No Ordinary Church, No Ordinary Story

I heard the Holy Spirit say, “Go!” at least eight times in one day.

It was early September of 2013. While on my knees by my bed one morning, I asked God for a community of leaders that I could love and serve. I had just moved to the area and felt the deepest desire to connect to people in the community. When I was done praying I got up on my feet and made my bed.

While putting the 5 pillows (the very same ones my husband hates) back on our bed, I heard the word “Go!” inside my spirit.

This took me by surprise. Not knowing why I would hear it, nor what it meant, I walked out of my room and into the kitchen. I picked up a postcard from a stack of mail sitting on the counter.

I read aloud, “Nivens Apple Festival.”

Immediately I heard the word “Go” again.

“That’s so odd”, I thought. I’ve never been to Nivens before, but apparently I was to go there today. Against what made any sense at all, I packed up my things, grabbed my purse and drove to Nivens Apple Farm 8 miles away.

 
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When I got there I heard band music playing through my windows. It sounded exactly like my brothers and sisters band’s did when I was growing up. It was so cool to feel right at home, even before getting out of my car.

After spending time with the crowd listening, I looked down past the farm and saw a huge corn field. Again I heard the word, “Go!” Strange, I thought, but I walked down toward the corn field just to see what was down there.

I passed the children’s unique play ground and stode beyond a vegatable garden. That’s when I saw a young girl sitting in a chair in front of the tall corn field. There was a sign next to her that said, “CORN MAZE”.

She asked me if I wanted to go into the maze and told me if so, I had to buy a ticket. Emphatically, I responded with a, “Nooooo thanks.” and quickly decided to head back toward the barn.

Just as I turned around, I heard the Holy Spirit say it again, “Go”.

I silently argued back, “Lord, you know I had a traumatic brain injury. You KNOW I’ll get lost in there. Do you know how embarrassed I’ll feel if they don’t find me til the next morning all curled up in a ball in the middle of their corn maze?!”

One more time I heard, “Go”.

In true temper tantrum style, I purchased my ticket and told the girl if I wasn’t out in twenty minutes to send someone in to find me. She laughed, but soon found out I definitely wasn’t kidding. I wouldn’t budge until she agreed to send someone in to find me in 20 minutes.

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Once inside, (mind you I was only inside the first ten feet of the maze), I could feel my breath getting more and more shallow. My heart began beating wildly out of control as it registered my thoughts. Fear was pummeling me.  My heart ached to turn around and run back to my car, crying like a little school girl all the way.

I tried to pull myself together. I put one foot in front of the other.  I walked forward one step and lifted my eyes to gaze upon the tallest corn I’d ever seen in my life. It had to be at least two stories high.

“Wow.” I remember saying outloud. Three more feet in, and I was scared out of my mind, but I was still moving and still looking up.

Suddenly a strong wind came down from the top and blew the bent row of tall tassels gently apart. It was like watching the parting of the red sea. Within a split second two grey doves, one chasing the other, swooped into that opening and then flew right back out again.

WOW! Did that really just happen?! That was so cool!” was my thought, momentarily taking my mind off the fear.

The next thing I knew, two grade school aged girls ran right past me giggling, as if they knew exactly where they were going. I was still a bit dazed by the doves when from behind I heard a man’s voice say, “Hurry up! That little GPS is going to gain ground if we don’t walk faster.”

“Huh? Wait….did he just refer to those little girls as a GPS?? Could this be another Holy Spirit override?”

No time for doddling if so. In a split second I was off, running as fast as I could to catch up to those two little doves, now disquised as little girls.

Their father was right, they knew exactly where they were going. It took less than 15 minutes to find the exit – and here I was scared out of my mind. To this day I believe God sent those two doves to tell me these little girls would help me out of the maze.

At the end of my arrogance was the pride of telling myself, “well done” for finding my way out, knowing full well it was God. At the very least, the little girls could have taken credit, but no….it was all me in my mind.

Now I was driving West, heading home, when I past a marquee. I noticed it said, “Comedy show tonight at 6 pm, School District 5.”

“Go.” I heard again.

Poor God, I thought. How many times in one day does he need to talk to this disobedient kid? He knows I’m not going to a comedy show alone. No point in even thinking about it again.

“Go.” I heard again.

“Arrrrgh….Okay, fine! I’ll go, but you’ll have to explain this to my husband who’s on his way to work. He’s going to wonder why I’d go to a comedy show without him.”

My husband had to work that night and my going wouldn’t make any sense.  I rarely went without him, but he esepcially knows I dislike comedy shows because of their “adult humor” which is often distasteful and ungodly. That may make me a fuddy duddy to some but I’m quite certain you know what I’m saying.

While at home I mentioned to my husband what was happening all day long. He didn’t understand it and shrugged it off as just his wife being … well … his wife. I’ve never met a more understanding man when it comes to my relationship with the Lord. He doesn’t hear God speak to him the way I do, but in 35 years of togetherness he’s learn to trust it when I do. To the supernatural world, hearing the Holy Spirit isn’t one bit odd.

Just when I was about to chicken out, I heard it again, “Go!”, only this time a little stronger. All I could do was sigh. I just knew I had to go.

I kissed my husband goodbye and ran out the door. By the time I got there I was a little late. I had to park so far away that it would take another ten minutes to get to the door. Surely God would somehow get me in if all the tickets were gone.

I was walking so fast that I was out of breath by the time I got inside. There was no one taking tickets at the door so I walked right in. Purposely sitting in the back row for when the comedians “got raunchy”, I settled into my seat without anyone noticing.

There was a tall man in a dark suit on the stage that was grimacing from the spotlight. He held his hand over his eyes so he could see the crowd while making a few announcements. He told us about the speakers and how there is a no heckling rule.

In my mind, I wanted him to also say that there were no raunchy jokes aloud either, but I figured that must be too much to ask. Besides, I thought, I’ll just leave without anyone seeing me.

That’s when the man said, “How many of you here tonight are Pastors?” More than a third of the room raised their hands.

“What?? Did he really say, Pastors?” My jaw fell open.

When you ABIDE in Christ, you’ll stop judging his people

In a momentary realization of my judgemental temper tantrums and rebellion against God, I wanted to hide under my seat cushion. I’ve been utterly disrespectful all day. I had not been abiding in Christ at all and that is my life goal.

“Lord, please forgive me.” I humbly said. My heart ached instantly when I recognized my disbelief.

As I listened to 3 different Christian comedians, my heart, my mind, and my spirit lifted 10 stories higher than the corn that morning.  I laughed harder that night than I had in months. I was blessed beyond measure, but it didn’t end there. What culminated at the end of the evening was more than mind-boggling.

And truly….this is the BEST part.

As people began to leave the room, they were packed in like sardines trying to get out the doors. Even though I was in the back row and could have made it out first, I waited until most everyone had exited. I love people so I just kept smiling at everyone walking past me. That is until I heard “Go.” Then I stepped into the sea of people.

To my left was a very tall man next to a woman my size. They were talking as if I was involved in their conversation, loudly and specifically about community. It also seemed to me that they had overused the word “community” several times in one sentence as if they were stuck on instant replay or something. It was very bizarre.

About the tenth time, I heard the word, I couldn’t help but interject, “Excuse me, may I ask where this community is that you’re talking about? I was just praying about finding a community this morning.”

The woman began sharing that New Spring church is where they attended for worship. She shared how they loved the people there, as well as the leadership. In particular, they loved their community group.

I heard about New Spring when we first moved here to South Carolina, but I hadn’t realized it was a church.

By now, there were hundreds of attendees walking around us and bumping my arms as they rushed to get to their cars. While we walked they shared more about how much they loved their community. These two walked as slowly as I did and answered every question I had, even before I asked it at times.

What was this?”, I silently asked God, “A divine appointment?”

Not a single person passing us knew how mind-blowing this was for me, except God. I wanted to raise my hand's in worship to Him right there in the dark. Only HE could have arranged this connection using the word, “GO” all day long.

Walking the quarter mile together before saying goodbye, we stood at the entrance of the parking lot talking, while cars drove around us. I thanked them profusely for sharing with me and shook their hands.

“My name is Clayton by the way,” he said, introducing himself and his wife. I couldn’t hear her name over the cars driving around us but I remembered his. We said goodbye and left. I walked toward my car, through another long parking lot and over a grassy knowl.

When I reached my car, I unlocked the doors with my key fob.

“Boop boop” went the sound.

“Boop boop” went another sound. I turned around and there they were. Their car was parked right beside mine.

“No way!” I said under my breath. How is it that our vehicles were parked right next to each other?

Clayton peered over the top of his truck and said, “It looks to me like we’ll be seeing you at New Spring Church! Come tomorrow, I believe you’ll love it.”

 
 

I’m at New Spring for a very specific reason. God didn’t go through all those hoops to lead me here for no reason.

The next day, I drove up and saw a sign that said, “Turn on your flashers if this is your first time here.”

I thought that was pretty cool. I decided to do it just to see what happens. I was in a row of many cars, but when they saw my four ways they moved the cones blocking the parking lot and brought me right up to the front parking spot by the door.

It had just started raining slightly so someone came to my car door and offered an umbrella to cover me from the rain while I got out.

How kind. I thanked him while walking into the church. Let me just stop right here and say you MUST experience this one-of-a-kind church yourself. I say one-of-a-kind, knowing that every church out there is trying to replicate what New Spring. LOVE is at work here and it draws people in.

Amazing? Most definitely.

I’ve been going to New Spring church for more than four years now and I go because God undoubtedly brought me there.  No more temper tantrums, or rebellion for me. The Holy Spirit said I am to “prepare leaders for what’s to come” and I take that job very seriously. I’ve worked in many capacities within the church, but the one I am assigned to is to prepare the leaders. As I abide in Christ, he teaches me what that looks like.

What does “no ordinary church” mean? It means plenty, but you may have to come to experience New Sping to find out. This way, you’ll have your own story of how you got there, and how hearing the Holy Spirit all began for you. This truly is no ordinary church, and you’ll have no ordinary story to tell about it.

Learn more about New Spring Church here. You can also learn more about my mentoring program for Christian Lifestyle Coaches here.

Share (in the comments below) how your life has been impacted by the Holy Spirit.

And thanks for sharing this post if it inspired you in any way.

Much Love,

Kellie