Listening to the Spirit through Transition
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God” (Romans 8:26-27).
Since the start of 2012, I have been going through a 14 Days on the Holy Spirit reading plan from Examen.me. Growing up in non-charismatic churches, I heard about the Holy Spirit on occasion but it was never really emphasized. Then in my first ministry position at a dispensational church, experiential manifestations of the Holy Spirit were for a different era in church history and not for our times.
As I met with a counselor/spiritual director this fall, he helped me realize that I needed to desire God with my whole being. It wasn’t just a mental pursuit but a holistic, experiential pursuit of God. The more I thought and prayed I realized that part of what I might be missing was experiencing and listening to the Holy Spirit. As of yet, I don’t know what this means exactly but I am pursuing the Holy Spirit and what the writers of Scripture tell about him. Most of all I am asking the Spirit to show himself to me and speak his truth into my heart and soul.
I need the Spirit’s wisdom now more than ever. Last fall Hillary and I decided that it was time to move on from First Presbyterian Church. At the end of January my position at the church will go to part-time as the youth director. I cannot provide for my family on a part-time salary so we are setting plans in motion to move back to Denver at some point this spring or summer. Our family is praying for discernment and wisdom as we venture back to a place that feels very much like home for all of us.
A year and a half ago when we packed up our house in Littleton, Colorado we thought we were leaving Colorado for good. We felt a sense of completion and that is was time to seek a new beginning. We wanted to lay down roots in Champaign yet it didn’t work out that way. We know it was a wise decision to leave First Presbyterian but in some ways I feel like a failure for making the jump out here and then going back to Colorado. God works in mysterious ways though and we know we were brought out here for a purpose. We don’t yet know what exactly our life will look like in Denver but we remember over the past ten years of our marriage how God has walked alongside us and cared for us.
Paul concludes chapter 8 of Romans with this promise, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” We have experienced this provision in the past and don’t doubt that God will do it again. But we seek the wisdom of the Spirit to make the right decisions.
If you think about it, you can pray for the following specific things as we transition back to Denver:
- Pray for a full-time job in the Denver metro area. I am applying for retail management positions with Apple and various other companies. I love leading and motivating teams in an innovative environment. I would be open to a position in a church but it would have to be a special church. I’m rethinking a lot about the philosophy and strategy of doing church these days.
- Pray for a part-time job here in Champaign to provide income until we head back to Denver
- Pray that we will find a renter to pick up the rest of our lease if we can transition out to Denver before July.