Iâ€™m not sure how youâ€™ve ended up here today, dear reader, so Iâ€™m going to back up just a step or two, to give a backstory to this post. Basically, there are a few important things that make up the basics of the Christian faith that you need to know for this to make sense. Among them is a (seemingly counterintutive) belief in one God, displayed in three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. It was this Father who sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world, not to condemn us all, but to save us from our sinful nature, by grace, and through faith. I know that that last sentence deserves another hundred posts or so, but Iâ€™m gonna leave it there for now.
Iâ€™m talking about the third part of the Trinity — that Holy Spirit, who is One with the God Christians believe in. (I know that deserves some more attention, too.) But, Iâ€™m talking about Him because He is a person, instead of an â€˜itâ€™ perhaps, and because He is mind-bogglingly, jaw-droppingly great and powerful. And no one can arrive at the Father without going through the Son, and no one believes in the Son without the help of the Holy Spirit who convicts us of our sin. I want to talk about the power of this Holy Spirit because I think He can often be misunderstood. We can sometimes neglect to pray for Him to move, and we sometimes forget the importance of His power and His presence in our lives. At least I do. And we canâ€™t really walk out a life of following Jesus without Him. So with all those things in mind, sorry to start with such a mind-full, Iâ€™ll proceed. After noting that the picture below was taken around the time that all this happened in late 2006, in the Lost Valley in Glencoe, Scotland.
I had feelings for Hero Hubs long before he had any clue. I honestly felt (although this isnâ€™t the story) prompted by the Holy Spirit to be very careful not to pursue Mark (it just feels wrong to call him Hero Hubs for this post — so let’s say Mark just for today), as in a previous manner of living I often carefully â€œpursuedâ€ any guy I might be interested in. In the flirtatious, you like me donâ€™t you?, sort of way. So it was that for months and months and months I kept my feelings for him quite quiet, and only a few of my very closest friends knew. And it came about that after a while I sort of gave up, in a way. Hope deferred makes the heart sick. I became distracted with other interests and did my best to cover over what Iâ€™d felt for so long.
Eventually I moved to a different part of the city, (we lived in Edinburgh, Scotland at the time) and Mark began coming round to my flat for a cup of tea after work because it was on his way home. While my heart was carefully guarded, I enjoyed his company. Little did I know, for a few months, heâ€™d been asking God to lead him — He’d finally earned his British citizenship and wanted to know what career he should pursue… What continent should he be on? What country? But his prayers had shifted, because he was also praying about asking me to consider dating him. He wanted to be very careful with me, and he didnâ€™t want to hurt me, especially if he was supposed to move on, so heâ€™d prayed continuously and seriously, and sought counsel from older men in the church before he spoke to me.
And it came to be on a particular Thursday afternoon, he was at witsâ€™ end. You see, a few days before the Holy Spirit had spoken to Mark through one of the pastors at our church. The pastor had been praying for Mark, about his career and continent question, because Mark had asked for prayer for that. But he spoke to Mark after a Bible study one evening: â€œI feel like the Lord spoke to me for you when I was praying for you this morning.â€ He seemed reticent to share what heâ€™d heard, because of the weight of it, but Mark encouraged him. He finally said, â€œI think the Lord said He is going to give you a wife before He gives you a career or a continent.â€
Mark was, of course, flabbergasted because this pastor had no clue that heâ€™d been praying about asking me to date him. (He had been sick and out of the office for a while and hadn’t heard anything.) And so Mark was sitting atop Arthurâ€™s Seat in Edinburgh, this sunny Thursday afternoon, having received wise counsel from men in the church, and this specific word from one of the pastors. It seemed confirmed that the Lord was directing him to ask me out, but he was still reticent to dive in. (Who knows why? Iâ€™m great, right? Just kidding.) He wanted to be careful with my heart. A lesson for many a lad…
And then, he felt as if the Lord said, â€œFleece me, Gideon.â€ (You can read Judges 6 to better understand this — this was basically a way of saying â€œIf youâ€™re still not sure, test Me.â€) So Mark thought for a moment and prayed, â€œLord, if you want me to ask Caroline out, have her call me, or text me, right now.â€
Meanwhile, I was sitting in my flat after having stared at papers and my laptop screen for an entire day. I was trying to finish my Masters dissertation and I hadnâ€™t had human interaction in well over twenty-four hours. Which is no good for me. I looked up from my laptop and suddenly felt prompted by that still small (and increasingly familiar) voice in my mind: â€œCall Mark.â€ My prompt reply was â€œNot so, Lord! I am a lady in waiting!â€ And then I heard the Lord say â€œStop being religious.â€ And that was enough for me. I knew it was the Holy Spirit and I would be wrong not to obey.
I had no idea why I was going to call Mark, so I decided to ask him to go for a walk later. Little did I know, within seconds of him praying that prayer, he looked down at his phone, and it rang. It was me at the other end, with absolutely no clue why I was calling.Â The conversation went something like this:
Me: Hi, Mark. Itâ€™s Caroline.
Mark: Hi, Caroline.
Me: Om, I havenâ€™t really had any human interaction today. Would you like to go for a walk, maybe?
Mark: Ugh, sure. Iâ€™ll be there soon.
Me: Okay, bye.
I decided not to go the route of telling Mark I had absolutely no idea why I was calling him. He in turn waited a few months to tell me exactly what happened that Thursday afternoon. He waited until I turned in my dissertation to ask me out as well, which was lovely and wonderful of him. Ten months later we were married, and we lived happily ever after. Well, weâ€™re working on that, but weâ€™re doing well!
Iâ€™ve mentioned recently that there are just too many coincidences in my life with God to believe in coincidence any more. Iâ€™m sharing honest truth with you, and I honestly think thereâ€™s no coincidence youâ€™ve ended up here today. What you do with what youâ€™ve been told is up to you, but I hope if youâ€™ve never thought about the Holy Spirit before, or never considered His power, todayâ€™s the day you take a leap and say, Holy Spirit, if You are who You say You are, I want to believe. Help!