This is a question I've been pondering quite a bit lately. I think God has put it on my heart to really dig in, get hungry, and find my place in His kingdom.
Last night was Holy Spirit Night at church. I went even though I was unsure of what my true expectations were. (By the way, this was an excellent way for God to write on the empty slate that was my mind last night.) I really enjoyed worship and listening to the speaker, Tim Brasic, with Nola in the Moby on my hip, and when ministry time rolled around I finished up the feeding we had started and made my way down to the front to get prayer. For what, I wasn't sure.
But while I was there, I stumbled upon a girl who was crying. I asked her if I could pray for her, and she said yes and that she felt she was led to be a missionary but that life had gotten in the way. So I laid hands on her and prayed a simple prayer that apparently held great meaning for her because she began to cry. At this point, Nola has decided to lay hands on the girl too, which I was discouraging at first because normally Nola grabs and scratches as opposed to touching nicely. But this time was different. Nola was so gentle, and the girl said she was so blessed by us that I just kept praying and Nola kept touching her hands. We had such an amazing experience that I had never had before.
We finished praying with her, and moved on to find others to pray for because by this time I had realized I was not there to get prayer but to give it instead. I turned around to see another woman looking expectantly, and as I reached for her she turned away. But I felt like God said, "get her back." So I did, and when I asked her if she needed prayer, she said she was looking for others who needed prayer and asked if she could bless me and Nola. God had flipped the script on me again. She prayed a sweet and beautiful prayer over us - for supernatural strength and endurance to make it through the fatigue I'm feeling as a mother and to be the best mother I could be - that I continued to pray all the way home and as I went to sleep last night.
After that, we just mingled through the group that had gathered for ministry waiting for direction. Then Tim spoke through the mic, "I feel a call for people who are losing sight or going blind altogether." Immediately, I knew of a friend who was there who would be answering that call. So I made my way over to the area where they were to lay hands on her as he prayed. Side note...I love that at the Vineyard they teach us to pray with our eyes open. This came in handy last night because as Tim was praying for my friend I began to notice a red spot on the bottom of the right palm of her hand. As he prayed for healing of her glaucoma, the spot became larger and brighter red. When he was through praying for her, I pointed out my observation and when she turned her other hand over we noticed it there too. I prayed a blessing on her hands and her eyes because I felt like those spots were signs of a healing that would be forthcoming.
I say all of this to lead to where I am this afternoon. I know, make a point already. Believe me, I'm getting there.
I left there last night feeling a little empty. Even though I had seen some amazing things and heard some incredible stories, something wasn't sitting right. Today has been much of the same - feeling a little out of sorts and "itching" to fix something. After laying the kids down for their naps, I came up here to the living room to get down to business on some homework. But I didn't even make it to the Parkland website.
Instead, I was led to the website for the School of Kingdom ministry. Enrolling in the this program is something I've been considering ever since I heard about it a couple months ago. But I feel like at this time in my life I need to focus on getting my schoolwork done for my nursing degree. So while I was on the website talking it over with myself and God again, I decided I would look at the application to see what all was involved in that process. Pretty standard information, essays, letter of recommendation, etc. And then they ask something very interesting. They list about 7 or 8 spiritual gifts and ask you to rate your experience or comfort with each of them.
Looking at that list got me thinking...who am I? What are my spiritual gifts? Am I using them without even knowing it or are they just going to waste? So I googled a couple different ones they listed, and then googled spiritual gifts and found an entire free online workbook explaining what each spiritual gift is, how it might manifest, etc. And it also included a self-assessment. Sensing prompting by the Holy Spirit, I eagerly printed it, filled it out, and scored it. And what I found in some ways totally surprised me.
Here are my results: (each gift has a total score possible of 15)
1. Administration: 7
2. Discernment: 5
3. Encouragement: 8
4. Faith: 4
5. Giving: 13
6. Healing: 10
7. Helps: 15
8. Teaching: 12
9. Leadership: 8
10. Knowledge: 3
11. Mercy: 15
12. Miracles: 5
13. Prophesy: 7
14. Service: 12
15. Wisdom: 3
So after I finished scoring myself, I went on to read the descriptions of the ones I was most gifted with. As I began reading about Helps, I began to cry. I know this is me. It was almost like meeting myself for the first time. Reading about Teaching and Mercy had much the same feeling. I feel validated in the Body of Christ. I truly have a part to play. Those descriptions match me to a "T." In the Mercy description, it mentions obtaining further training toward a career in nursing as a way to make mercy my ministry. Talk about a beacon in the night pointing me on the path God has chosen for me.
I'm so overwhelmed by the love of God right now, and I'm just grateful for the "me" that I met for the very first time today.
Now let the real work begin!