At a young age I knew I wanted to give my life to expanding the kingdom. But what that would look like as a female? I grew up in church and only recall seeing women work the nursery, teach the children, play the piano and lead women’s ministry. Don’t misunderstand me here, there was nothing “little” about any of those things. Each one of those places gave unique opportunity to minister and give life. I served in many of those areas and was content to do it. But there was always this gnawing deep inside for more, but what?
One Sunday night when I was 12 years old, tucked away in a tiny country church in North Carolina, I had an encounter with God that forever marked my life. You see, I was painfully shy. I wanted so desperately to break out of my own personality but didn’t know how or if it was even possible. The pastor gave an invitation to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. And even though I felt like I would have a panic attack if I stepped out in front of the handful of people present to walk down the aisle to the front of the church – I knew I just had to do it.
I remember it like it was yesterday. Standing there with my hands out in front of me, the pastor walked over to me and told me to stay in worship and ready to receive the Holy Spirit. I began to thank God for the gift He had for me, and in that place of surrender I began to pray in my heavenly language. I was undone. I couldn’t wait to get home, shut my bedroom door and pray in the spirit.
When I prayed in the spirit I could literally feel this tremendous sense of empowerment come over me.
Of course, at twelve years old, I had no idea what empowerment was. All I knew was that after I began to pray, I felt anything was possible in my life. That encounter sparked something within me. I knew my life wasn’t going to be ordinary. Even though I had spent a great deal of my short life trying to avoid people and at the same time, I held their opinions of me higher than my own. I knew that wasn’t the real me.
Have you ever felt there is someone much bigger within you just waiting to emerge?
Well there is. A life that stays hungry for the “more” of God is a life in constant forward motion. I see it like a bubbling, rushing river. There is constant flow and life within the desire for more of Him. The opposite would be that still, swampy, standing water. You know what I’m talking about, the kind that usually forms that nasty overlay of algae? Because of the lack of life, the lack of motion, it gives permission for other things to grow and eventually take over.
When we stay empowered, we stay aware and focused on the bigger thing God wants to do in us and through us. When did you last feel empowered? Go back to the moment and pick up where you left off because I assure you, God hasn’t changed His mind about you.