fbpx

CATCH OUR FOUNDER ON THE ABIDING TOGETHER PODCAST TODAY!

From Jill about today’s episode:

I felt like the freshman who got invited by the cool upperclassman to hang out when I recorded this episode. 

I respect all three of these women so deeply and have been formed so immensely by their content and vulnerability over the years. It was so humbling to be invited to share what the Holy Spirit has been nurturing in me with them and all of you. 

As I share about in the episode (which I invite you to listen to here: https://www.abidingtogetherpodcast.com/), I always knew I wanted to do work like this – both with charisms and with speaking. But I also knew myself, and my own tendency towards performance and pride. 

If I was going to do this, I didn’t want to screw it up.

My only desire, since the beginning, has been to be the real deal. I don’t want to act like the Holy Spirit is with me, I want to be walking in intimacy with the Holy Spirit. I don’t want to act like I know what I’m talking about, I want to do the work, read the books, and have the conversations and really know what I’m talking about. I don’t want any of it to be pretend, fake, a performance. I want to be able to walk away from all of it in a moment of Jesus asked me to, because I’m 100% aware of the fact that it’s all and only about Him.

That wasn’t where I was at in the beginning.

That wasn’t where I was at five years ago.

But by the incredible, overwhelming grace of God, I’m getting there. And I’ll tell you how I know.

About five years ago I had done a lot of work with the Holy Spirit and a lot of healing. But I knew I still wasn’t ready. I wanted to be – so badly – but I wasn’t. And so in prayer one day I told the Holy Spirit I didn’t think I really knew how to trust my own vision for the timeline on this. I was pretty sure if left to my own devices I would rush in and you know what they say about people that do that. And even though I had a lot of growing left to do, the desire remained: I only wanted to be the real deal.

So I gave the timeline to Him. I asked him to make it super clear when everything was supposed to happen. I wasn’t going to go hunting, seeking, and trying to make it happen. I was going to try and lay down my Martha and be Mary, waiting at His feet.

I did not do this gracefully.

You can ask my husband: this wasn’t an effortless ballet of demure feminine obedience over the last five years.  It was kind of a jujitsu match sometimes, but I did do it.

I did wait.

I still talked about charisms every chance I got though, and so occasionally I would get invited to talk to a Bible study or chat with a student getting ready to go to college. Three people this month, 10 the next, a group of 15 and an individual the month after that.

And that went on for four years.

I kept reading books, learning about charisms, drilling down on exactly what I wanted to make more clear in my own assessment if I ever got that far. 

And then, a little over a year ago, a beautiful friend gave me a nudge and the opportunity I have been waiting for. The Holy Spirit prompted her, she told me later, and she, thankfully, heard the call for me when the moment was right.

I had told God many times over the last five years that he needed to send someone to specifically ask me to begin this work at the scale I was dreaming of. Like I said – I knew this wasn’t going to go in a good direction for me if I started soliciting things on my own.

And so, in his perfect timing, he sent me a woman who has become one of my dearest friends, and the impetus for so much of what he has invited me into in the last year. (I love you Caitlyn 🙂 )

She asked me to put on my first formalized, half day retreat on charisms. It only took me a day and a half to put it together.

I’d been preparing for it for years.

I wrote the assessment I had always dreamed of. I integrated all of the theology about identity that I had learned and that has been such a vital part of my personal journey.  

I gave the retreat, and I pretty much haven’t stopped giving it since. The first retreat bloomed into many more all over the city, and each yes turned into at least three more opportunities. 

But here’s my favorite twist in the story.

I’m in Tulsa, and there was a women’s conference scheduled for early March in Oklahoma City. Heather Khym was the headlining speaker. The organizers reached out to me at Pink Salt Riot (where I also work as Creative Director) early on to invite us to be a vendor. I always love a good women’s conference, but I had an eight month old baby who wouldn’t take a bottle and taking him to a hotel after having given another retreat the day before didn’t sound that fun. 

I ghosted the organizer for a couple of months until she finally got so adamant about getting Pink Salt Riot there that she emailed Heather herself and asked her to reach out to me.

God bless Heather, she did it, and that was what made me finally show up. Little did I know that it was going to be at that event that I would get the opportunity to share with Heather about my passion for and work with charisms that ultimately resulted in the episode being released today.

But one of the coolest things is that a few weeks before Heather invited me on the show God told me: now it’s time.

It’s time to make this something for more than just you, more than just Tulsa. Let’s take this to the people. And that’s what I was in the middle of, with no plan on how to launch it well, when Heather’s email hit my inbox – would you like to be on Abiding Together to talk about charisms?

I don’t think we take enough moments in our lives to stop on the mountaintops and look back at the full picture of where we’ve been. There were so many times that I thought this dream was never going to happen. There were so many times I thought no one would ever want to listen to me. There were so many times I thought God forgot that he put this in my heart , and that I was going to be left to sit with my unfulfilled dreams of speaking new life into people’s role in the Body of Christ in my old age. 

But, in persevering with him that, of course, was not the story. 

I did a multitude of things wrong in the last decade. I made very many mistakes. But the one thing that I unquestionably got right is that I didn’t stop showing up at the feet of Jesus: dirty, annoyed, with big teen angst energy, sometimes, but I did keep coming. 

And ultimately, my story has both flowed from and continues to be why I am so passionate about helping people discern their charisms.

Those dreams you have are not in you to make you miserable. But they also might not be fulfilled tomorrow. God wants to build on the foundation of who you already are and who you long in your heart to be.

Charisms remind us of this: that God does see us, He does know us, and that we can, and should live with Abraham hope, that even when it seems like the window has closed, God and His promises remain. 

We don’t need a contingency plan. We don’t need to figure out how we’re gonna pull it off if we end up left to our own devices.  

We just need to come and sit.

Bring the angst, but come.

And so that’s how I got here. 

That’s the story of Many Parts Ministries. I want to sit with you amongst your gifts, amongst your dreams, and help you see the glimmers of God in all of it. I want you to know that you are not a cancer cell in the Body of Christ but simply a cell that might have missed the memo on where it’s supposed to plug in.

There is a place for you. There is an unmistakable role for you to play.

I, and the whole church, need you to find it, because we truly are a body. The whole body is deeply affected by what happens anywhere in it. We can not be well while parts are diseased. 

The Holy Spirit does not desire us to be a powerless, sick, limp Body of Christ, but a fighting body, a missionary body, a vibrant body. And so the gifts we need to get there have been given. We will remain imperfect in this life, but we can also greatly increase the way that we see the Holy Spirit manifest himself in us when we recognize his gifts and surrender them back to him for him to use in us in the world. 

All the evils of our time – the breakdown of the family, pornography, abortion, human trafficking, abuse of all kinds, rampant addiction, the list goes on and on –  can seem like a wave that simply overwhelms us all as we make our feeble attempts to stand in it’s path on the shifting sand of our own abilities.

But what if we’ve simply given up the higher ground that is our birthright? What if there is a rock right there for us to step up on and make our stand from?

There is the rock of faith in Jesus, accessible to all to be sure. But that’s also what our charisms can be. They are our gifted, high ground where we can serve not just from our abilities but from our supernatural share in the life of the Spirit. They tell us what to say yes to and what to say no to. They tell us where we will shine and where we will burn out.

And ultimately they tell us where we are to attack the evil in our time and how we are to make Christ known in the world.

I am deeply grateful today for many things – for my own charisms, for my dreams of sharing this work with the world, for God’s great patience with me, and these women’s humble, beautiful leadership in our Church and their willingness to take a chance on me.

I hope this ministry and this episode both bless you deeply.

Jill Simons 

LEARN ABOUT THE CHARISMS

Tap here to learn more about what charisms are, how we get them, and read through our frequently asked questions.

TAKE A CHARISM ASSESSMENT

Tap here to begin your own journey of charism discernment by taking our online Catholic charisms test.

GO ON A VIRTUAL RETREAT

Tap here to take our full on-demand Charism Discernment Retreat, led by our director, Jill Simons.