PostHeaderIcon Heavenly Father’s Day – Discovering My Spiritual Gift

You were born with at least one unique spiritual gift. However, this gift may never become known to you unless you prepare to receive it. Sometimes you have to experiment to discover it. Sometimes someone else will point it out to you.

Here is the story of discovering my spiritual gift. It takes place years ago, when I was first learning to live by faith. This discovery would ultimately lead to writing the book Heavenly Father’s Day.

I grew up in a Christian church and was baptized at the age of eight, along with all my Sunday School friends. I continued to attend Sunday School all the way through college. In spite of that fact, I didn’t really know much about the Bible. Many of my later classes were more on Christian living than on the Bible, per se.

Like many people, I went through a few years in my twenties when I didn’t go to church at all. Mainly that was because my then-husband wanted to go to his church, and I wanted to go to mine. So we compromised and didn’t go to either.

Also like many people, when my first marriage came unraveled, my church was the first place I sought solace. My extended church family welcomed me back with open arms, like the prodigal daughter.

I remarried. My new husband became just as involved in my church as I was. We started reading the scriptures together. We went to some weekend retreats. We had a child and started teaching his Sunday School class together. I became pregnant with our second child.

It was during this pregnancy—at the age of 36—that I discovered my first spiritual gift. I wasn’t looking for it. I wasn’t aware there were others with this gift. So it was truly a surprise present from God.

It happened at a Women’s Retreat. The guest speaker that weekend did a class on spiritual journaling. She handed each of us a tiny spiral notebook. She gave us an assignment for Saturday evening. We were to write a letter to God in our notebook and then turn the page and write at the top “To my daughter ________.” Then we were to write down whatever thoughts came into our head.

After that class, it was late-night snack time. I left early so I could have my ten-person dorm room to myself for a little while to try out the journaling. I wrote the letter, turned the page, wrote the “To” part, and immediately thoughts flowed into my head–spiritual insights from God.

As far as I know, only one other woman that night had an experience similar to mine. We have shared with one another the blessings that have come to us because of our journals. One reason I think the two of us received this gift of journaling is because we experimented on the teacher’s words in complete faith, never doubting we would receive (see James 1:5,6).

Since that time, I have met others who have the gift of journaling. And I have increased my understanding of my gift by reading How to Keep a Spiritual Journal. But I realize we all have some sort spiritual gift. You may know what yours is, or you may not. God waited until I had prepared before giving me my gift. Perhaps he’s waiting on you to prepare to receive yours.

Just like in the parable of the talents (Matt 25:14-30), as I have worked at my original gift, I have received others. I don’t always have to have a pen in my hand to receive spiritual insights. They come at odd times. Sometimes God wakes me up in the middle of the night and starts pouring thoughts and images into my brain.

I’m sharing all this in my blog so you will understand what I’m talking about when I tell you the story of how Heavenly Father’s Day came to be written.

As fantastic as these experiences may sound to you, what is even more amazing is how many people out there have these types of experiences, but are afraid to share them.

Believe me when I tell you that revealing the story of my journal is kind of a scary thing for me. I fully expect to be persecuted for suggesting that the Spirit speaks to me, and to many others, and perhaps to you, in the 21st century.

But I am encouraged when I read the stories of others, such as the story told by William Paul Young, author of The Shack. He tells of repeatedly waking up from a dream in which he was talking to God…and the conversation is still going on when he wakes up. His memory of those many conversations formed the basis of his book.

So now you know the background of my spiritual development. Maybe you believe me and maybe you don’t. But if you come back for my next post, I’ll tell you how my nearly twenty years of spiritual journaling led to the writing of Heavenly Father’s Day. In fact, the very first thing I had to do before I could start writing the book was to complete the onerous task of Transcribing My Journals.

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