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Listening to God’s Voice with Megan Nilsen

Megan Nilsen joins Sarah Taylor on the Passion Meets Purpose podcast for an incredible conversation on listening to God’s voice. She launched her coaching business in 2020 and loves empowering women of all ages to listen to the voice of God and make big, bold moves for greater influence and impact. Listen as Megan talks about the journey that began with the question, “Are you courageous enough?”

Interview Links:

Find Megan:  Online | InstagramTwitter | Pinterest

Transcription:

Megan Nilsen:

He’s in control, but guess what? He’s not a dictator that’s micromanaging a puppet. He’s created you as His child, and He wants to be in relationship with you and co-labor with you, and bring about the gifts and talents that He’s put in you.

How can you be listening for His voice? A key component of the coaching, is definitely equipping people and empowering people to hear God’s voice on their own.

Sarah Taylor:

Her name is Megan Nilsen, and I am so excited to welcome her to the Passion Meets Purpose podcast today. Megan, let’s talk for a second about how we uniquely found each other, thanks to two sisters.

Megan Nilsen:

Yes. I love this story and I think your sister knows my daughter, so I think it gets even deeper.

Sarah Taylor:

Yeah. Oh, Audrey is here too, I should say that. We have a special guest today. Other than Megan, we have my programming intern at the radio station.

Her name is Audrey. Audrey, why don’t I let you explain it? Because you were instrumental in getting today’s guest.

Audrey:

Yeah. Today’s guest is very important to me and my sister, because I’m at the SPIRIT 105.3 internship with Sarah Taylor for the Passion Meets Purpose podcast. Then my sister, she is also helping Megan Nilsen.

She is helping with graphic design and all of communications over with her. We just thought it would be a great idea because we’re both so proud of our mentors, and we just really wanted to have them collaborate. That’s really how it started.

Megan Nilsen:

Proud of their mentors, that’s adorable.

Sarah Taylor:

I know, right?

Megan Nilsen:

Either it means we’re old and cool, cool and old.

Sarah Taylor:

I know. I was telling someone else today as we got Audrey her going away package, and it had Xtreme Rainbow Airheads and sour straws. I said to my friend, I go, “I love 20 year olds.”

Megan Nilsen:

Yes. Well, this is what I love though, is that they just did it, they figured it out. Because I’m a podcaster, life coach, speaker, and I was looking for a summer intern. My summer intern, Audrey’s sister, goes to Grand Canyon University, so I’m going to shout out to that.

I was like, “Oh my gosh, I would love to work with a couple young ladies from Grand Canyon.” Audrey’s sister just came back to me and said, “Listen, my sister’s an intern at this radio station. I think you’d be an amazing guest. Can I set that up for you?” What kind of just fortitude and ingenuity and just go for it? I love that work ethic [inaudible].

Sarah Taylor:

Yeah. Shout out to these girls parents. There’s three of these sisters and they are all complete go-getters. That’s really a quality that stands out among this next generation.

She showed up with a notepad on the first day, taking down notes of everybody’s names and what they did, and that was the moment. Within five minutes of walking through the door, I was like, “This is going to go well.”

Megan Nilsen:

Yes, I love that. Yes, her sister has said to me, Sophia said, “Hey, how do you feel about this graphic or can I change this tile art?”

I’m like, “Let’s do it. First of all, you probably know what’s cooler than I know. Yes, please change it for me. I just want to connect with people. If you can help me make it pretty, that’d be amazing.”

Sarah Taylor:

Well, thanks to both of them for the incredible connection. Let’s dive into you’re a certified Christian life coach and you have your own podcast. We’re going to link up so that people can definitely hear more. It’s called Kingdom Life Podcast. I was listening to it this morning on my drive in, and I was ministered to within the first 10 minutes.

I’m so grateful that you are helping others find out about those passions that they have. When they have a seed of an idea and they’re wondering, “What’s next for me and how do I hear from the Lord?” You have some time-tested ways of going about that. Why don’t you tell me a little bit about being a Christian life coach?

Megan Nilsen:

Well, time-tested ways. The reason I’m doing this, and it is called the Kingdom Life Coaching Podcast, is because this is the journey that I am living. I speak out of what the Lord is teaching me and what He’s calling me into. I’m a mom. I have four kids, two in college, two in high school. I was a stay-at-home mom for a long time, but a school counselor before that. I always knew, when I’m thinking about passion and purpose, I always have known that I love to connect with people.

I like to know what makes people tick. I like to communicate and tell stories and write, so I’ve done that in various ways over the years. But if you fast-forward to about 2020, my kids were getting a little older. I don’t know if your listeners have older kids, but eventually your children tell you to butt out of their life. They’re like, “Okay, mom. It’s been real, but you can stop micromanaging me now.”

I knew that in order to be a healthier person, I needed to figure out what am I meant to do besides, in addition to, parenting these children? I was working part-time for a nonprofit that I loved, but I was quite frankly, bored. I was doing things that just were not lighting me up. Writing emails for other people and doing social media, which in some sense, I cared about. But I knew that God had given me a message that was deeper and He wanted me to step out.

In fact, I really felt this tug from the Holy Spirit that said, “Megan, you are so comfortable putting other people’s messages out into the world, and that’s great and good, but you have a message that I’ve given you. Are you courageous enough? Are you willing to step out on your own and begin to speak for yourself, the message that I’ve given you?” That was a huge turning point for me, so in 2020, I actually hired a business coach.

I had no business to speak of, nothing. I just knew, “Listen, I like to speak, I like to write. I like to teach people about the Bible. What can I do with that?” I started working with her, and we were chipping away at all the usual conversations like, “What’s your zone of genius and what do people come to you for? What do you find yourself advising people on?” About three months into working together, she said, “You know what? I want you to be my spiritual life coach.”

I said, “Well, that sounds amazing. How does that work?” She was already in the coaching space. She was a well-known coach herself, had her financial coach, physical coach, all the coaches that one could ever want. She said, “I want to hire you to help me think about my life, and through the kingdom lens, what does God say about my marriage, my business, parenting, et cetera? I want to be able to bounce that off somebody.” That’s how my business got started.

I would say that coaching found me, because someone saw that gift in me and said, “I want to hire you to do this for me.” Then I thought, “Well, shoot. If she would hire me, is this a thing? Can we build a business here?” For the past three years, that’s what I’ve been doing, is building a business from that space. Then other projects have come out from that, but it’s been really amazing. My podcasting really just comes from a place of, “Hey, this is interesting to me. This is what the Lord’s showing me.”

Maybe someone else would find benefit from this journey of life and faith, this intersection of what does it actually mean?

Sarah Taylor:

Oh, don’t even get me started on when things find us. I think we’re going to have to talk about that, because I have found this theme through a lot of my interviews. Recently, it was Jon Foreman, lead singer of Switchfoot. He says songs find him. He doesn’t write songs, songs find him.

Interviewed Page Turner, who is a television host of Fix My Flip on HGTV, she doesn’t call herself a dream chaser. She calls herself a dream catcher. The Lord directs her steps, she catches that dream. I have the same experience. The reason I’m here at the radio station, is because that internship found me. That opportunity found me. Can you talk about more of that that you’ve seen, as you’re coaching people?

Megan Nilsen:

Yeah. Wow, things finding you. It’s an interesting, nuanced space, because we could sit around and wait for things to “find us.” But if you’re hiding out in your little bubble, bunker, not a lot’s going to find you. I think the reason that these opportunities have found these people or even songs, is because there’s an openness, and there’s an awareness and there’s a walking it out.

Speaking of finding things, our youngest two kids are adopted from Ethiopia. When I was praying through this adoption process, it felt big. It was a big decision for our family, and I knew that it would have the direct impact on the trajectory of the lives of our other children. I very distinctly remember this moment when I was praying and I kept saying, “Lord, we’re open to this. We’re open to this.”

I’m sitting on my couch in my living room with my journal, “Lord, we’re open to this adoption process, if you want to bring it to us.” In that moment, I felt the Holy Spirit say, “You keep waiting for some proverbial stork to drop children on your doorstep. But if you walk out your doorstep and you look around the world, there are millions of children. It’s up to you whether you pursue this or not.”

I feel like that’s a key concept in things “finding us,” is that we have now opened the door, we’ve walked out, we’re open to it, and then the opportunity finds you. I know there’s an amazing quote about that, but I can’t remember it. Opportunity favors the prepared. What is that? Anyway, something like that.

Sarah Taylor:

I don’t know. We can Google it, try to put it in the show notes.

Megan Nilsen:

Yes, yes.

Sarah Taylor:

I love the way that you hold that nuance, because you’re right. Yeah. We can’t just sit idly, but there’s also that divine connection.

We do the work, we’re prepared, and then the Lord in His timing, speaks to us. Even the way that you heard from Him, was an answer about your kids.

Megan Nilsen:

Yeah. I think part of that is are we then willing to step out of our comfort zone potentially? It’s one thing for the opportunity to find you, and then you get to respond. You take the internship there at the radio station.

It’s probably out of your comfort zone, something you’ve never done before. You’re going to have a huge learning curve, but then you step in bravely and you do it. I think that’s where really the traction comes at that point.

Sarah Taylor:

One of the questions I normally open with, but you and I had just a a different opening, so I’m going to make sure I get it in there. Is the gifts and talents that you have being a Christian life coach, even back when you were a school counselor, there’s a thread with that.

Take me back to the earliest memory you have of where the way that you’re uniquely wired, even showed up in childhood for you. Did your parents say anything about you? Were you advising kids when you were on the playground?

Megan Nilsen:

My sister would probably say I was advising her inside the home. I am the oldest child. I like advising better than bossy. That’s a much better word. Yeah. As far as I can remember, I’ve just been someone who I like to listen to other people and help people think through a matter. I often remember friends coming to me and saying that if they have boy problems or homework problems or whatever.

Thinking through like there was just a neutral, safe space for someone to come and be honest. I’m just generally a well-rounded person. I like to say I’m not amazing at any one thing, but I’m kind of good at a lot of things. I think that makes for good life coaching because I like to say I’m like your primary care doctor. That’s the first stop.

That’s the first stop you go, is like, “Okay, I have these things that are bothering me and these aches and pains, and I don’t know what to do with them. I can stop here first with her, and we can really knock out some things and uncover and discover some things.” Then I hand people off to specialists, like business coaches and whatever else. I am just a primary care person.

When I was in high school, I was nominated for the Walt Disney Dreamers and Doers Award, which basically, well, it sounds amazing. I didn’t win because I lost out to a girl who played baseball. Back in the ’90s, girls who played traditionally boys sports, that was a big deal. But I was in the top 10.

I like to say that was just one of those awards that was like, “You know what? She’s pretty good at a lot of things. Not amazing at any one thing, so let’s just throw her a bone.” But anyway, yeah, I just love to listen to people. It’s been my life’s work to connect that way.

Sarah Taylor:

I think that’s a really beautiful gift. I don’t know a lot of people in my life, that I feel like they would say that’s their primary thing is listening to others. Just look online.

It’s like a lot of people want to give their own opinion and not listen to anybody else. Here you are, doing the opposite. It’s no wonder that you’re finding a very unique lane where people gravitate towards you.

Megan Nilsen:

Well, and at first when I started coaching, I was actually quite nervous because I thought, “How do I know? How will I know what to tell somebody when they come to me with a problem?” Then pretty quickly, the Lord deconstructed that in me and said, “Megan, I’m not the expert. You are the expert of you. God created you. You know you. You’ve lived with you since day one.”

All I’m coming in, is helping you discover who you really are, and giving you just the space and the confidence and the permission to be who God’s created you to be. I don’t have to know the answers for your life. I trust that God’s going to reveal the answers to you, and I just get to move you along and hopefully encourage and prop you up in that and support you in that. That’s much more relaxing to know that you have the answers inside of you, not necessarily me.

Sarah Taylor:

Let’s talk to someone who’s listening right now, and maybe they’ve been listening to the Passion Meets Purpose podcast for a while because they love hearing how other people have figured out what their lane is and what their purpose is, but they haven’t figured it out yet.

Now they want to come to you, to work through that personal process. What would be some of the first steps that you would take with them?

Megan Nilsen:

That’s a great question, and maybe some of this is not new information, but I love how you asked me, “Okay, ever since you were little, what did you notice about yourself?” What has been true about you from the beginning? Then seeing that through the lens of maturity, because I think sometimes we can run into a challenge where we think, “Well, I used to be like this, but now I’m like this.”

Well, maybe that gift has just matured over time, or there’s been some trauma that’s gotten in the way. I love to connect people to their deepest desires. When I begin to ask people, “What would you really love to do? If time and money were not an issue, what would you do?” Many times, people are doing what they like to do, but the other 50% of the time people are like, “Honestly, I would be X.”

I have a family member who says he’s been in the banking industry for a very long time. He said, “I actually always wanted to be a teacher, but I never did it and I regret that.” Then I come in as a life coach and I would say, “Why didn’t you do it? If this is something you’ve always dreamed about doing, what are the things that are getting in your way, and why do you think it’s not an option?”

There’s a lot of time deconstructing walls that we’ve put up, because we think for time, money, whatever, we can’t do it. But what if there were another way? I like to ask that question a lot too. What if there were another way and we don’t have to stop with whether it’s either A or B? What if C were an option? What could that look like? The dreams that you’ve always had in you.

Then when you lay in bed at night or when you’re dreaming in your own personal journal, what do you imagine yourself doing? That’s a very vulnerable space for people to be, because it’s easier to say, “Hey, I do this and this is very much revered by the world.” But when you get under the hood of the car, so to speak, when you get in there and really ask someone, “What do you really want to do?”

That’s a vulnerable space to be. I love to give people permission to be vulnerable and say, “Oh man, I wish I could do this, but I don’t know how.” Then we start to go, “Okay. Well, what are some options? How could you do that? Let’s play that out in a lot of different ways and see what comes up.”

Sarah Taylor:

Another aspect to your coaching that’s different than any other life coach, is the fact that it’s kingdom focused. Can you share with me how do you define that difference?

Megan Nilsen:

Kingdom focused, first of all, it’s not about me. It’s about who God is and what He’s building on this earth, and how He wants to use me, how He’s inviting me to be a co-laborer with Him in that space. You’re right, in some sense, worldly, traditional life coaching is you’re the king of the universe. You get to decide your own fate. But in our kingdom, we’re saying God is the king of the universe.

He’s in control, but guess what? He’s not a dictator that’s micromanaging a puppet. He’s created you as His child, and He wants to be in relationship with you and co-labor with you, and bring about the gifts and talents that He’s put in you. How can you be listening for His voice? A key component of the coaching, is definitely equipping people and empowering people to hear God’s voice on their own.

We spend a lot of time doing that because as you might imagine, there’s some roadblocks that you can get in that space when people start to say, “Well, how do I know? Is it His voice? Is it my voice? I don’t really know the difference.” We start to explore what is the difference? How do you know?

Sarah Taylor:

That was the episode of yours this morning that I was listening to. Yeah. Yeah, it was a recent one that you did. I think I want you to talk about this. God has better blueprints for us than we could ever dream up for ourselves.

I wonder if one of the barriers, I think it used to be that for me is I thought, “Man, if I put all my chips in on letting God direct my steps. Does that mean that I am going to move to nowhere in Africa, and live with nothing and be a missionary, and just feel like every day is a sacrifice, every day is difficult, all of that?”

That kept me from, I guess, trusting that He really knew best and I was so wrong. I was so wrong because when He brought me the gift of working in radio, He took the fact that I was always getting in trouble for talking in class at school. Public speaking is a big fear for most people, but for me it’s not.

He put me somewhere where I have joy every day and pinch myself with gratitude. Can you talk a little bit more about how His blueprints are really for the best for us? It doesn’t mean that there’s not sacrifice. It doesn’t mean that we don’t have to die to ourselves, but you don’t have to be afraid of what He might have in store because He’s good.

Megan Nilsen:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Every good and perfect gift comes from above. I love that you said, “Hey, if I surrender my life to this, God.” Isn’t that such a human theology way of thinking? Then therefore, it’s going to be terrible. I don’t know what it is about our fleshly human brain that’s like, “Okay, if I relinquish control, then whatever I get back is going to be awful.” I just don’t think that God works that way.

I think we could spend a lot of time really deconstructing that theology and be like, “He’s a good God, but He does call us out of our comfort zone.” What is that balance? I think in some sense, the reason that we think, “Oh, He’s going to call me to X, Y, and Z, that sounds horrible,” is because we know that there is a truth in His kingdom that He calls us to follow Him. When Jesus says, “Follow me,” He doesn’t always say exactly where we’re going and exactly what we’re going to do.

In fact, in the Gospels, He’s often saying, “Hey guys, we’re going to go through Samaria.” Everybody says, “Why would we go through Samaria? That’s the most horrible place on the earth.” In some sense, it stands to reason why we human beings would be like, “Well, you’re going to send me to no man’s land, Siberia, because you and the disciples went through Samaria.” I think part of the tension is going, “Okay, He wants to bring out these good gifts in me, and He’s going to use it for His kingdom purposes.”

I really like to talk about divine assignments a lot. When I think about Kingdom Life Coaching, something that makes it different is that it’s not necessarily the circumstances that we need to be focused on. It’s the connection within the circumstances. It’s the who can I connect with, how can I connect with them and how can I love them and show them God’s love no matter where I am, no matter what I am doing?

We have that tension in the human life to be present and speaking God’s love and peace wherever we are, inside or outside our homes. “Oh, by the way, He also has equipped us vocationally.” What does God say about you? Who does He say that you are? When He tells Peter, “Peter, you are the rock and on you, I’m going to build my church.” There’s a great blueprint for Jesus has downloaded his new name. Simon is now Peter, and he’s going to build the church.

I’m sure at that point, Peter was like, “What does the church look like?” There’s a lot of winding road to get to that space. It’s just so fascinating and very, very nuanced. I think the only way to push through that block of fear is to say, “Okay, I’m not going to be afraid. I’m going to trust that you are going to call me into a space that is for your kingdom and for your glory. If it’s outside my comfort zone, that’s okay. I can do hard things.”

Here’s a new opportunity, and you might be bringing something to me that I can’t even fathom. He gives us more than we can ask or imagine, so why would we begin to imagine the worst? Imagine the best, and know that He’s going to blow the ceiling off that too. It’s tricky business, girl. I don’t know if I can answer that really well, because I’m living it every day myself.

Sarah Taylor:

Intern Audrey has a question.

Megan Nilsen:

Yeah.

Audrey:

Yes. Speaking of just going out of your comfort zone and everything, I think I researched on your website and my sister and I were talking about it, but I think you really minister to a lot of college or college graduate ages.

I was just wondering how do you encourage that age group in that stage of life specifically, because it’s such a time of growth and uncomfortability?

Megan Nilsen:

Yes. Yes, it is a time of growth and uncomfortability. Again, I have lived in that space. I don’t even know how many jobs I’ve had in my lifetime. Most of the jobs that I had, especially right out of college, were horrible. I would come home crying every day. I would say first of all, I want to impart this hopefully encouragement, that you do not have to have everything figured out.

In fact, I think God would prefer that you don’t have everything figured out, because that’s when He can mold you and shape you and lead you. When some people come in and they’re so hardwired, “Hey, I’ve only wanted to be this since I was five years old.” Then that dream dies. For example, we live in Colorado Springs and the Air Force Academy is here.

I know several people who wanted to go to the Air Force Academy, a military academy, that has been their dream since they were little. Yet when they got to the physical challenges or whatever, there’s something in there that says, “Guess what? You can’t do this anymore.” If you’re that rigid about what you think you’re supposed to be doing and it breaks, that’s a pretty hard break that needs to be repaired.

I guess what I would say to you as hopefully a word of encouragement, is the more soft and agile you can be. Yes, we want to make plans and study what you enjoy, and go to work and try new things. You’re doing an internship this summer, for heaven’s sake, so that’s fantastic. You’re learning would I want to do this? Then this is information that you now have.

Either you love this internship and you want to figure out how you can find more opportunities in this lane. Or you might walk away saying, “Sarah’s amazing, but I can’t imagine doing that job for the rest of my life. That is horrible. What else could I do?” Then instead of being depressed about it, like, “Oh my gosh, I wasted my summer.” No, you did not waste your summer.

You actually learned a ton about yourself and an industry, and now you get to take that into new spaces. I would just say, keep the conversation open. Talk to as many people as you possibly can. If there is someone in your life that is interesting to you, ask them if they’ll go out for coffee, ask them for a Zoom meeting, reach out to them.

Because the more people that you can talk to and connect with, the more opportunities you’re going to have, and people that could possibly give you an opportunity for a job. The more information you’re going to have in your heart and mind as to, “Oh, this is a yes and a green light. I really enjoyed that. This is a yellow light or perhaps a red light. I did not enjoy that, good to know.”

Don’t just sit in your room wondering what you’re supposed to do with your life, let me just tell you that. The more isolated you are, the harder it is. The more you put yourself out there and the more connected you are, the “easier” it is, because you have more opportunities and you know people, you know yourself.

Audrey:

Yeah. Well, that’s a great point. I think a big thing as a college student in the present time, I think a big also problem that we have is a lot of comparison.

How it’s like, “Well, my friend or whatever, they’re doing this and they have this person in their life or whatever.” How do you combat the comparison of trying to figure out what everyone else is doing and also yourself?

Megan Nilsen:

Yeah. Oh gosh, comparison. Comparison is the thief of joy. That is for sure. One way to combat comparison, is actually to cheer other people on. The opposite of comparing someone is aligning yourself with someone and saying, “Oh my gosh, that is so amazing for you. I’m so happy for you. I hope you get all the information you need and you have this great opportunity.”

Definitely it’s a daily task. If you know that you’re going to get on Instagram and you’re going to immediately compare yourself with other people, then I would caution you how much time do you spend on those platforms? Each of us, we’re going to know we have different abilities, we have different limits that we can handle social media. Know your limits, know what you want, cheer other people on, and then try new things.

Listen, Sophie is an intern for me, your sister, and newsflash, I’m not paying her. She has decided to take an unpaid internship. That says a lot about her. I was like, “How can I go on LinkedIn and broadcast that I’m hiring? Who’s hiring if you’re not getting paid?” But I had to do my own coaching. No, I’m going to mentor and lead, and provide skills and opportunities for some young people.

They are not going to get a financial payment, but they are going to, God willing, hopefully, receive skills and life experiences that are going to outweigh current payment, because they know that that will be coming in the future, for sure. You might be comparing yourself to someone and then secondarily, put yourself in their shoes. Do you really want to be living that life?

I feel like most people, we compare ourselves to, if we were super honest, we’d be like, “Well, I actually really don’t want that kind of fame. I actually really don’t want to be living in that city.” It might look great for them, but if you’re honest, it may not be great for you. So why are you comparing yourself to something you actually wouldn’t even want?

Audrey:

Yeah, that’s so good. Honestly, it’s so cool to see the different situations of these internships that my sister and I are having, but then the closeness of the situation of seeing how these cool and new experiences can help people.

Even if they’re not paid or whatever the financial is, it doesn’t matter. Because when we’re young, it’s honestly so nice to get the experience and just have God lead from that, instead of in any other way from a money standpoint or something like that. That’s really cool here.

Megan Nilsen:

Yeah. Listen, when you’re young and you put yourself out there the way the two of you are doing, it will reap dividends far beyond what you can imagine, far beyond. You’re making a fantastic decision.

Sarah Taylor:

I want to talk a little bit about how one of the awesome things you get to do as a Christian life coach, is you get to call out the gold that you see in others. So often, it’s easier to see someone else’s potential or just like a common thread throughout their life.

Sometimes we have blinders to it for ourselves, or we might be believing a lie and you might see the truth. Can you tell me a story of someone who you’ve coached, and you helped them cut off a lie and start believing the truth and it was transforming for them?

Megan Nilsen:

I feel like that’s pretty much everybody. It’s just it’s so sad but so true that we just believe these lies, why? Satan is just woven these lies into us. But I coached a man, who was in his mid 50s, and he has been in the same job for quite some time and been pretty depressed in it. The lie that he was believing, because he wanted to start his own graphic and art design business.

But he thought, “I’m too old to do this. I’m already committed to this particular job. How could I possibly start a new business at this late age?” It was very fun to work with him for a year and a half. It wasn’t like I said, “You know what? Why don’t you quit your job today and start your business tomorrow?” No, we took the time to honorably and respectfully leave his current job, make a plan, and then move into a new space.

The lie that he was believing was just, “I can’t do this. I’m too old. This is not going to work for me. I’m not going to make any money.” When we got into the dreaming, speaking of digging out the gold, and saying, “How long have you dreamt about having your own graphic design business?” For decades. “Okay, what’s stopping you from doing that?” Well, he had all kinds of reasons, so it was really, really fun.

Now, he has a thriving business, and it’s super fun to see him doing that. The lies are endless, unfortunately, but I’m so thankful that other people can see the truth. We have to be open to just believe, “Okay, you can see it. I can’t see it, but I’m believing that it’s true.”

Sarah Taylor:

Give us a couple of your tips and tricks, so that when Audrey or myself or whoever, when one of our friends comes to us for advice and we’re listening.

How can we be a mini Christian life coach to give really good feedback to our friends going from that basis, like you said, of we don’t have to have the answer for them, we want to help them uncover their own answer by asking the right questions?

Megan Nilsen:

Well, I think you just said it, ask. I don’t even know if it’s the right questions because already the word right just freezes me up. What’s the right question to ask? I love asking questions and saying things like, “Well, that’s interesting. Tell me more. How long have you felt this way?” Try to ask open-ended questions, how’s that? Open-ended to get them to dig a little bit deeper and dig a little bit deeper.

One of the cardinal rules in coaching, is to try to go seven layers deep with an issue. If someone says, “I really wish I could quit my job and be a stay-at-home mom.” Okay. Well, why would you want that? “Well, because then I can have time with my kids in the summer and we can have more family vacations.” Why would you want more time with your kids in the summer and have more family vacations? “Well, so that we can really build a deep bond.”

What would having a deep bond bring you? It’s almost a game, so to speak, to see how deep can you go with the exact same question, and the exact same line of thinking? That could take you pretty far, if you could just keep saying, “Why would you want that and what would that give you?” It’s fun.

Sarah Taylor:

I love that. Thank you for that. That just helps everyone be a better friend to each other. Before our time is done, I want to talk about the fact that you have a book. It’s called Untangled Faith. There’s also a journal that goes with it.

Megan Nilsen:

Speaking of God, finding me, this is back to the top of our conversation about opportunities finding you. The quick version is this. I have been following a man named Mark Virkler of Communion With God Ministries, and he was talking about two-way journaling. He would say, “You journal what’s on the top of your mind. What questions do you have for the Lord?” Then you stop and you say, “Okay. Lord, what is your perspective? Guide me in your perspective.”

You tune to Holy Spirit flow, and begin to ask the Lord for a download. What do you want to say to me about this thing? How can you give me perspective? I have been doing this two-way journaling between the Lord and I for a while. I have led people through it in my coaching as well, what do you hear God saying about this specific issue in your life? Then one morning, I woke up and the first thoughts in my head was a blueprint for how to do this journaling in a deeper way.

When I talk about seven layers deep like I just did, I actually go 12 layers deep in this journaling. God, no joke, this is how I feel. He gave me the blueprint and He gave me the ideas and the words to go deeper and deeper. When you hear the Lord’s voice over something, how is He renewing your mind? What is He asking you to relinquish in the flesh, so He can make space to receive from His spirit? What questions do you have about that?

What counsel do you need to confirm this word? It’s an in-depth blueprint, but that blueprint found me. I had taken people through this journaling exercise, and journaling is funny because if I say the word journaling, about half the people listening are going to be like, “Oh my gosh, I love journaling. Tell me more about that. I want to order it.” Half the people will be like, “Click, done. I’m done with this conversation. I’m not listening anymore. I don’t journal.”

It’s been fun to take people through this very guided handholding, step-by-step journaling. My husband even said to me, he overheard me guiding people through it once, and he was like, “Well, that’s what you mean by journaling, I think I could do that.” Because it’s very guided step-by-step, and it really helps you uncover what God is saying to you. Then what now? What next step of faith is He asking you to take through this?

I was getting ready to publish the journal because I had a speaking opportunity in the spring. I thought, “Oh man, if I could have the journal in print, people could buy the journal. It’d be amazing.” Again, back to the Holy Spirit, He said to me, “If you really want people to understand this concept at a deeper level and be fully equipped to do this, you need to write a book, and really anchor it in the bounds of scripture.”

That it’s not some journaling blueprint that Megan made up that you should try. No, it’s grounded in scripture. It’s grounded in the truth that God speaks to His people. What does His voice sound like? Then after they read the book, they’re fully equipped to buy the journal and begin to have this journaling experience for themselves, hear the Lord for themselves, and really uncover what is He asking you to do with that? What do you get from it?

Sarah Taylor:

Audrey and I are looking at each other like, “I’m going to get that. I’m going to get that.”

Megan Nilsen:

Yes.

Sarah Taylor:

Yeah.

Megan Nilsen:

You too can go on Amazon and get your book and journal.

Sarah Taylor:

Yes.

Megan Nilsen:

Yep.

Sarah Taylor:

One click. You offer free clarity calls for someone that wants to know more. What’s a free clarity call?

Megan Nilsen:

Curiosity, clarity, discovery, whatever word you want to put around it. It’s really just me saying, “Hey, I’ve got 30 minutes, 40 minutes of time, you can hop on my calendar and I would love to hear what’s going on in your life totally free. Tell me what’s going on.”

We begin to discover what’s God doing, and for people who would like to do deeper work, we can talk about what that looks like, but the free call has no strings attached. It’s just me wanting to listen and hear what questions you have, and see if I can be of any support or guidance, or pray for you in any way.

Sarah Taylor:

Sounds good. Well, I am so thankful to have been introduced to you by these wonderful sisters.

Megan Nilsen:

Yes, thank you so much.

Sarah Taylor:

I’m trying to make Audrey stay, but Audrey’s mom told me that she needs to return to college.

Megan Nilsen:

Hey, no problem. I have an unpaid internship for you over here, Audrey.

Sarah Taylor:

We’ll swap. We’ll swap them. We can do it from anywhere.

Megan Nilsen:

That’s right.

Sarah Taylor:

Megan, it’s been just a pleasure to talk to you. I love that you’re helping people individually go deeper into all of these things, and that your gift is listening and going seven layers deep.

We’re going to link up to your podcast, your book, ways to contact you in our show notes. Do you want to give any final thoughts, almost like a benediction over our listener today?

Megan Nilsen:

Oh, a benediction. Thank you so much. I’m honored to be here. Thanks for taking a chance on me, first of all. The benediction is just this. You are God’s child and He loves you, and He wants to relate to you and speak to you.

Find out what He’s saying, whether it’s buying this book and journal, that would be amazing. But whatever it is for you, walk it out. Open yourself up to receiving what He has for you because it will be good.

Sarah Taylor:

Thanks so much for being here today on the Passion Meets Purpose podcast. We’re going to talk again in two weeks, but in the meantime, if you want to do us a huge favor, obviously you know this by now.

If you leave a review, it really helps others to find this podcast. It also helps us to make it better, and then you can contact us anytime at Purposely Podcasts. Until next time, thank you.

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