Sunday, July 28, 2013

Our Loving Father

"If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?" - Luke 11:13
It happened three weeks after I had been baptized in the Holy Spirit while at a charismatic prayer group meeting.

I certainly had not expected to get up in front of people and tell them I was an incest survivor. Not then. Not ever. But then I had certainly not expected to be baptized in the Holy Spirit either.

For those of you who do not know what that is, baptism in the Holy Spirit is not a repeat of the sacraments of Baptism or Confirmation. Simply put, when we pray for baptism in the Holy Spirit, we often become more receptive to the presence and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We are better able to live out our baptism and confirmation and witness to Christ’s love and presence.

I have heard it described before that it is as if the plug is pulled and the light is switched on. That is certainly the way I seemed to experience it.

I had spent most of my life trying to hide my story from the world. Suddenly I found myself telling a room full of people that I am an incest survivor.

My husband and I had been asked to speak to our charismatic prayer group about the Lord’s Prayer. We each spoke on different verses of the prayer. I was going to speak on forgiveness and talk about my struggles to forgive my father.

And so I spoke those painful words out loud, for the first time in public. Ever.

I am an incest survivor.

And I talked about how, for the first time in my life, I could relate to God as my loving Father. My Abba.

My life has not been the same since.

Father in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thank you for turning the light on in my heart and mind. Thank you for helping me to forgive. And for teaching me to pray and for giving me the gifts I have needed to witness to your healing presence in my life. For years, I thought I had no real father. But I did. I do. You have been with me always. Thank you, Abba. Amen.


Karin said...

"Pulled the plug and turned on the lights..." I love that, Colleen. While I don't think I have had this experience, it seem s the perfect analogy.
Only the Holy Spirit could have given you the courage to speak about your experience to others.
Thanks for an insightful and personal post on the Lors' Prayer.

RAnn said...

It is wonderful that with God's help you have been able to take something so bad and use it for good.

Barb Schoeneberger said...

This past week I wrote on "Abba,Father" in the context of hope. This phrase from the Bible has such deep meaning.

Although I've not had the exact experience you've had with baptism of the Holy Spirit, when God opens up understanding of His word it is very exciting and I feel the presence of the Holy Spirit. It seems that God is using you well to testify to His fatherhood.

Colleen said...

Karin, thank you for your kind comment. I agree - I knew it was the holy Spirit helping me. And I am more aware of that Person of the trinity since those days. The Holy Spirit is gentle and will not force us. We need to ask.

RAnn, thank you. I think that is what has helped me heal - finding meaning in it all.

Colleen said...

Barb, I am on my way to your blog to catch up on some reading!
Thank you for this comment. That was such a meaningful moment in time for me. Years later, about 16 years, I can remember it like it was yesterday. A real turning point.

Michael said...

God Bless you for what you do for our Faith!

Colleen said...

Michael, thank you. God bless you too!

Joann / lioness said...

PTL, Colleen. The Holy Spirit makes the difficult, doable and the impossible, possible. The anointing is empowering and often surprising. May God continue to give others hope by your witness.

It's been over 40 years since I was baptized in the Holy Spirit. It has been a real blessing through the years. I think of it as fanning my embers into flame on the Holy Spirits terms.

Colleen said...

Joann, 40 years! Wow! Awesome!
17 years for me. I like how you describe it - fanning embers into flame. Amen.