Joanna Gaines Once Told Oprah Her Relationship With Religion Was 'Like No One Else's'

HGTV star Joanna Gaines is very intentional when it comes to her spirituality. She professes the Christian faith but is cautious when it comes to religiosity. Rather than believing in only one way of connecting with God, she believes that there are many ways. 

"With the idea of religion, I shy away from that, my relationship with God, it's like no one else's," Gaines said on an episode of Oprah Winfrey's "Super Soul Sunday," according to The Christian Post. "God is so creative that I can't impose what my beliefs are. ... He shows up in beautiful, unique ways for all of us."

She went on to explain that her understanding and experiences of God were relational. She described how she communicated with God and heard God's voice. Winfrey asked if she heard it via prayer, feelings, or simply a voice she heard in her head. Gaines said all three were ways she encountered the Divine along with what she described as a deep "sense of peace." Additionally, she shared that God showed up for her in literal matters, mostly as a voice helping direct her. It's been this way since she was a little girl.

Joanna Gaines' experiences with God

One key time Joanna Gaines heard the voice of God was during her second pregnancy. She and her husband Chip decided to close their store, Magnolia Market, so she could focus on raising their children. Opening the business had been a dream come true, so closing its doors was difficult and emotional for Joanna. 

"I remember the last day, you know, we're closing the shop down, and I'm crying because I feel like it's the end of a dream," Gaines said for The Gathering (via YouTube). "I hear God say, very clearly, he said, 'Joanna, if you trust me with your dreams, I'm going to take Magnolia further than you could've ever dreamed, so just trust me.'" She said that she immediately felt at peace after hearing those words.

A few years passed, and then Gaines said she received another sign that it was time to return to that dream. The couple reopened the store in 2014, and it ended up being more successful than before. They were able to grow beyond the store and eventually launch their Magnolia Network. "Now I look back, and I go, 'God, your promise that you spoke years ago, I'm now seeing,'" she said for The Gathering.

Joanna and Chip's spiritual background

The sense of peace Joanna Gaines felt after hearing God say it was time to close her businesses was familiar to her. She had heard God speak to her before and felt a similar way. A sense of peace is one of the defining characteristics that distinguishes God's voice from her thoughts. 

"I will say there probably been five pivotal moments in my life where I can say that was God's voice, that was him, and I felt the sense of peace, almost like that moment where you get chills and you know there's something else," Joanna Gaines said on the episode of "Super Soul Sunday," according to The Christian Post. 

Gaines grew up in a conservative, Christian home and was raised with traditional understandings of the faith. Her husband Chip's journey mirrored her own. They grew up and figured out their own beliefs and faith. Chip, who's seen some of Joanna's stunning transformations over the years, made it clear that he admires Joanna's spirituality and connection with God. "I want to speak on Jo's behalf because she would never say things like this," he said on the show, "but she is so incredibly wise, so incredibly grounded — all the things that you just described is who Joanna is."