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About Noelle Kirchner

Noelle Kirchner, M.Div., is a Presbyterian minister and mother of two boys. As they wrestle on the floor, she enjoys wrestling with her manuscripts. She writes for Huff Post Parents, the TODAY Show Parenting Team, and has been a repeat guest author at in(courage). You can find her on her blog, where she writes about faith and parenting, and on Twitter and Facebook.

 

 

 

Holy Nudges

Noelle Kirchner
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Noelle Kirchner, M.Div., is a Presbyterian minister and mother of two boys. As they wrestle on the floor, she enjoys wrestling with her manuscripts. She writes for Huff Post Parents, the TODAY Show Parenting Team, and has been a repeat guest author at in(courage). You can find her on her blog, where she writes about faith and parenting, and on Twitter and Facebook.

 

 

 

#prayer #Holy Spirit #risk

The Bible depicts the Holy Spirit, the author of our nudges, as a dove.

Last Sunday I went to church without the little people.  My husband stayed home with our boys who were sick.  Of course, I love the weekly trips to church that include worshiping with my husband and seeing my children's gleeful eyes while holding their Sunday school creations.  But last week I didn't miss having to rush past coffee hour in order to pick them up.  I could stay and visit awhile.

I took the opportunity to visit my church's new satellite campus.  I recognized some familiar faces from the staff but took a seat next to two women whom I didn't know.  One of them was there by herself just like me.  We laughed as our big winter coats kept falling off the chair between us.  She looked to be over eighty years old, but fully enjoying the contemporary service with the electric guitar, which I silently applauded her for.

After the service, we exchanged pleasantries and I quickly realized a nudge to want to pray for her.  She had not expressed any hardship, but I couldn't shake it.  Near the end of our exchange I said, "Well, it has been wonderful talking to you.  I hope you will come again as I believe this to be a special church, and I will be praying for you."  Then, the flood waters opened.

She stopped and said that if I really wanted to pray, she had a request.  She started to cry as she relayed concern about a young mother and her five year old child whom she believed to be in peril.  She did not know them personally, but they were family members of a close friend.  She was gravely concerned that this young woman was making decisions that would negatively impact her own life and that of her child - their safety, security, and stability were at stake.  So we prayed.

After we finished, we both realized we were meant to pray that day.  I encouraged her to be bold, to continue praying, and to believe that God could use her even from a distance to help that young mother and her son.  She had a heart for them for a reason.  I could feel the power of the Holy Spirit surrounding us.

I came home feeling alive and hopeful about the power of prayer, about how the Holy Spirit really can and does nudge our hearts, and how we can have the privilege to sometimes play a part in the mysterious workings of God. 

It got me thinking about the number of nudges that I have felt in my lifetime, some of which I have acted upon and some of which I have not.  And when I have acted, sometimes I have witnessed fruit and sometimes I have not.  But I am convinced that having the boldness to risk and try can lead us to richer, more fulfilling living.

My encounter drew upon my training as a chaplain, when for two years I would pray with people whom I had just met after walking into their hospital room.  Those prayers sometimes involved life and death, but often involved pain and a longing for the peace and hope of God.  Remarkably, I am not using those skills in my everyday life of raising toddlers (at least in the same way)!  But God remembered my training and planted that nudge.

And God nudges you too.  Like me, that nudge might involve training that you have and aren't currently using as a mother.  Or maybe that nudge involves simply planting a seed of faith in a friend who is struggling, or giving the grocery store clerk a kind word so that she can smile that day.  Maybe it involves praying with or for someone yourself - you certainly don't need formal training to do that.  Whatever it is, I hope you won't ignore it.  I hope we will allow God to use our hands, our lips, and our presence to shine his light and effect good in the world.  After all, our faith doesn't only equip us to be better parents, it equips us to be strong women of God. 

"The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him - the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord" (Isaiah 11:2). 

If you liked this post, I think you will enjoy Stair-Master Challenge.

{Photo by Muffet at Flickr}

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