Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Finding my spiritual gifts without a questionnaire

When I was attending church in a designated building on a Sunday for 20 years, I learned about spiritual gifts. I learned that those with certain spiritual gifts were placed high up on a pedestal. If you had the gift of healing or prophecy, you would have a ministry travelling the country, or maybe the world. If you were gifted in teaching, people would pay to hear you speak and become almost groupie like in their behaviour, and revere you as a superstar of the Christian world. I fell into this trap and way of looking at spiritual gifts. The result was, I would look at my 'small' sprinkling of spiritual gifts that I had, and think that what I had was not very much. And because of this, the others with "more important" gifts seemed to be well, more important than me.

I filled out many spiritual gift questionnaires over the years, that were supposed to tell me what my gifts were. I always came away confused by the results. For years, I wandered trying to find my elusive spiritual gifts. But it was never clear to me. Or, if I thought  I had discovered my gifts,  I had to take a course to learn how to use them within the church. There was a ladder to climb, a game to play, to be able to have your gifts recognised, and to be able to use them.

When I was in my final year of primary school, in Papua New Guinea, I remember the words of my Religious Education teacher. My RE teacher was a kind woman who genuinely showed interest in all her students. She said to the class, "If you want to find out what your calling is, start listening to what others tell you are good at." From then on, I began listening. One day I was helping out on the playground with some of the students in the younger grades and my RE teacher said to me, "You are great with the little ones. You'd make a great teacher." After 30 years, I still remember those words. I didn't go on to become a teacher in the school system, but I have been a teacher of my own children now through homeschooling for the past 6 years.

A few weekends ago, as part of National Reconciliation Week, I attended a festival celebrating Aboriginal Australian Culture. My brother-in-law and nephew were playing didgeridoos, in a Didgeridoo Orchestra. There was a stall set up for traditional Aboriginal face painting. I waited in line with my sons to have their skin painted. While waiting, I decided that I too would get my face painted. The indigenous lady doing the face painting looked at me, and said, "I am going to paint the traditional sign for teacher on you." There was that word again, 30 years later, "Teacher", and something shifted within me. As the paint glided over my face, I closed my eyes. I was being annointed. This moment felt holy, sacred and Divine. It was affirming of my role as teacher to my own children. But I also have a sense that I will be able to teach other women from the life lessons I have learned over the years. I don't think it is a coincidence that I called my blog, "Princess Warrior Lessons."Other words have been spoken over me. One of them being "Mother". I never really had a sense of what I wanted to be when I grew up. But I know the day I held my first born son in my arms, I was called to be a mother. Five years ago,  I entered into the 35+ age bracket. I have had a few 20-something friends jokingly say to me, "Yes, Mum!" when I give them advice. I have a sense that this role of being Mother to younger women will unfold for me in the future as I listen to my inner voice for direction. There is a whole generation coming up behind me that are looking for mothering. I have a sense I will be a part of that.

Years ago, I said to my friend that had been through miscarriages and had not yet held a child in her arrms, "I think May will be significant for you." She gave birth to her firstborn in May. More recently, a friend who had multiple failed IVF attempts, sat on my couch. Knowing that she had just had another embryo implanted, I said to her, "You are going to grow this baby to full term." Immediately after I said it, I panicked and I thought, "Are you crazy? What if you are wrong? You can't give her false hope." She is due in 5 weeks. I was right. While in the home of another pregnant friend, I had a daydream type vision of her 2 boys playing with a little girl. I told her about it the vision and said, "You're going to have a girl." Well, 50 percent chance I was right, I guess. Months later, her scan relieved that she is carrying a girl. Another friend living in the USA, was anxious about a situation in her life. I communicated what I sensed about the situation. She told me after events took place, that I was right about the situation and she spoke the word, "Prophetess" over me. I let that simmer inside for a while.

As I have been discovering and exploring my artistic side, I have had a few Divine moments. When I shared a completed piece of artwork on Instagram, I receieved this comment:
IG user: This is a prophetic picture - my mum has been having this exact picture in a dream for past several months!
Me:      Are you serious? Wow. Please send me your address and I will post this to you.
IG user: Yes the colours are exact - I just showed her and her mouth dropped open!
And at that point, my mouth dropped open. Did I mention that she lives in New Zealand? I popped it in the post. I don't know the significance of her mother's dream, but God does. I was just listening to my inner voice when I chose those colours.

Last week, I was working on another art piece and I couldn't get another IG friend that lives in the USA off my mind. I decided that I would post this piece of artwork to her when I finished. I took a break from the artwork to check my IG. That same friend had sent me a private direct message, telling me that she was pregnant with baby number 2. (I have no idea what it is with all the baby connections!) I told her that I was working on an artwork piece that I sensed it was for her, and now I know why!


No questionnaires to fill out. No courses for me to take to learn how to use my gifts. No ladder to climb. No games to play. No stages to use my gifts on.

Just listening to my inner voice, following the Spirit's lead, and being true to myself.
Making the ordinary, extraordinary.

Still taking lessons from the King,

[POST SCRIPT: I wrote this on a Friday. The next day, I received a phone call from a friend whose world had just collapsed unexpectedly. I took her into my home for the weekend. With confidence, I used my gifts as "Teacher, Mother and Prophetess", to help her get through the weekend and return home, able to face her situation. It was almost like, because I stated that I had these gifts, and now recognised them, God was able to work through me. I can't wait to see who else God brings along for me to love and help on their journey. I just need to remain open to Holy Spirit.]

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  1. YES!! Love this. Love your giftings. Love your courage. Keep going! No questionnaire required... <3

  2. It is wonderful that you are not only aware of your gifts, but also willing to use them and to be open to new opportunities for using them.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts on my lessons!

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Jo Princess Warrior xo