The best way for me to share how the Holy Ghost has worked in my life is to share a bit about myself. I grew up basically as an only child, for my siblings were much older than me. My mom worked all the time as a housekeeper and my dad was a truck driver. Mom was always bone-dead tired, and my dad was a very quiet, withdrawn man who wanted little to do with a little girl when he was home. As a young girl, I spent much of my time playing alone in my room or with my best friends (books). I had an older sister who did take me to church (we went to Central) every now and then. She worked on the bus ministry for a while and I lost my two front teeth falling from the back seat of a church bus.
Although I can’t recall giving my heart to the Lord at a young age, I can vividly remember talking to Him as a friend. At seven and eight years old, I was known to excuse myself to the ladies’ room at school and I would go in there and God and I would have ourselves a talk. I just knew He was listening and that I could tell him about how lonely I was or scared about the results of a test. I remember feeling His presence, giving this little girl such a comfort and security.
After my sister got married and moved away, my trips to church were few and prayer and bible study at home was neither encouraged nor discouraged. I was about 14 when I started going to a Nazarene Church with my best friend. Although the services were not what I would call “Spirit filled”, the Sunday School class that I attended taught strong biblical truths and I did become more knowledgeable. Knowing something was missing, at 16, I went back to my roots, back to Central. That very first day of youth church was the very first day I ever had a man walk up, give me a hug, welcome me with open arms and tell me he loved me. This was something brand new. My dad, brothers, relatives never hugged me, never told me that they loved me. Whowas this man and what was it about him that was completely different from anyone else I had ever known? I kept coming back and began to realize that I wanted whatever it was that he had.
One night, a group of six seventeen-year old kids decided to have a private prayer and worship time. We met up at the church, sat down in the dark on the platform of this huge old fox theater and began to praise and pray. Right there was the very first time I really knew and felt the presence of the Holy Ghost. We sat there for hours, praying, praise and worshiping, laughing and crying. His presence was so strong. Our assistant pastor had come in to check up on a few things (probably on us) and I ran up to him and asked him to baptize me, right then, right there. It was such a personal, intimate time. My friend Kristy and I walked home still laughing, crying, talking about the awesomeness of God. I went back to school sold out to Christ. Lost some friends, lost my very best friend of twelve years due to my choice. I never turned back.
Over time, that same Holy Spirit showed me how to teach it to my dad. Oh, not in so many words, for dad was not one to understand a Pentecostal message, but in forgiveness and love. The day before dad went to be with the Lord, I decided to bring in this message a little deeper than I had been. It was time to introduce him to the Holy Spirit. I knew he was saved. Knew that he knew about God the Father and Jesus. He had been silent for days, but I felt so strongly that he was coherent. I sat there and held his hand and told him about the Comforter. I told him what the Holy Spirit told me. That He was proud the way my dad had changed, how he had let God in to change him. He told me to tell him not to be afraid (dad lived in fear) that He wasn’t going to leave him for a second and that it was going to be ok. There is nothing quite like introducing your parent to the Holy Ghost. There is no doubt in my mind they met that day. The gift of the Holy Spirit just keeps giving generation after generation. He fills us up to overflowing with His love and comfort. His presence can’t help but to overflow onto others even when they are unable to understand it all or even able to respond. Having Him fill me to where I could overflow at that time is so precious to me, I can’t explain it.