My quiet revival

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Dear sister,

I’m sorry you weren’t ready for my revival. To be perfectly honest, it came as a surprise to me as well. 

I’m sorry that you feel as though you’ve lost me all over again. I’m sorry you feel as though you can’t talk to me anymore. I’m sorry that I moved away, and that you felt as though I was abandoning you.

Somebody told me once, that God moved them away from their family because He knew that for them to develop a strong and loving connection with Him, they needed to be separated from people who were not supporting their relationship with God.

I look back, and I see so many occasions when I moved away. I moved away from our childhood home, I moved away from the town where we both had our first babies, I moved away from the city where I raised my children, and I moved away from the state that locked us down.

I can see how you would feel as though I was abandoning you, when in fact it was the Holy Spirit teaching me that I need to be prepared to move; and perhaps keep moving, so that I could re-establish my relationship with God.

Do you remember when I was 20 and I first made my decision to become a Christian? The phone conversations I had with Mum; trying to explain why I was choosing to leave behind my Catholic upbringing to pursue an Adventist faith were the most difficult conversations I have ever had. It was as though I was speaking with a demoniac; having my words twisted and forced back at me, being screamed at down the phone line, having memories of our late grandfather manipulated, and accusing me of being involved in a cult. The follow-up phone calls from Dad telling me to leave all this nonsense behind and apologise to Mum for being so disrespectful; they’re still happening. I still get those phone calls. 

I’m sorry you heard our parents like that. You were so young, and I wish I had been able to shield and protect you from it all. I’m sorry I didn’t realise how much those conversations had affected you. I’m sorry I never thought to ask.

I’m sorry you weren’t ready for my revival. I wish I had seen it coming, so that I could have prepared you for it. I wish I had seen it coming, so I could have prepared myself for it.

It began like a distant thunderstorm, something I felt in the air before I heard the rumblings of thunder on the horizon. At first, I wasn’t quite sure what it was, but then the hairs on my arms began to tremor, I could feel it now; the air pressure around me was changing, the Holy Spirit was talking.

I knew that I had a choice—I had made one before, but I had let it slip away.

My first revival was loud. It came in the form of my future husband and his family passionately and desperately sharing the Word of God with truths I had never been exposed to. It was a truth-telling revival, an awakening to knowledge and wisdom. 

This revival has been different. It is possibly why it took us all by surprise. It’s been quiet. It has had its noisy moments, but they’ve mostly been during conversations with you or our parents and I’m sorry I haven’t been more articulate or forgiving. I’ve asked for help to work on that. Thank you for sharing with me how I’ve upset you. I’m sorry.

I wish I knew how to share with you how much God loves you. I wish I knew how to explain to our dad that money and material things just don’t matter anymore, and that God will provide everything I need. I wish I knew how to reason with Mum, when she tells me to choose between Jesus and my family. I wish I could connect with our brother so that I could reassure him that there are promises so incredible for him if only he would accept Jesus as his Saviour. I wish our sister would let go of the religious hatred she holds on to, and see that there is a loving God who is not an organisation, but just wants to be loved by her.

I’m sorry that my failings and my flaws are what you see. Are my failings preventing you from accepting Jesus? My restored love for God doesn’t mean that I am perfect. I’m sorry that I have so many shortcomings that are so much more obvious than the way God is shaping me; I’m asking Him for help. I desperately want His light to shine brighter in me. I wish I knew how to show you.

I am a work in progress. I am the clay in the Potter’s hands. I break; I heal. I fall; I stand up. I stumble; I look to God.  I plead with Him every day to change me, and mould me into what He needs me to be. 

Dear sister, it is my constant prayer that you will open your heart and let Him in. I know you’ve seen and heard many evils in the world disguised as God, but I want you to know that’s not God. I know you’re afraid, and you don’t believe me yet. You know it will change your life, but I want you to know that He will take care of you. He will love you and the path He has chosen for you is better than any path you could choose for yourself. Ultimately, it is your choice; He loves you so much He was willing to die for you so that you have the freedom to choose.

My revival has been one of the heart; it has been quiet, and personal, and intimate. It is the revival that God gave me; a gift from Him. 

I’m sorry you weren’t ready for my revival; but this is God’s timing, and I am willing to follow.

Elly Conduit writes from Alstonville in NSW.

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