hi! i'm Riley Delp.
here to share a little glimpse into my testimony and write about things i wish were talked about more 😊
i have a lot of thoughts, stories, and experiences; so get ready friends, it's about to get real!
let me start this blog post by saying, i'm still learning about Jesus, as we all are. i don't believe you ever reach a point where you know everything because nobody is perfect. i'm definitely not perfect and i don't know more than the next person. i've just become more aware of the Holy Spirit. i'm understanding more, growing in my faith, and becoming who He already made me to be.
this is for His glory, not mine.
it started on Tuesday, September 12th, 2023. my friends Emily, Brightie, and Sophia all started a "Bible Study" with my mother-in-law-, Amy, leading. i put the words "bible study" in quotes because we didn't want it to be your traditional or typical bible study. not that there's anything wrong with those, we just wanted to see where The Holy Spirit would lead us every time we met. we call it, "can't wait to SEE YOU" because we wanted the outcome of this to reveal our true identities in Christ. we wanted to fully SEE who we were as individuals, Christ followers, friends, and so forth.
mind you, going into this study, i was in a dark place. as some of you know who have read my blog posts before or followed me on Instagram, mental illness has been a real struggle of mine. so, during this time, i was in the midst of debilitating depression, sadness, and less than zero motivation. here's the BUT God moment. well... actually.. there are many BUT God moments that have happened to me and my family over the past few months, but i'll get to that.
we have been going through a study by Jamie Winship, the author of a book called "Living Fearless".
the study is called "Knowing Rediscovered" and its purpose is this:
-learn to hear God’s voice.
-discover your true Christ identity.
-uniquely nurture the relationships you are in.
so i'm not going to lie, (because God already knows) i was so skeptical at first. i'd never really heard God in an intimate way before. i'd gotten convicting feelings, like all the sudden feeling like you should pay for the person behind you in the Starbucks drive thru. i think many of us have had that feeling and wondered, hmm i wonder what made that come to my mind? well, as i started learning more about HOW to hear and receive from The Lord, He started showing Himself to me in miraculous ways.
He started talking to me clearly. in words that would pop into my head, in visions, in evident feelings. The Holy Spirit was moving in me, big time, and He started to reveal to me what my true identity was.
it's time for another BUT God moment....
so, fast forward to 2 weekends ago. it was Saturday, December 9th and we were having a girl's weekend in Chicago with my husband's side of the family. we stayed at my sister-in-law, Hannah's house, where her, her husband, and her adorable pup, Maverick live. it was a weekend celebration for my husband's grandma, Carin! we were all full of excitement to just be spending time together.
we planned on starting the day off early by going to brunch then hitting the mall, but you know how plans change. after waking up on Saturday morning, we all got our coffee and snuggled up on the couch, where we would end up for 3+ hours.
i'm not going to share all that happened in Hannah's living room, because those aren't my stories to tell. but i am going to tell you mine.
we are sitting on the couch talking and laughing. Carin ends up asking the group, "does everyone know what their spiritual gifts are?". that led to the most powerful conversation, and that conversation turned into an hour of miraculous prayer.
we begin to pray over one another. Amy starts to pray over me. my eyes are closed, and each woman is laying their hands on me. she starts to pray about about my spiritual gifts and asking God to heal my depression and anxiety. she calls my gifts out one by one and asks The Lord to activate them in Jesus's name. as soon as she said the word "activate", it was like the Heavens opened up.
what i'm going to say next sounds strange. BUT i know it was God.
my head starts to shake internally, and my eyes are moving back and forth uncontrollably. it felt as if someone was grabbing my temples and shaking my inner mind. i'm crying, shaking, and sweating all in the same moment. it was like i was physically, mentally, and spiritually activated.
we get done praying and i take a few minutes to try and process what just happened to me. finally, i speak up and tell the group what i felt.
they all validated exactly what i was feeling and thinking.. that was God. we all began praising Jesus, weeping for joy, and hugging one another.
i vividly remember a shift in me when Carin spoke the words “mental health” over me in place of “mental illness”. and as we were praying, we all sensed that i was being anointed to flip mental illness to mental HEALTH in others. we all knew, that in that precious moment, my mental illness was healed, and my spiritual gifts were activated.
ready for another BUT God moment?
later that night, we are all sitting at dinner. our waiter comes up to us and introduces himself. he says his name is Luke. my mother-and-law and i look at each other and smile because my husband's name is Luke so, of course, that name is very special to us. we start to finish up dinner and Luke (the waiter) comes to clear our plates.
then, out of nowhere, like i was hit by a brick wall, i get this overwhelming hot feeling throughout my whole body. i begin to shake and sweat profusely. The Lord planted these words in my mind.. "your life really matters". i looked up at our waiter, and the feelings i were experiencing begin to intensify. i knew that God needed me to tell him that his life really matters.
about 5 minutes go by and i discretely tell my family what is happening. i told them that i just got a word from God (one of my spiritual gifts) and i had to tell the waiter. they all encouraged me and helped me to figure out what to say in a non-creepy way (lol).
as if i was pushed up from the booth we were sitting in, i went right up to our waiter, who was standing at the bar.
summoning up the courage and grace from the Holy Spirit, i said: "i know this is going to sound crazy, and i don't mean to make you uncomfortable, but God just told me that you're life really matters. i couldn't let a moment pass by without telling you that." he thanked me and said he appreciated my words.
to say i was (and have been) on cloud 9 would be an understatement. don't get me wrong, for about the next hour after it happened, by body was still shaky and sweaty (probably from all of the adrenalin) but in my core, i felt completely calm. a feeling of pure satisfaction. it's as if God was patting me on the back, giving me that feeling of approval and peace.
as i've talked to my sister-in-laws and family about the experience, i've been so encouraged and thankful that God prompted me and then, in turn, i was obedient.
Hannah told me something i'll never forget. she said: "that waiter could have needed those words right then, or he may need them 10 years down the road. what matters is that you were obedient in what God was calling you to do". and she is so right. i feel as if my mission was complete in that moment.
now you may be reading this feeling skeptical, like i was at first. or you may be reading this wanting more. i feel as if i've been prompted by the Holy Spirit to share with you my story, so that you can KNOW Him more too.
honestly, the main thing i've learned in my study, in reading the Bible, and in prayer, is that He is always speaking. all we really have to do is listen.
here are some of the things that have helped me to hear God loud and clear!
practicing what some call "listening prayer" has been huge for me. and it's so easy! spend 5-10 minutes of quiet time with God wherever you feel comfortable. for me, this is in bed. i take some big drinks of water and 3 really deep breaths. this helps to prepare your mind and body to receive and opens your spirit to The Holy Spirit. then ask God, "what do you want me to know?". all you do next? listen. listen and He WILL speak to you.
something i've also learned is everyone hears God in different ways. for some it's a vision, for other's it's in reading Scripture, and some it's by a feeling. but the one thing we all have in common, God speaks, and when He does, you'll know it's Him. if you're an over-thinker like me, ask God to confirm whether that was Him speaking or if it was just your mind running wild. don't think with your head or try and listen with your ears. open your spirit and He will give you what He wants you to know. He may speak to you right then and there, in your quiet time, or it may be a few days or weeks down the road. be aware and be ready to receive!
being in community with other Christ followers! our "bible study" has transformed my life and it's because i'm around people who are longing for The Lord as well. those people are able to hold you accountable to be obedient in what you're hearing from God. they will encourage you and speak truth into your life.
spending time in God's word. i know that this may seem redundant, but The Bible is there for a reason. it's to make us feel closer to our Creator and to help us to know Jesus more. i started in the book of Matthew for reference. if you want to know more about the different spiritual gifts, i encourage you to read through 1 Corinthians 12.
take a spiritual gifts test! this was so helpful for me to know and hone in on what gifts God has given me. it has helped me to be more aware of them and put them into practice. i'm going to link some of the spiritual gift tests i've taken below as reference for those who are interested :)
if you are still reading, i just want to say thank you. for hearing my story and for having an open mind. through this, i want Jesus to be glorified because He is the one who orchestrated this, not me.
i've been a Christian my whole life, but i've not KNOWN God until now. if you get anything from this blog, i want you to understand this:
there is so much more waiting for you. and God is always chasing after you. sometimes, it just takes learning how to listen, receive, and be obedient.
learning more with you,