My junior year of high school I began attending the Malibu Vineyard. This was the first time in my experience in the church where I was positively introduced to the more charismatic gifts of the Spirit. And I began exploring personal experiences with these demonstrations of the power of God. After a week of studying the Scriptures to make sure it was Biblical, I began praying in tongues for the first time during a worship at a Friday night youth service. According to 1 Corinthians 14:4, I was edifying my spirit as I prayed in this way.
Over the years since then, I've heard stories and personally experienced a few examples of the gift of interpretation of tongues. None of these have been so compelling to me as what I experienced when I moved to Texas and became a leader in a youth ministry where students were practically trained in these gifts. One of the other youth leaders had a small group where he explained to the youth that he was going to pray in tongues, and if anyone understood what he was saying, just let him know. After he finished, one of the girls in the group said, "Sure, I understand. Here's what you said..." She said it was as though she heard the words translated in her mind into English.
I was fascinated with this practical method of discovering spiritual gifts, and wanted to experience it personally. So one Sunday after church I went to lunch with this student and her small group leader. I prayed for a few minutes in tongues, and she wrote down what she heard. I have the full paragraph in my old journal, and may add that later, but the part I remember that resonated strongly in my spirit was this part of my prayer: "Lord, make me a Mother of Many."
Last year when I started attending Trinity Church in Dallas, I quickly got to know several of the staff members, but was still unknown to the youth pastor, Dustin Sample. Those that I spoke with knew that my background was in youth ministry, and told him about me at a staff meeting. The next day at a prayer meeting several church leaders stood up to give prophetic words. Dustin, who is very gifted in this way, chose me out of the crowd and said, among other things, "You are a mother of many." All the other staffers laughed at his accuracy, as he spoke without a natural clue. And while everyone else knew my background in ministry, no one else knew the deep prayer of my heart that was recognized that day in the word that he gave.
Last Monday we celebrated Memorial Day with Dustin, his family, and several other families from the church. As we were getting ready to leave, knowing that this was one of our last times together before our move, Dustin said, "Don't forget that word I gave you when you came. You are a mother of many." The depths of my spirit responded immediately, and I fought to choke back the tears.
What might this look like in Missouri? I suppose we never fully know in advance, but my spirit is expectant for His purposes.