Holy Nudges
by Joanne Ellison

Good morning Making Space for God friends! This morning I was thinking about my friend whose mother suddenly died. And then my thoughts went to my own parents who quickly had a change in their health (seemed like overnight).  Sometimes when we least expect it, things happen. But what really caught my attention is that sometimes (not always) there are signs that change is in the wind. This is what I want to address today. When we have a sense about something what do we do about it? And as Christians, we need to recognize that as we daily pray for guidance, it is the Holy Spirit who guides and directs our paths. In light of this, let’s delve into this subject of trusting your instinct.

When my grandfather was about to die (and we had no signs of this whatsoever at the time), he said to me, “Joanne, I am going to die.” Now that was quite a statement for a young woman. I was driving and stopped the car. I thought to myself, “How could he know this”? But he did and a few weeks later he died.

Yesterday, I was with a friend, Dolores, attending another friend’s funeral, and during the funeral she mentioned that her mother was not well.  That afternoon I was obsessed with thinking about her mother. I had a keen sense that it was not good. I prayed all afternoon. The next morning her mother went to be with Jesus.

Now many of you know that I put my trust completely in Jesus. I not only don’t believe in crystal balls or reading tarot cards or whatever else people do to get information from another source, I think it is harmful and misleading.  As Christians, our source of information is the Holy Spirit. So what do we do when we think we are hearing something or have a sense about something?  Here are some practical things I do to discern if this is God speaking to me.

  • I ask the Holy Spirit if this is Him talking to me. This seems like a no-brainer, however you would be surprised at the people I suggest this to who say, ” What a great idea!”
  • I ask a few of my trusted friends to pray about it
  • If it is God speaking, He will not contradict Himself. The Word is my source of instruction
  • If I am not sure, sometimes I wait; other times I step out in faith and take action. My philosophy is I am better off stepping out in faith and taking a risk when I have a strong sense about something or I could miss an opportunity.

Let me be clear, these are not practical steps I use when I am making a significant life decision such as a job change, marriage, finances and the like. I am less likely to step out and take a risk on simply a yellow light in these cases. I am referring to the times when we have a “sense” about something such as I described in this blog and in a previous blog I wrote called The Regret Stealer.  I truly believe that what I call holy nudges are promptings of the Lord to engage us in His activity on earth.

Would love to hear about some holy nudges you have had! Blessings and much love.



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  1. Mary Ann Boyd

    I so believe in Holy Nudges. I have had several in my lifetime, I will mention one. My father lived to be 100 and was never sick a day in his life, played tennis every day it did not rain! He lived such a blessed life, my mother died at 58 on their 40th Anniversary ; he loved her dearly. Several years later, he married Ruth, a wonderful woman. He was blessed with two wonderful, loving Christian women. He was born and died in the same house. His mind was sharp until the end and he only needed help for about two months before he died. He was able to stay in our home because Ruth’s son came to take care of his needs. I had not seen him in about a month and one day I had this strong urge to see him. When I arrived, Steve, Ruth’s son , said to me when I walked in the door that Daddy and been calling for me in his sleep. He had recently seen my brothers and he was waiting on me. When I went to him in his chair in front of the fire, I kissed him and he said I love you Mary Ann! He could hardly see or hear at this time. He asked me for the ottoman and I put his feet up and tucked the blanket in….he opened his eyes and they were the bluest, most sparkling blue eyes I have ever seen, as if Jesus were looking through them; he looked at me and said, Mary Ann did that and gave me a thumbs up. The next day he went to live with the Lord. Blessings to all.

    • joanneellison

      Oh.. Mary Ann, that is beautiful. I am so glad you shared it. What a great way to release your Dad to the Lord. Sounds like he was an amazing man (like you!)

  2. Melissa

    I absolutely believe in them. I feel like God has been giving them to me for a long time but too scared to take them. Before I read this today, I felt a strong one yesterday and this morning. For all of my sweet sisters in Christ, please pray that I am listening correctly to this nudge. I feel I am being asked to step out of this box I have been in.

    • joanneellison

      Stepping out in faith often requires a risk but worth it! Sometimes the Lord’s nudge is so very quiet and sometimes we can’t miss it. Will be praying that you step out in faith. blessings- Joanne


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