I think one of my favorite things to say to people is: That’s completely normal. It’s all part of the process.
I try to tell people that a lot in the various capacities that God uses me to speak into another person’s life. I want them to know that my posture is complete acceptance. And I want to foster an atmosphere for safety and spiritual experimentation for people who are still trying to grow.
Spiritual growth is messy.
But I seriously have so much fun telling people: That’s a great question or that’s totally normal. And I continually try to push into that spiritual space where people have been shut down in the past and say: You’re goooood. And yes—you CAN pursue that.
A lot of people are just waiting for recognition and permission to be who God created them to be anyway.
I also try to speak comfort into the areas where people have been shut down or judged by others in the past. Many have been wounded by people who were either dogmatic in their theological orientations or just didn’t know any better.
I’m so sorry is another phrase I often use. People need to know that their pain matters to God and that it was never God’s intention. People are desperate to know that God is rooting for them to BECOME.
So I find that normalizing becomes a big chunk of what I end up doing in the process of mentoring people to grow bigger—whether that is in their healing journeys or in their spiritual growth processes.
And I want them to know: there are NO bad questions—just like the door of my daughter’s 6th-grade classroom says. So I usually tell them: “Feel free to ask me your weirdest spiritual questions.”
People usually have a few. And I REALLY enjoy fostering that safety for others to learn.
But I’m not afraid of not knowing something anymore. People can ask me their questions, and if I don’t know the answer—I’ll for sure tell them. Either that or I’ll defer them to someone who I think might know.
But I’ve been there.
I’ve experienced what it is like to be shut down in a spiritual context by people I respected or looked up to. People who I thought would have the answers. And it’s no fun. I’ve braved vulnerability in public and private settings and been seriously disappointed and embarrassed. I’ve walked away feeling like a loser.
And I don’t EVER want to see that happen to anyone on my watch.
I remember being at a prophetic seminar years ago at a pretty well-known church. I was thrilled to be in that setting of growth where people could ask questions. I figured if anyone could handle my questions, it would be this place. So I pushed past my fear of public speaking and asked my question. It didn’t go well.
I still remember the leader’s awkward response and inability to answer it.
But today, if someone were to ask me that SAME question, I could answer it in a heartbeat. It is no longer a great mystery to me, nor was it weird. I eventually discovered that the way I hear from God is multi-layered—so I’ve grown to understand my own cadences with God. And it happened so organically that I could now coach someone through a similar process of questions and growth.
I often feel like a spiritual cheerleader: “You GOT this! You can do it!”
Right now, I have a couple friends that I’m encouraging in the growth of their prophetic giftings. Each one has a really strong gift—possibly greater than my own. And even a couple years ago, I might have felt intimidated by that. But not anymore.
I’m now in a place where I can recognize and bless another person’s gifting, without feeling like my own is diminished.
And I know that God can expand my spiritual giftings whenever He wants. But even if He doesn’t and they stay the same, I’m okay with that. I trust His executive delegation on things. So it’s fun for me to help other people discover and tap into their spiritual gifts to a greater degree.
I always think of it as a treasure hunt.
And I know that one of my God-given assignments is to walk alongside of the people that He brings me, to help them synchronize with God, and to help them get up to that next level where God is calling them to go. God has already given them access and permission, but many people just need somebody cheering them on.
So I do LOTS of normalizing and celebrating in my mentoring conversations.
One of the women that I’m working with right now has a very clear seeing/ discerning gift. She’s finally starting to get some spiritual traction. She doubted herself a ton when we first met, but now she’s learned to trust and lean into the gift that God has given her. And it’s thrilling for me to watch.
And I’ve told her when she’s ready, I want her on my team—if she wants to be on it.
I’ve just helped her weed out some of the background noise from her life that was getting in the way. But the biggest thing that I did was normalizing. I continually told her that what she was experiencing was normal, and then I watered the heck out of the seeds that God had placed within her with a ton of celebration.
And celebration makes things grow.