If you have not yet read my post called I am a new person - My Testimony, you will want to start there.
I have had almost three weeks now to see the transformation in my life as a result of the filling of the Holy Spirit. I still can't get over how EVERYTHING has changed!!! It is the most amazing thing, especially since I never even knew that it was something that I needed! I had friends in college who were "charismatic" and tried to tell me about the power of the Holy Spirit. One of my best friends, Mandy, would pray with me and for me on a regular basis and I knew that she was different from me. But, I kind of pushed it aside thinking it was a personality thing. And, there was a short time that I dated a young man who was always asking me if his family could pray over me to receive the Holy Spirit. I told him the appropriate baptistic response, "That is totally unnecessary. I am already a Christian, I am already filled with the Holy Spirit." NOW I can see that he knew from looking at me that I was powerless. NOW I can see that it really is something that a person KNOWS when he/she has experienced it! It is NOT just head knowledge.
I mentioned in the original post that my husband, Paul, was not sure what to think at first. After all, I had said before something had changed.... but it didn't last. How could he know that this time was totally different? He kept saying, "time will tell." Let me tell you, if the Holy Spirit had not done a work in my heart - I would not have been able to stand under his skepticism! But, God's power made me able to walk in such a way these past 3 weeks that Paul is no longer unsure of my claims!!! Let me explain (though it will prove to be mortifying for the flesh, because I am going to expose some more of my past sins that I wish no one would ever know.)
Eight years ago, I married Paul after knowing him only a few months. We barely even knew each other before we got married, but what's more - we didn't know each other's families at all!!! Paul and I come from families that are polar opposites in personality (though all 4 of our parents are believers - and Baptist). I just did not know how to get along with Paul's parents at all! They are so light-hearted and laid back! And, Paul's Dad always teases and I took great offense to that. For these silly reasons and many others I did not want to spend time with his family at all! And, every one of them felt it! I was miserable when Paul forced me to go, and I made everyone else miserable too! (I am not bragging, I am totally ashamed of myself!!! I am explaining this only so you can identify and rejoice with me as the story continues - that God will be glorified).
For eight years we visited as little as possible. Paul was honestly afraid to take me there, for fear that they may see the real Bethany. He was protecting both me and them. I think we probably saw them for about 15 visits during 8 years. There were many times he had to go alone, because he missed them so much and I was so defiant.
I told Paul after Memorial Day that I felt like we needed to spend more time with his family. He didn't believe me, he blew it off. Well, I kept pressing him to make plans to go down there for his sister's birthday (June 21st). He was probably dreading the visit or wandering when I would back out and change my mind. But, God touched me on June 16th, and it changed everything!
Paul said to me and to others that if I was really changed as I said I was that the real test would be going to his parents on our week-long vacation last week. Well, it was an amazing visit! I have never enjoyed his family so much! I loved chatting with his mom and working with his dad. I did not come out and tell them that I was different, I knew that they would see it, if it was real.
The second night we were there Paul's dad referred to the "miracles" in our lives, "first Lydia, now Bethany." He knew I was different! That opened Paul's eyes too, I think. Since that trip, Paul has been believing that my experience really happened.
I used to think that feeling/experience, in and of itself, was a bad thing! As I Reformed Baptist, I shy away from words like experience and feeling. But, now I see that there is place for some of these things SO LONG AS THEY GO ALONG WITH SCRIPTURE!!! I can't wait to tell you more about what is going on with me as time goes on... I am so blessed!