The Still Small Voice

It is with great honor that I introduce you to our guest blogger today – debut novelist and historical romance writer, Keli Gwyn. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Keli for a couple years now and all I can say is she is one of the kindest, most sincere, encouraging, supportive people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.

So it was with great anticipation that I opened up her debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California. I knew I’d support Keli regardless of how I liked the book, because she’s just that amazing of a person. What an added bonus that her novel grabbed me right away!

I started this week and already I’m invested in the characters and excited to find out what happens to Elenora and her adorable daughter, Tildy. If you love romance, if you love historicals, if you love Christian fiction, if you love supporting really awesome people, if you want to give this author an amazing belated birthday present (her birthday was yesterday) then get thee to a book store and buy this book. Or you can buy it right now on Amazon.  

The Still Small Voice

By Keli Gwyn

Do you hear voices in your head? I do.

I’m a writer, and my characters talk to me all the time.

I know some who hear a different Voice, that of the Lord. I used to battle—dare I, a professing follower or Christ admit this?—a twinge of jealousy when people would talk about how He talked to them regularly. They spoke of a still, small voice, but I’d never heard Him speak to me that way and would have been happy with a barely audible whisper.

Imagine my surprise when I sat in church one day five years ago, intent upon the sermon, and heard the Lord speak to me. Loudly and clearly. So loudly, in fact, that the Lord’s voice drowned out Pastor Randy. Since he’s a real sanguine who preaches with passion—and volume—that’s saying something.

I’d been writing for a year or so and had grown a bit downhearted. I’d prayed about it, surrendering my discouragement to the Lord and asking for His guidance.

There I sat in my customary spot in the third row, second chair from the aisle, on the left side of the sanctuary, when all of a sudden I heard God talking to me. His Voice came from above, very near the spotlight to the left of the lectern.

I knew the Lord was talking to me, because of what He said: “You will be published…in my time.” When I heard that, I was able to relax. I released my expectations and focused on enjoying each step in my journey.

That experience showed me that the Lord is there all the time and can use whatever means He wants to communicate with us.

Being a writer, I got to thinking about the story I was writing at the time, the one that—five years and three major rewrites later—has become my debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California.

As Elenora’s story evolved, my struggle to have the Lord commune with me in a clearly distinguishable way became hers. Unlike me, Elenora was raised by a controlling father and had a hard time feeling close to the Lord as a result. While she wants to feel His presence and feel close to Him, she doesn’t.

Taking Elenora on her spiritual journey was exciting. The Lord does speak to her at one point, but not in the same way He did me. That scene, when she experiences the presence of God for the first time, is one of my favorites.

My experience hearing the Lord’s voice so distinctly hasn’t happened again, but I’ve learned to recognize His presence in other ways. Should He choose to use an audible message once more, I can say with certainty that I would listen and heed His words—even if He did whisper.

 Let’s Talk: Have you experienced the Lord’s presence in a unmistakable way?

One random commenter will win a signed copy of Keli’s amazing debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California. So please don’t be shy!

To learn more about Keli, please go visit her fabulous website!

44 thoughts on “The Still Small Voice

  1. Ganise

    Good afternoon! =)
    Your blog is just lovely, Katie (I like it!) and I enjoyed this post, Keli!
    I like the fact that you always ask a question. You asked this time : ‘Have you experienced the Lord’s presence in a unmistakable way?’
    All the time! Especially when He’s trying to get me to relax and trust in Him, I get those messages alot. And I also sense His presence in nature (LOVE it!).

    Thank you for this and I’m wishing you a lovely day!

    Ps: If I’m not too late, I’d like to be entered in the giveaway, please. And Katie, your book sounds soo good, too! (Hoping to read it)

    ganise_4life (at) hotmail (dot) com

    1. Ganise

      Oh, I just saw the winner! CONGRATS!

  2. Though at the time I did not know the Lord was changing our call from pastorate to missions and starting to change things around. We had just arrived home from a Christmas mission trip and that very night I had a dream (believe me when I say this doesn’t happen to me and have laughed when others have talked about it) that if the local school home RX teaching job came open, it was mine. The job I loved was now a 4 Hr daily drive, and though I didn’t really want to teach, 10 min beat 4 Hr. Told hubby about the dream, we thought..well maybe in the fall….. 2 days later that job posted, I met the superintendent was on that trip, and I got the job. Wasn’t long till the Lord showed us we would be releasing everything to work in Central America, its been 8 yrs now!

  3. Susan Mason

    What a great story, Keli! How awesome to actually hear a voice like that! For me, it’s like an instinct or being drawn to something – a gut feeling, I suppose. That’s how I know God is guiding me.

    Love your name for it – The Still Small Voice!

    1. Sue, I’m a feelings person, so I think those gut feelings God uses at times are great.

  4. Katie Ganshert

    Loved reading all these comments, everyone! Big congrats to Paula Osborne for winning a copy of Keli’s book!

    1. Congratulations, Paula! I look forward to sending the book your way.

  5. Keli, I’m so stoked about your book & can’t wait to read it! Yes, I’ve sensed the Lord’s presence, felt him speak to me in various moments. One of the most powerful moments was when I felt he asked me to “let go” of my unborn daughter while I was praying desperately for help with the troubled pregnancy (read that here if you want: And in several other moments when I believe God wanted me to know he cared, know he was faithful and that I could rest in him. I love that, and am afraid he knows I need that in order to remain faithful in return.

    Thank you for sharing, Keli. This is so encouraging, just like you! (I still have your sweet notes of congrats & encouragement tacked above my monitor in my writing cave!)

    And Happy Birthday!!

    Thank you Katie, for hosting Keli today.

    1. Camille, that is a beautiful post. Thanks for sharing the link. I love how the Lord honored your faithfulness with a tangible sign. It doesn’t always happen that way, but when it does, it’s very special.

      Thanks for the kind words, too. I’m storing them up in my heart.

  6. Keli, what a great moment with God! I was just telling my husband I wish there were real-life prophets or angels or something around today, who could walk up to me and say “You’re going to get published, keep on keeping on. You’re heading the right direction.” But that doesn’t happen.

    Instead, I’ve found that He sends me encouragement through people and sermons and verses I find. I have to remember to thank God for these less-visible means of reassuring me that I’m following His leading.

    Thanks for the great post!

    1. (And oops, that sounds bad–I know there are real-life angels today! And there will be some awesome prophets, according to Revelation! I just meant my own personal Jeremiah or something!)

      1. Heather, I’m with you. If God would send Michael or Gabriel down to give me direction on occasion–as He used to do for those living in Biblical times–I’m sure I’d do a better job understanding Him and what He wants me to do. Instead, I have to learn to look and listen for less obvious manifestations of His presence and His guidance.

  7. I finished Keli’s book over the weekend and found it DELIGHTFUL! Vivid descriptions and strong characters – how wonderful! Well done, Keli!

    Katie, God’s still small voice is ever present. But I have to be tuned in. Some days that comes easier than others. But He is there. ALWAYS. That, my Friend, is comfort through and through. Hugs!

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the story, Donna.

  8. Loree Huebner

    Almost finished with Keli’s book – don’t put me in for the drawing 😉 – Love her voice. Love her attention to historical details.

    About 10 years ago, I found a lump. I was so frightened when I went in to get my mammo – I was crying and shaking in the dressing room. I remember the extreme fear. While getting into the hospital gown, I heard Him loud and clear – “Don’t be afraid”. I remember it jolted me. I stopped crying and immediately calmed. Well, they took the mammogram and couldn’t see anything. What? They could feel it, but not see it. It was big! They sent me for a second round. Nothing. They gave me an ultra sound and found a large perfect cyst – Non-cancerous. They drained the painful glob. Never had it return.

    1. Loree, I’m so sorry you had to go through that terrifying experience, but I love hearing how God spoke to you and gave you peace in the midst of your fears. So glad everything worked out so well.

  9. Keli, Congratulations on the release of your debut novel. I can’t wait to read it.

    And yes, I’ve experienced God’s presence in an unmistakable way on many occasions. Although He’s spoken to me by way of sermons, songs, other Christians, and that still-small voice you mentioned, He most often speaks to me through His word as I spend time with Him. For me it’s so awesome to be seeking guidance regarding a certain situation, then sit down to have my quiet time, and my scripture reading for that day provides the answer or counsel I needed.

    1. Teri, isn’t it wonderful how the Lord speaks to us in so many ways? And you’re so right about His Word. It’s full of wisdom and guidance. I love it when He uses it to provide answers just when we need them.

  10. Katie and Keli,

    I know one because of the other. This is another way that God works – by speaking through others. I’m so grateful for this community that has warmly enveloped me even as I flit around the outskirts finding my place. I’m in a season where I’m physically isolated because of extenuating circumstances and having my online friends has been like rain on a hot day. I thank God for every remembrance of you, as Paul says.

    That being said, I hate to admit it, but I still haven’t read Keli’s book. I would love to win a copy. I pass all my books on to my mother who is my editor – it’s how I pay her for her services! 🙂

    Blessings to you both,

    1. Becky, I’m so grateful for our friendship and enjoy connecting with you online. I look forward to the day we can meet in person.

      I hear you on the Lord speaking through others. I’ve been blessed many times as He’s showered me with wisdom delivered by a special friend at church. She has the gift of discernment and speaks His truth like no one I’ve ever met. He’s used her to minister to me and offer direction countless times. Love that!

  11. When I was praying about my first mission trip to Bolivia (4th trip this October!) I asked God to show me His confirmation with the colour purple. Specifically, purple flowers. I was walking my dog and saw a small flower. It was a purple clover, standing alone in a sea of grass. And the thing was, clover was MONTHS and MONTHS away from blooming anywhere in my region.
    Between that day and my trip, I saw purple flowers EVERYWHERE!! And purple cars, purple clothes, purple everything!!!

    I still giggle when I see purple clover.

    1. Jennifer, your story reminds me of Gideon and the fleece. I love that the Lord poured on the purple in answer to your prayer. He hears. He cares. He responds in unexpected ways at times.

      How exciting that you’re preparing for your fourth mission trip to Bolivia. I hope all the preparations come together well and that you sense the Lord’s presence at ever turn.

  12. Oh yes! That still small voice has been speaking to me a lot lately. Praise God!

    I start teaching next month and went to my classroom to start setting up. That still small voice told me to pray. I lifted up my hands and prayed over my classroom, for all the students who will enter in, and for all that occurs in this class to be pleasing to the Lord.

    I mostly prayed for my classroom to be filled with the Holy Spirit. I asked Jesus to be welcomed there.

    Great post, Keli!! I wish you the best of success on this journey! Can’t wait to get your book. I love historical fiction.


    1. Ruth, don’t you love it when the Lord speaks and prompts us to seek Him in prayer? That shows me how much He longs for us to connect with Him, to go to Him with anything at any time. It shows me how much He cares for us, how deeply He loves us.

      I hope you have a wonderful school year ahead, one in which you sense the Spirit’s presence at work in mighty ways.

  13. Paula Osborne

    Good morning Ladies, I have never heard any great voice speaking like Pauls burning bush ephisode. I think it would be neat and then again it might be little scary.
    I have felt a prescence and calmness.
    thanks for sharing today about this author and her historical book-just my type to read.
    Paula O(

    1. Paula, I’m not one who hears God speak normally, which is why I was so surprised when I did. Like you, I’d thought it might be a scary experience, although, in reality, it was anything but. Powerfully moving is what I’d call it, or perhaps awe inspiring. I love that the Lord uses so many different methods to communicate with us.

  14. What a cool story about hearing God, Keli! I’m looking forward to reading your book. 🙂

    1. Finished your book a couple of days ago, Jessie. Really enjoyed it. Trevor is dreamy!

  15. Just finished Keli’s book last night. Love, love, love!

    I think I “hear” the voice of the Lord best when I’m singing and listening to music. There’s something about the way it fills me that reminds me of the Holy Spirit. It consumes me and the emotions that flow just give me an overwhelming flood of peace that can’t be anything else but the Lord working in my heart.

    1. Lindsay, like you, I often feel closest to the Lord on Sunday mornings when I’m dancing to the praise songs. (OK, not dancing exactly, but that’s what my fellow church members often call my rhythmic–and sometimes rather animated–movements.) I’ve shed many a joyful tear as I lift my voice to Him in worship, move with the music, and shift my focus heavenward. I see Him more clearly, feel His presence more deeply, and experience His peace more profoundly. What a wonderful way to start my week.

  16. Katie, I’m also a big fan of Keli’s! It was such a treat to hop over to your blog and see her here today. 🙂

    I’m one of those people who say: “God said to me” all the time. Sometimes it baffles my husband because he’s only heard God once – audibly like you, Keli. I don’t hear an audible voice, but I hear that still small voice deep in the recesses of my heart. I’ve found that my mind has to be still to hear the Lord’s words – and that’s the hardest thing to do when I’m anxious, impatient or scared. I get leery when people say they “hear the voice of God” because it can be so misused, so when I’ve heard from God, I ALWAYS check the scriptures – and I often find that what I “hear” in my heart is confirmation of scriptures I’m familiar with or a deeper revelation of them.

    1. Katie Ganshert

      Love this, Gabrielle! God usually speaks to us and then confirms what He says. He might speak to us through a worship song or reading His word, and then confirm it while we pray or confirm it through another Godly person in our life. Or vice versa. I love when we get that confirmation! Since I tend to struggle with doubt (this is my thorn), these moments of Godly confirmation are such a gift!

    2. Gabrielle, I love that you have that link to the Lord and are able to hear Him. My challenge is stilling my mind.

      Gwynly has expressed his thanks that the Lord brought osteoporosis into my life, resulting in me walking four days a week–often with my guy. I, too, thank God for the diagnosis that prompted my attitude shift regarding exercise. Why? Because when I walk alone, as I often do during the school year when Gwynly is at work, my mind stills, and I’m better able to commune with my Maker and sense His presence.

  17. Praying for His voice to resound more in my life!

    Love seeing you ladies here.

    This post also reminded me of something funny–a pin on Pinterest that said mentioned hearing voices & followed with, “but they have pretty good ideas sometimes.” tee hee.
    ~ Wendy

    1. Katie Ganshert

      Love you, Wendy. Thinking about you lots. Hoping to give you a call today.

    2. Adding my prayers, Wendy, that the Lord blesses you with His presence, His guidance, His unfathomable love.

  18. I looove Keli’s book!! It’s so fun…the attention to historical detail, the banter between Miles and Elenora, Tildy’s spunkiness. So good! (A review is forthcoming, Keli!)

    Yes, I’ve definitely had a time when I know God spoke to me. Once was while I was studying abroad in London. Another time shortly after college when my plans all seemed to fall apart. Just reading your post makes me want to slow down, let go of the busyness and to-dos and wait for Him to speak again–whether it’s a whisper, just the calm assurance of His presence or an in-my-face message. 🙂

    1. Katie Ganshert

      Your comment reminded me of this post I wrote a long time ago – about hearing God’s voice:

      I think it’s so easy to fall into the go-go-go trap here in America that we have a hard time discerning His voice.

      1. Katie, that’s a beautiful post. Our youth pastor spoke on that very topic this past Sunday. He and others from our church had returned from the annual Mexico mission trip the day before, and he’d written his sermon on the long drive home. When we “have it all,” as so many in our country do, it’s hard to see our need for God. That’s why I think ministering to the needy in an foreign land where they lack the most basic things can be easier than reaching the lost right next door.

    2. Melissa, don’t you love all the ways the Lord uses to speak to us and assure us that He’s there for us? I love that He reached out to you in tangible ways when you most needed His reassurance.

      So glad you enjoyed the story.

  19. […] Katie Ganshert – Guest Post and Book Giveaway […]

  20. Thank you so much for hosting me, Katie. As I think of all you and Ryan went through recently, I can’t help but wonder in what ways the Lord spoke to you before, during, and after the surgery. Care to share?

    1. Katie Ganshert

      I think, more than hearing his voice, I felt His presence. It was undeniable. I can honestly say I never once worried or was nervous about his surgery. Not even when I had to kiss him goodbye as they prepared to wheel him off for prep. I felt such a calm peace about the whole thing. For him and for Brett. And since I’m such a natural worrier, this was definitely a God-thing.

      1. There’s nothing like experiencing the presence of God to fill one with a sense of peace. I’m so thankful that’s what you felt, Katie.


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