve been through the wilderness. You now recognize that voice and you have nothing left to lose, you follow… All of a sudden, the enemy realizes he has lost his stronghold. And he’s big mad, but that’s okay because that little faith and that voice within, is your shield and your guide.
I’ve been through so much in the past few years, much of it of my own creation. But God will never give you more than you can bare. He will, however, reach you in a way you can hear, and some of us like hard lessons! Some of us are too busy trying to be liked, well received, and so positive, that we think it’s a curse to be misunderstood. What I’ve learned from following Christ this year is that persecution is par the course. In His day as a man walking the earth, so many misunderstood Christ, to the point of His execution. But we know how that part of the story really ends (spoiler alert)! If you can stand being misunderstood, then you are well on your way to advancing and inheriting the Kingdom of Heaven. It’s not about being divisive, but it is about being obedient.
It’s a tall order; I get why so many would choose otherwise. I get why the enemy is able to take captive so many minds and lives. Our best defense in times and situations like these is being in a right relationship with Christ, through prayer, scripture, and community— in that order. If you can’t do anything else, reach out to God through prayer (there are so many great scriptures about prayer, but I will leave you with this one). If you are able, read scripture so you can begin to see God’s heart and hear His voice. And then find a community that resonates with the voice of God you’ve heard. This can be a physical community or an online one. Church has evolved in many ways and many really great communities are now available online. It doesn’t have to look a certain way, just make sure they hold Christ’s version of love (true love) at the center. That is the greatest command of our Heavenly Father.
No matter what your journey is like at this moment, making room for Jesus is the most liberating action you can take. Baby step it if you must, but step. If you don’t know how, pray to God to order your steps. That’s what I did. And when I say He answered my prayer in a way I could not confuse His voice for any other, I’m not exaggerating. It’s the most clarity I’ve ever had. And it’s been only up from there. I can’t say to you that you won’t have struggles on this path. That’s just a part of life. But with Christ at the center, you can do anything!
I’ll be hosting another round of The Ministry of the Holy Spirit reading plan on the Youversion app. Click here to join! This month-long plan begins December 1, 2022, and will only take 5 minutes of your daily routine. It is one of the most comprehensive, straightforward, scripture-based ways to learn about the Holy Spirit– who receives Him and what it means to have Him.
May the peace of God be with you always 🙏🏾