“If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?” – Luke 11:13
It happened three weeks after I had been baptized in the Holy Spirit while at a charismatic prayer group meeting.
I certainly had not expected to get up in front of people and tell them I was an incest survivor. Not then. Not ever. But then I had certainly not expected to be baptized in the Holy Spirit either.
For those of you who do not know what that is, baptism in the Holy Spirit is not a repeat of the sacraments of Baptism or Confirmation. Simply put, when we pray for baptism in the Holy Spirit, we often become more receptive to the presence and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We are better able to live out our baptism and confirmation and witness to Christ’s love and presence.
I have heard it described before that it is as if the plug is pulled and the light is switched on. That is certainly the way I seemed to experience it.
I had spent most of my life trying to hide my story from the world. Suddenly I found myself telling a room full of people that I am an incest survivor.
My husband and I had been asked to speak to our charismatic prayer group about the Lord’s Prayer. We each spoke on different verses of the prayer. I was going to speak on forgiveness and talk about my struggles to forgive my father.
And so I spoke those painful words out loud, for the first time in public. Ever.
I am an incest survivor.
And I talked about how, for the first time in my life, I could relate to God as my loving Father. My Abba.
My life has not been the same since.
Father in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thank you for turning the light on in my heart and mind. Thank you for helping me to forgive. And for teaching me to pray and for giving me the gifts I have needed to witness to your healing presence in my life. For years, I thought I had no real father. But I did. I do. You have been with me always. Thank you, Abba. Amen.