Sometimes silence is maddening, isolating, debilitating. Especially when you find yourself suddenly in a season of silence and you’re not hearing those confirmations from God or from those around you. When you have to just keep pushing forward, not knowing exactly how you’re doing and if you’re on the right path. Have you ever found yourself there?
I experienced such a season of silence immediately after the conference. After all the hustle and bustle of the weeks preparing for the conference, I found myself suddenly out of touch. Back to my job, back to the everyday routine, back to life as it was before this conference ever entered my life.
I knew we’d done well and been faithful to the mission God laid before us, so why did doubt flood my mind? Why was I so consumed with questions?
Did the conference do good? Did it have a positive impact on the women who attended? Was I faithful in obedience to what I was asked to do?
This season of silence and doubt lasted much of the next year. Although I kept asking God, “What’s next?” I didn’t hear anything. I was too busy battling the inner demons of doubt and self-confidence.
Planning the conference had been a difficult journey for me, as I wrestled with my own faith and stretched outside my comfort zone. Now this silence was another battle ground. I had to take everything I’d learned about the Holy Spirit and put it into action, but now with the training wheels off.
On my own, without His explicit guidance, I practiced relying on the Holy Spirit. Listening, praying, trusting, continuing to take steps forward in the dark in obedience even when I had no idea where the path was leading.
Finally, I realized I had the wrong question. Instead of “Did the conference have an impact on those who attended?” the more important question was “Did the conference impact me?” The answer to that was immediately clear: This journey with the Holy Spirit changed my life.
Saying “Yes” to God and learning to trust and follow the Holy Spirit transformed me.
As much as we think following the Holy Spirit is about impacting others, it’s just as much about the impact it will have on us. The Holy Spirit is about growing us and moving us.
As we grow in our reliance on the Holy Spirit and move closer to Him in obedience, we are able to fulfill our role in impacting others.
Learning to be obedient to the Holy Spirit is a life-changing experience!
Through this first journey of following the Holy Spirit, I learned…
– To pray aloud and pray often
– To trust God with all my heart
– That God calls each of us
– That God will equip us to do what He calls us to do
– To find my words and the courage to say them
– To be more open about my faith and share my stories of faith with others
– To worship God with unbounded joy
– To fall flat on my face in prayer and lean into God with all my being
– To live purposefully, seeking to live into God’s better future for my life
– To listen to him in prayer and be obedient to God’s call
– To hunger for more!
I hope to add to that list as I continue in more journeys of obedience, following the lead of the Holy Spirit!
Though the journey may have been difficult at times, I see now how those trials were growing and shaping me. How they were building my faith and teaching me how to RELY on the power of the Holy Spirit, rather than rely on my own limited power. The journey was worth it – and gave me hope to take on the next one and the one after that, even though I know each will bring its own set of challenges and learning opportunities.
So, be brave, take a chance and journey on! See what the Holy Spirit can change in YOU!
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This post is part of a 4 week series about the Holy Spirit. Click HERE to catch up on other posts in this series.
This series will look at topics such as:
– Inviting the Holy Spirit to begin working within us
– How to listen for the Holy Spirit
– What it means to obey the guidance of the Holy Spirit
– How obedience is linked to trust
– How the Holy Spirit equips us, even when we don’t feel qualified
– What impact we can have in the world when we open ourselves to the Holy Spirit
Sharing with: Motivation Monday, Monday’s Musings, Sharing His Beauty, Unforced Rhythms, UNITE
Sabra Penley says
This message is a great reminder that we have an enemy who wants to make us question and doubt, especially when we are doing what the Lord wants us to do. I love your list of the blessings and truths you received through this “assignment.” So often I don’t take the time to list and name God’s blessings and give Him thanks. Thank you, Kathryn, for sharing your heart.
Thanks, Sabra! Writing out those blessings was an act of healing for me after battling my inner critics. I needed a piece of paper last week and grabbed a notebook I had forgotten about – and when I opened the notebook there was this list. Such God-timing as I’d been struggling over what to write today 🙂
Beth Hess says
As I read through your post, a song from yesterday’s church service kept running through my mind. “Holy Spirit, you are welcome here. Come fill this place and flood the atmosphere. Your glory God is what our heart longs for to be overcome in your presence, Lord.” (Holy Spirit by Jesus Culture) Your story is such a testiment to how being in the Spirit’s presence can’t help but change us. And if you heart is to follow Him, then I have NO doubt, your conference was a major success in all the ways that matter.
Thank you for the song! Have been listening to it tonight and it’s just perfect right now!