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How a Divine Voice Offered Guidance and Strength

The strange voice reminded her that she was a good mother by sticking to her instincts.

An illustration of an open window with a beachfront view; Illustration by Tatsuro Kiuchi

“Mom, can we go down to the beach now?”

My 13-year-old son, Jesse, was holding his beach supplies. His 10-year-old twin sisters, Elizabeth and Emily, stood next to him, their eyes expectant. We were staying at a beach house that we vacationed at every summer. I didn’t feel up to going down to the beach. The weather was nice, and the kids weren’t going to go in the water. Jesse was old enough to chaperone. I decided I’d stay behind and sit by the window overlooking the shore to watch them.

“Stick together and be safe,” I told them. Smiling, they ran for the door.

With everyone gone, the house was quiet. I took a seat by the open window and watched the waves rolling up onto the beach and my children walking along the shore.

I tried to find some peace in the moment, to forget my troubles, but it was difficult. I was a single parent, recently divorced. I was overwhelmed with work, the kids, bills and errands. I felt like I was stretched thin, constantly playing catch-up and not living up to my full potential as a mom.

A light breeze made the curtains billow inward softly. The kids sat in the sand, soaking up the warm rays. God, am I strong enough to handle all of this? I wondered.

The sun washed over my face. I closed my eyes for what felt like a split second. Then I heard something. A voice, clear and loud.

“Where are your children?”

I sat right up in my chair, my heart pounding. The voice was audible, but it wasn’t male or female. Its tone was urgent, demanding.

“Where are your children?” the voice repeated.

I jumped up and looked out the window. I couldn’t see them, but that didn’t mean they were in any danger. They were probably just playing out of view behind the rocks. Still, I felt as if I had to go to the beach immediately.

I ran out of the house, down to the sand and over to the rocks, which were at the base of a cliff. I searched the area all over. No sign of them, not even their beach supplies.

Perhaps we’d just missed each other. It was possible they’d taken a different route back to the beach house, down a footpath between the houses that was out of view of the window where I’d been sitting. I turned to head back home when something caught my eye. A little boy, no more than eight years old, came out from behind the rocks, his face filled with fear.

“Please, can you help my friend?” he shouted.

The voice had told me I needed to find my kids, but how could I ignore this distressed little boy in front of me? I told him to lead the way. He took me back into the rocky area, closer to the cliff , and pointed up. I gasped in horror. Another little boy was clinging to the cliff face, at least 20 feet off the ground. He was stuck.

“Don’t move!” I called to him. I climbed up some of the rocks at the base of the cliff and got a little closer to him. His little arms were shaking under the strain of holding himself up. I positioned myself under him and held my arms out.

“Let go,” I shouted. “I’ll catch you.” The boy shook his head, his eyes closed. He was terrified. I wasn’t even certain I could do this. Would I be able to catch him and keep my footing without injuring us both? I didn’t have any other choice.

The boy’s foot slipped. His grasp on the cliff broke. He was falling. I braced for impact. Somehow my footing remained stable as he fell right into my arms. He was safe and completely unharmed, and so was I.

I dropped the two boys off at their beach house. I watched as they both ran inside, hopefully with a lesson learned about climbing in dangerous areas. With those kids safe, my mind immediately returned to my own—and the strange voice that had called out to me to find them. I was confused about what it all meant. Had it actually been real? Were my children okay? I hurried home to see if they’d returned.

I burst in the front door of the beach house and was welcomed by the familiar sound of my kids laughing in the living room. They all jumped up to greet me.

“There you are!” Jesse teased like a worried parent. “We took the foot-path back home, and you were gone. Where in the world have you been?”

I laughed and pulled him into a hug. My children had been safe all along, but that voice knew exactly where I needed to be and how to get me there fast. God reminded me that I was a good mom by trusting me to save a child in danger and, in doing so, showed me that I was stronger than I’d thought.

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