This post is about a series of events that brought me to an understanding, so don't judge me for being scatter-brained and/or ridiculous.
If you read this blog with any consistency, then you know that I have been learning a lot about the Holy Spirit and I have been trying to be diligent at "practicing His presence". Then, last week I joined a study with the book Forgotten God where I'm continuing to learn about Him. (I don't know a lot about the book just yet, so don't look for a review, but I am going to say other things, so don't quit reading either.)
If you will remember, in January I blogged about my 'resolutions' Here. In that post I said I wanted to "6.Be kinder, and gentler. Those are the two fruits of the spirit that I have the hardest time with, and it really does sadden my heart." I meant that and I really did strive for it. Eventually though, I forgot that I was striving and that's what's really amazing. This summer we did an activity where we laid out poster board with everyone's name on it and went around and wrote something on each person's. I found mine by my couch the other day and read this, "you are so gentle. with me and more importantly with your students. Jesus is seen in that." (there are many other precious thoughts, but this one hit home) If you've known me for any substantial amount of time, you know that in the past "gentle" is not a word people would use to describe me. I know for a fact that I have made dear friends weep because I spoke truth to them without concern for their feelings. I loved big, but I didn't love gently.
It's for that reason that I can say with full assurance that the Spirit of the Living God is working inside of me. And that is so completely astounding. It's not me; there's no way I can even pretend that it's me. It's all God, 100%. One of the things I'm really trying to do more now is listen. And from that I'm learning a lot about how others perceive me--about how they perceive Christ in me. It's funny because the 'good' things people notice about me are not at all any of my strengths. They are things that I struggle with, things that I loathe, and things that make me cry. I don't know that I could entirely convey what I mean with type on a blog without the message getting altered, but God is just so evident in what people say and what I see.
I know that I'm not anywhere near where I need to be, but it is so very comforting to know that the Lord is with me and within me, and it is He that leads me wherever it is that I go. Praise God for His presence.