The Holy Spirit reminded both Ryan and Sissel of the important things about their faith stories, and then helped them tell it. I learned so much in this 15-minute interview. Not just to always be ready with my story and a couple of talking points about my ministry and the book, but to expect surprises. In not using this time to tell my conversion story, I learned the value of listening carefully to the story of two people I had just met. Stunned, I focused intently on how God is working in Ryan’s life. Now I felt I knew him well. And I also wanted to know Sissel better by learning more of her conversion story. As you can hear on the recording, both Ryan and Sissel share the key events in their spiritual growth as these experiences came to mind. The spontaneity was refreshing – a sure sign of the prompting of the Holy Spirit! Our divine guide and counselor shone through Ryan’s story. He was surprised by the Spirit and yielded to his vulnerability to speak from deep within his heart as the Spirit guided him. Sissel had shared her story previously and once was asked to give her testimony to a large crowd only ten minutes before the event began. Whether we have a prepared witness or an unexpected opportunity, the Holy Spirit readies the listeners he chooses and works to evangelize them through His elaborate plan. That plan usually is unknown to us. The spontaneity often is what makes our story real and touches someone to the core. The unpredictability of the Holy Spirit continues to amaze me! Thank goodness that he balances this element of surprise with his promise that he is always walking with us, especially when we are giving our witness! He is the evangelizer as we cooperate in the enormous privilege God has given us – to help bring others closer to Christ. The presence of the Holy Spirit was indescribable as as Ryan Conklin told his faith story to me, and out to thousands of North Texans listening to KATH 910. Thank goodness that the Holy Spirit balances His unpredictability with his promise that He is always walking with us, especially when we are giving our witness!
“The Advocate, the holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name — he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.” (John 14:26)
Copyright 2018 Nancy HC Ward
About the Author
Nancy Ward authored Sharing Your Catholic Faith Story: Tools, Tips, and Testimonies (and the DVD) and contributed to The Catholic Mom's Prayer Companion. She loves to share her conversion story and give evangelization workshops and retreats equipping others to share their faith. She facilitates the DFW Catholic Writers, Catholic Writers Guild Nonfiction Critique Group, serves on their Board, and speaks at writers’ conferences. Learn more at JoyAlive.net and NancyHCWard.com.