I headed to day two of a conference about the Holy Spirit (check out day one here), less worried than the night before but still a little anxious, because that’s what I do. I sat with people I knew this time, and I listened and waited while someone explained words of wisdom and healing prayers. Sometimes he gives us specific messages that will build up those around us. Sometimes he wants to use our prayers to heal others of their afflictions.
A woman from my church approached me that morning and suggested God had spoken to her about me, and she thought God wanted to heal me of my physical trouble here at the conference, my diabetes. Strangely, although I would have loved that, I didn’t think it was the case. But again, I know the mean girl in my head says I’m not worth much, that something huge like healing a decade-old chronic illness was more than God would do for me, and I’m trying to shut up that girl, so I pursued my friend’s words and asked her to pray for me.
Within five seconds of the prayer, I knew I was right, and this wasn’t about diabetes. And I knew she’d heard from God about me, even though she had a couple details wrong. As she prayed, she mentioned the belief that God was about to use me for something, to grow me up and send me out, and she prayed that things in my way–like a chronic illness–would be removed, that stumbling blocks and hindrances would be removed.
But I know me. Diabetes is a pain, but it isn’t what stops me from doing what God wants. If anything, it adds something to my life by humbling me and causing me to think through my priorities. Doubt slows me down. Fear slows me down. Lack of trust, too. They were what I wanted healed when I’d walked through the doors on Friday night, and now a woman of God was praying for them to go, even though she didn’t quite know that.
After my friend prayed with me, she took me to the front and asked another couple people to pray with me, and I admit I was afraid. One of the men who was about to pray with me kind of scared me to death. He is a wise man of God who seems more in tune with the Spirit than most people. I had been afraid of him ever since I’d met him, because I was sure he’d look at me and say What are you doing here? You don’t belong here. You’re a pretender, a false Christian playing at being a daughter. Go away.
But I approached him. He put his hand on me. And one of the first things he said was The Holy Spirit is all over you.
Bingo. I could have gone home at that moment, because I’d gotten what I’d come for. I needed to hear that. I feel a little bit ashamed that I didn’t trust those words from the Bible, that I had to hear them from somewhere else before I truly bought into them, but I guess that’s why God puts us in community, to encourage each other to believe truth. And I believed. And the tears poured. And the man praying with me talked to me a bit, and I think he realized where I needed healing, because he asked for God to send me more joy, deepen that knowledge that I was loved, give me more of everything the Spirit has to offer.
It was an amazing weekend. I wish I could remember every second of it. I wish my family had attended. I walked out renewed, knowing that yes, I have things laid before me, likely things that aren’t easy for me. One result is that I’ve chosen to blog again and share what God does in my life. Another has to do with deepening my prayer life. Being more diligent in the Word, both studying it, meditating on it, letting it–and the presence of God–infuse my life in new ways. Being less fearful of people so I can perhaps again hug a stranger or pray with someone and share words from the Spirit with him or her.
I don’t know what’s coming, not in the short term. But I’m more confident of the long term than I’ve been in a very long time. I’m a daughter. Dad has plans for me. Time to stop making excuses and listening to wrong voices and let his love for me drive me. As someone said recently, the Spirit is all over me. And that should affect every bit of my life.