Wednesday, January 20, 2016

When God's Voice Sounds a Lot Like Vonda Skelton's

by Cathy Baker

I’d always expected God’s voice to possess a thunderous tone, but oddly enough, it sounded much like Vonda Skelton’s last Thursday morning as she shared the devotion during our Cross N’ Pens meeting.

Vonda began by talking about the number of rejections she’d received before her first publication. Anyone in the room who had written for any length of time could relate in that moment.

She shared how Apostle Paul had suffered numerous rejections during his missionary journeys, and yet, he let nothing deter his calling. For example, even after miles of strenuous travel and aggravating circumstances required to preach the one true gospel, he discovered that many accepted it, while others rejected it. Neither distracted him from moving forward.

On our writing journey, we will probably receive both rejections and accolades. Regardless of the outcome, we learn from Paul that we shouldn’t take either too personal. When the rejections come, we can “dust off” the computer keys, much like Paul dusted off his sandals after being beaten and thrown out of the city.

So, what project are you working on next?

During Paul’s second missionary journey, the Holy Spirit stopped him and Barnabas, altered their plans, and re-directed their path.

As Vonda pointed out, it wasn’t an experience or circumstances that veered Paul in a different direction. It was the Holy Spirit. And the beautiful part of this story is that the Holy Spirit didn’t put up the roadblock to deter Paul and Barnabas from moving forward. Rather, the obstruction helped move them in the right direction - one of God’s choosing and for their ultimate good.  

Sometimes what seem like roadblocks, closed doors, or unanswered prayers can come in the form of a rejection letter, third place instead of first in a contest, or not having all the questions answered on this journey. And yet, many times it’s these so-called roadblocks that God uses as a catalyst to teach us something new, or take us to a place (physically, spiritually, or emotionally) we would’ve never traveled otherwise.

Paul continued to experience rejections throughout his journeys, but he never let them define him or his calling. Vonda shared how Paul was called to write letters. Seemingly simple letters. When he etched words on parchment, little did he know that one day those divinely inspired words would become part of the New Testament. Paul was faithful to His calling. He never gave up, even when things didn’t unfold as he might have planned.

Just because you’re not published doesn’t mean you’re not doing the work of the Lord.

Just because your calling looks different than you might have expected doesn’t mean that you’re not in God’s will.

The above phrases from Vonda stopped me in my tracks. My pen couldn’t gulp enough ink as I tried writing everything down word for word. Why? Because that was God talking to me, although it sounded a lot like Vonda. For only He knew the struggle going on within me – the struggle to find my focus when it comes to writing and blogging. I love writing. It is my calling for this season in life, but without focus it’s easy to feel like a lost pup.

Maybe I wasn’t alone in my struggle that morning, or perhaps God spoke to others through the devotion in a different way. All I know is that I’m thankful God chose Vonda’s voice to deliver it, because I can’t imagine it being filtered through a sweeter spirit than hers.


  1. Well done, Cathy. You captured the experience of the devotion at that morning meeting.

    "My pen couldn’t gulp enough ink as I tried writing everything down word for word." This word picture is memorable too.

    Write on!

  2. I agree with Carolyn. "My pen couldn't gulp enough ink as I tried writing everything down word for word" is a terrific word picture of what it felt like to be in that meeting. Thanks for sharing this, Cathy.

  3. Thank you for your kind comments, friends. I love how God uses His word to encourage us, wherever we are in this journey!

    And thank you for your sweet insight, Cathy. We never know how God will speak to us. I'm thankful He spoke through my little devotion. And thanks for writing it, too!