When I was a kid I grew up with a single mom who was struggling a lot with her mental health. She didn’t believe in God or anything. And I was really struggling with anger. I would have terrifying fits of rage where I would scream at the top of my lungs, completely destroy everything in my room, and hit things. I had those fits until I was about fourteen years old. It was really hard not having a Father figure in my life. Eventually my mom met my step-dad. I hated his guts so much. I used to fantasize about killing him. But every time I would go to his parent’s house I would feel this strong sense of peace. There was so much peace in that house, which was really foreign to me. They told me about Jesus. They told me that he is fully God and fully man, he lived a perfect sinless life on earth, and then he was unjustly tortured and killed by crucifixion. As he was dying he asked God to forgive the people that were torturing him.
When they told me that, I would sort of believe it for a day or two, but when I would go back home, it was back to my same old, rage-filled life. A few years later I went to Bible camp. I heard all the stories and sang a bunch of songs about God, which was fun. But then when I was leaving, the guy who started the camp approached me and said, “Thank you for coming to camp.” It was so weird, but in that moment something shifted inside of me. It was like I knew. It was all true! At that moment I decided in my heart that I was going to completely give my life to Jesus. After that my fits of rage decreased significantly, and they were completely gone by the time I entered high school. I also completely forgave my step-father.
God has done so many things in my life since then, but I will share just one quick one that I think was the most impactful. My husband and I moved and started going to another church. This church was different than all the others I had been to. At most churches, people would say they would pray for you and then walk away. But here, it was different. If you walked into that church with a broken leg, you knew that someone would lay hands on your leg and pray for it. Even kids would pray; one time some children prayed for someone’s back and it was instantly healed. No matter what it was you needed, people would pray right then and there for you. The bible says that after Jesus died, he went to heaven and sent the Holy Spirit to live inside of those who believe. The bible also says that the Holy Spirit has gifts that we can use as he directs, called spiritual gifts. There’s the gift of healing, words of knowledge, prophecy, pastoring, counseling. God can use any one of these gifts in any person whenever he wants to.
After I realized this, God gave me the gift of words of knowledge and also prophecy. A word of knowledge is when God tells you something about someone that you could not have known otherwise. A prophecy is when God tells you something about someone’s future. Many people in my life have helped me to steward this gift, and it excites me to partner with God in it!