You Can’t Make This S*$#% Up

I’m gonna say it. 

I think my testimony will be called, “You can’t make this shit up.”

I know, that’s offensive to some of you. It was to me, too. And that’s okay. But really…Holy Spirit is wild and so very liberating. 

When I first started learning about the Holy Spirit, the wildest things were happening. I had driven up to a retreat (WE REVEL) where I witnessed healing happen left and right: healing of hearts and healing of physical ailments, which totally blew my mind that this was real.  I was witnessing women of faith stop and listen and then speak things to people so specifically to people to encourage them.  I watched people give gifts to other people they had never met and witness their reaction to receiving such a personalized handwritten note.  

Then… this was where it got personal for me.  I was listening to one of the speakers at the retreat as I sat on their living room floor. I instantly found my ears perked up as she said, “Become aware of the things which you can’t stand. Sometimes the enemy will put his thumb on something that he knows is actually a provision from God to prevent you from fully walking in your destiny.” 

My first thought was a peacock.  I hated peacocks; I truly found them annoying. We have a local zoo which they roam freely in and squawk and display their feathers in a “look at me” fashion.  Each time we visited and saw them my gut reaction was, “They are so vain.”  Well, at the retreat, I wrote down in my journal- “Oh! Like the peacock!” Later on that day, I was sitting down to decorate my journal I had received with different varieties of scrapbook paper, and I noticed a giant piece of paper with a peacock. I thought to myself, “Huh. That’s funny,” and stuck it in my journal.  Again, we gathered up to hear a speaker and she handed out a prayer which printed on the paper was…a peacock.  Now my eyes became more attune to what the Holy Spirit was saying.  My faith was beginning to build. I had hoped He would speak to me, but I was so cautious. I didn’t want to get burned and feel silly and humiliated by even thinking He was directly talking to me. 

Fast forward to the evening at the retreat where we talk about the Holy Spirit.  They were handing out scarves as a gift- which is powerfully significant- (you should really go to a REVEL retreat)…The leader stops and says, “I feel like Holy Spirit has another scarf for someone that is different than this one I am handing out.”  Another woman attending stands up immediately and says, “I have one I am supposed to give away. Hold on, it’s in my suitcase.”  She runs to her luggage and comes bounding back in the room with joy and describes how she packed and unpacked the scarf multiple times and finally put it in her suitcase.  It was a peacock scarf! I stood up, shaking…and said “Oh it’s definitely mine!”  I was stunned. I was hopeful. I was instantly like a little child in wonder. 

I arrived at the retreat with the burning question, “Who is the Holy Spirit?” And through using nudges and words which might have been insignificant to others started a path of asking more of who is He and who am I? The next day I wrote down for the first time- I am His Peacock, displaying the colors He has created me to be.  I stepped into a place I’d never gone. I started to see how I had hid my beauty, covered up, and been ashamed of my feminity. The enemy no longer had the tightest grip on who I am called to be.  It was now a time of discovery and relationship and intimacy of asking questions with the Holy Spirit. 

He is so full of wonder and mystery.  He is infinite. He is intentionally with me. He is whispering to the deep places of my heart and yours. 

The Peacock Scarf and Journal

Zoom Call or Face to Face?

“Is your relationship with God a Zoom call or a face to face, in the the flesh interaction?”

With the quarantine’s protocol, our social world’s have tried to embrace the new way of meeting with using Zoom or Google Meet. Although it is better than not seeing another human face than my six lovely people I live with, I am not the biggest fan of Zoom. And yes, God bless the wonderful opportunity to have technology which allows us to see people across the country- i.e., Grandmommy reading books to my children thousands of miles from here. There are many great things about technology; however, it is not the same as in person, face to face interaction.

I was preparing for a zoom call this morning with some of the loveliest group of women I know, and I still had to pump myself up to log in to this virtual reality group meeting. I asked the Lord what is it which makes me frustrated about zoom…He showed me how I am easily distracted, and how I become focused on the things like “Am I too close to the camera? Should I interrupt? Does the audio sound ok?” If I am honest, I am partially listening. (Sorry, dear friends and family.) In summary, my heart is not totally vested in the moment. I long for the moment when we get to for real embrace extended family and close friends. The long awaited hug will be magical.

Then God dropped this in my heart- how much more is this parable of zoom vs. real life interaction when you look at our relationship with the Holy Spirit. I don’t know about you, but I long for the real deal. I long for the tangible, sink your teeth into relationship with the Holy Spirit which is talked about in Acts 2.

“‘This is what I will do in the last days—I will pour out my Spirit on everybody and cause your sons and daughters to prophesy, and your young men will see visions, and your old men will experience dreams from God. The Holy Spirit will come upon all my servants, men and women alike, and they will prophesy. I will reveal startling signs and wonders in the sky above and mighty miracles on the earth below. Blood and fire and pillars of clouds will appear.”
‭‭Acts‬ ‭2:17-19‬ ‭TPT‬‬

Can you imagine the powerful experience of this? In my own spiritual journey I walked for many, MANY years in the “Zoom Call Zone.” The past seven years have shifted my experience of the Holy Spirit from a touch point on a Sunday or Wednesday to the in-person interactive relationship. He led me in this transformation through people leading the way of what it meant to walk with Jesus in the everyday- not just in a bible study or in a small group where I crammed the day before- But in the everyday moments of sleepless nights and changing diapers and hearing whining from tired children and doing dishes and doing endless laundry and the anxiety which overwhelmed me….I began to see He was in all the moments, not just the 30 minutes in the morning.

There is something about the face to face encountering of Jesus which cannot be replaced. Our bible studies and our virtual Instagram quotes (as beautiful as they are) will not replace the FIRST-Hand experience of a relationship with Our King. He longs to meet with us- FACE to Face. He wants to hear the hurt, the pain, the frustration, the heartbeat, the unspoken communication, the uncomfortable-ness. When we meet with a friend face to face, we cannot ignore the demeanor in which they walk in the room- neither can the Holy Spirit pass over the recognition of the state of our hearts IN PERSON. When we settle to drop in like a zoom call on our knowing ABOUT God, we miss out on the intricacies of which a relationship is built on. There is beauty and intimacy in the presence of one another. How wonderful to be able to invite Jesus into these spaces? I am continuing to walk along this road to a deeper relationship with the Holy Spirit and I want more! I want to live in His presence and not the second best Zoom call. I want to tangible smell like Him. I want to feel the heartbeat of who He is. I want to be in His grill! I pray you don’t settle for the Zoom call and reach out for the more, my friend.

“I'm done pretending, I want the real thing”- Dante Bowe

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