In the spirit of hearing from different voices in our church family, this week's post is written by staff member, Stacy Henderlong.
Hey there SPV family!
We all come from varying backgrounds and spiritual/religious experiences. I grew up in a tradition based on fear of the end of life (hell). My church experience as a kid was quite boring and not very "spirit-filled" and led me to seek out the opposite when I left home for college. I ended up in some very charismatic churches for quite some time, and I became comfortable, always expecting a wild ride with Holy Spirit. Then I entered into a season of working for a more traditional and liturgical church, that seemed a bit lifeless at the time. Then I came to SPV just 5.5 years ago. At first I was craving more of the charismatic and pentecostal feel and felt slightly disappointed that it wasn't a bit more exuberant in worship and prayer.
Now that I've been here a little while, I'm been stretched in my thinking, in my faith, and feel like I'm getting to a good place of balance. I'm now craving times of silence, solitude, and reflection and actually miss those times of liturgy - seeking it out online. I still enjoy it when the band gets rockin' during worship, but I'm also love those times when we can just sit or stand in God's presence and not a sound is made - and we just are.
My prayer life has also gone through this change - from crying out & begging God for things for myself and others - into more of a contemplative, peaceful time. I no longer feel like I have to pray for a certain amount of time or come with a list of requests, but just to sit and meditate. To be still. To listen. And to not be afraid of the quiet.
May we each find those times of solitude. May we seek them out, to just sit and listen.
Peace to you,