My First Speaking in Tongues

To celebrate reaching page 100 of my book, I am posting an excerpt from it here. Enjoy. I’m really thrilled to be this far along and “on schedule” (100 pages before August). And I am thoroughly rejoicing in God’s sweetness. As I write through the river of my life, the crazy adventures and the amazing spiritual explosions I’ve experienced astound me anew with WHO God is. I mean, He’s GOD. I think we lose sight of that often. If you meditate on your most amazing, powerful, romantic, loving view of God… it still doesn’t capture the fullness. God is God. The river of my life is beautiful, rambunctious, and BEAUTIFUL. He loves me infinitely and infinitely well. I am hungry for more oneness with Him. I have it, and I want it more. He is beyond compare, matchless, and He loves us with an everlasting love. We are usually too self-focused to be full of wonder; and we miss out. He has treasures for us in His jacket pockets we have not even DREAMED. We must wake up and dream. haha. Wow. <Consume us, Father. >

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Ready to further prepare for my call to the nations, that fall (2001) I began a Masters Degree in Theological Studies at Vanguard University. Although I knew I was to begin the degree there, God clearly said I would not finish it there, but I would transfer elsewhere. It seemed humorous to begin a Masters Degree with the covert knowledge I would soon be on my way.

Yet, it was an important year of strengthening and leadership. At that point, I intentionally stayed away from leadership for about two years. Two years earlier I reached a point where I vividly saw how much spiritual responsibility came with leadership – I played guitar in the worship team at my church, I was on a youth ministry team, and for years had easily stepped into leadership – whether momentary or long-term. I decided then that I would stay away from leadership for a time until God channeled me into it with force. I wanted to cultivate my internal faithfulness, my internal prophetic sense, my own history in intercession. I wanted to hash out some key things with God by myself before leading others in hashing things out.

Those things were underway in the autumn of 2001. I spent an hour or two daily in God’s presence – lying on my floor and communing with Him spirit-to-spirit and dancing in the prayer room on campus while prophesying over the school and the city.

Also, my friend Jon began an intercessory group. Every Wednesday night while worship went on in the dining hall, we gathered in a side room and interceded from about 8pm to 11pm. Jon asked me to be in the group and I felt the Lord’s leading in that so, for many months we would gather and pray for the people on the other side of the wall: for healing, for breakthrough, for miracles, and for revival. One night we had a few words of knowledge – God showed us specific ailments and situations in students’ lives – and we felt to go into the other room and lay hands on people to release the breakthrough God was bringing.

That night might have been the first time I saw someone healed with my own hands. A guy had a cast on his leg, from a break or a fracture, and when I prayed for him, all the pain left, he tested it out and he was fully healed! Hooray!

Prayer is powerful. Declarations are powerful.

And night after night as we gathered in that side room God would give me visions of the campus, visions of people I’d never met, and visions of His destiny for not only the school, but the universe.

One weekend I was in a seminar for one of my classes, that particular day we talked about Church Leadership. At one point in the lecture I heard Holy Spirit say, “Pay attention to this. It’s going to be important really soon.” I thought, “What?! There’s nothing in my life that would suddenly find me in leadership, but okaaaaaay.” That Monday I came home to my flatmate’s message that  Jon stopped in. She said she didn’t know why he came by. God spoke to my spirit: “He feels like you are supposed to be in charge of the intercession group. He’s going to leave the group, and he doesn’t know why, but he knows you are supposed to lead it.” I responded to Becky with, “Oh, okay. Yeah, I know why he stopped by.” “Why?” she asked. “Oh, I’ll talk to you about it later,” I replied.

So, that was what God was referring to! I was to lead the intercession group! Wow! A dear responsibility! What a privilege!

It was Wednesday when Jon next swung by. “Um, Dawn, I need to talk to you about something,” he somewhat reservedly spoke. “Oh yeah, I know. Don’t worry about it. It’s fine.” I answered. “What? What are you talking about? Do you know what I’m talking about?” he questioned. “Well, go ahead with what you were going to say,” I said. “No, you go ahead,” he raised his eyebrows. “You came over to tell me that you aren’t going to be in charge of the prayer group anymore, and you don’t know why, but you know I am supposed to lead it.” I summarized. “Yeah! Wow! I asked God to confirm it with you. And well, I guess He sure did confirm it! Soooo… that’s okay? I’m sorry I’m only telling you a couple hours before prayer…” “It’s okay. No worries. God gave me the heads-up a couple days ago.” Jon smiled, “You know, really, I have no idea why I’m not supposed to lead it anymore; and actually, I don’t even feel like I’m supposed to be in the group anymore.” “Oh, okay. We’ll miss you, but if that’s what you feel like God is saying, then that’s that.” I grinned and laughed. “Yeah, you’re right. Okay, well, have fun tonight!” he chuckled, paused, and hopped out my door.

And I led the intercession group every Wednesday night from that fall evening in 2001 to the next May.

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It was in that intercession group that I first spoke in tongues.

I felt I received the baptism in the Spirit years earlier in an intense encounter with God one day in church: when I got up from that encounter with new power to say “yes” to God and “no” to other things. Yet, I cried out for the gift of speaking in tongues for years before that and after that. It seemed a mystery of prolonged waiting. I couldn’t make it happen. I could wait. I could immerse myself in His Presence. I could ask for the activation of what I knew was already mine. And I did.

In fact, one bright Sunday, I was on my second consecutive trip through the book of Acts. God had prodded me to read it and upon finishing, when I asked Him what I should read next, He said, “Acts” like “duuuuh.” So, I read Acts again. And it was as I started my second tour through Acts, merely a mile down the lane, at chapter one verse five: “For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” that God said, “In a few days.” “What?! What’s in a few days?” I exclaimed. “In a few days,” I heard again. “Wow. Okay,” I thought, “something big is going to happen in a few days, I wondering if He’s talking about speaking in tongues? That’s what they got after their days of waiting in Acts chapter one…”

Wednesday came. We all gathered for intercessory prayer. After praying together we scooted off to our own nooks and crannies in the room to pray individually. I was tucked between two round tables in the back left corner – my usual hideout. I prayed for nearly an hour and felt myself tiring, “God, I can’t even see these people! How am I supposed to know what to pray for them? I don’t even know most of them! If you want me to pray, you are going to have to pray through me!!!” I irritably stared into the darkness at the unsweetened-cocoa-brown floor.

Now, in Acts two verse two when the people are baptized in the Spirit and begin to speak in tongues it says, “Suddenly, a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.”

SUDDENLY.

I couldn’t agree more.

I was sitting, boring my eyes into the carpet one moment and the next, a violent force blew my body to facedown and instantly the grip of heaven squeezed me and the dam broke: a deluge of tongues exploded out of me, through every causeway in my being and into every dry riverbed in and around me. As soon as the slam hit me, I said, “God, if you are going to do it, I want you to do it all the way! Give me all you got!”

Gravity changed.

I was sitting bent over, face nearly on the floor. Then I wasn’t. Straight away my whole body was prostrate on the floor, my face ingrained in the carpet fibers, my limbs vacuum-sucked by some mysterious coup d’état beneath the floor, my body heaved in compassion. I was undone. Devastated. Landslided. I was a massive boulder cast over a bridge into the raging river underneath.

Tidals waves of tongues gushed out of me, arrows of intercession and faith.

I had never felt such a measure of compassion and fire to pray. I could intensely and specifically feel the emotions, concerns, needs, and also growing freedom of those worshipping. It was amazing. It was a gift- a priceless and powerful and equipping gift. I remained face down on the floor, riotously praying in tongues for about an hour. In an interlude of tidal waves, I thought, “I wonder what time it is? Maybe I should sit up…” but alas,

I would not

Could not

Should not

Sit up.

I would not

Could not

Should not

Get up.

My body was immoveable. There was such weight on my limbs, I could not move them. I was in the midst of a prayer assignment and an appointment with the Glory of God from which I ought not be prematurely released.

Pray on, I did.

In time, I heard shuffling feet and the outside door opening and closing. I realized the worship service was over. I lifted my heavy head. My friends were gathered in our usual closing prayer circle. I hoisted my limbs in the basket of my will and crawled over to my friends.

My flatmate Becky and my friend Sheri stared loudly at me. I silently took the empty slot in the circle, still experiencing supernatural gravity that made every move onerous. “Do you want to close us in prayer?” Becky asked. “Um, uh, no. Go ahead,” I slipped the iron ore words out of my jelly mouth. “Okay,” she responded, tying up the prayer time in a short prayer. Everyone, but Sheri and Becky left the room.

Their heads spun on their holders, “what happened to you!?” Becky prompted. “You look like you saw a ghost!” Sheri added. I lifted my thousand pound noggin slightly, “Well, I’m pretty sure I just spoke uncontrollably in tongues for about two hours for the first time in my life” the words drizzled out. “What?!” “Wow!” “That’s awesome!” “Tell me about it!” “What happened?” they riddled, hugging me in joy and celebration. Both Sheri and Becky spoke in tongues regularly and they knew I was waiting for my own launch. However, at that moment, I was having a difficult time speaking English, and my body was craving more of the Holy Spirit. “Um, uh, I’m just going to go home and speak in tongues. Bye” my words dripped from between the small space between my two bottom teeth. “Oh, okay. Bye” they replied in unavoidable unison. I crept upward, from the floor to the non-floor. In a deep daze, I plodded out the doors and to my apartment.

While dragging my limbs in the wagon of my spirit across the parking lot, I slipped back in to praying in tongues. It was such brilliant fun! Once back in my apartment I collapsed onto our couch (well, really, it was a loveseat we lovingly referred to as a couch) and further erupted in tongues. At this stage, I could manage my own thoughts and direct my prayers. I thought, “okay, well, while I am it, I might as well think of every single person I can think of and pray for them in tongues.” And that is precisely what I did. For about half an hour I worked my way through my immediate family, my closest friends, my extended family, my other friends, my professors, my classmates, the cashier at the grocery store, the old man who frequently fellowshipped with students during lunch time on campus, and so on and so forth.

In the vicinity of 11:30 Sheri skimmed into my newly established heavenly United Nations language office. “Hi… Dawn…? Hey, sorry to disturb you. I was just thinking since you are really in the Holy Spirit flow right now, maybe you would pray for me?” She went on to explain what she wanted prayer about. “Yeah, sure, yeah… uh huh….I can’t speak much English, but I can definitely pray in tongues” I burbled. I got up and stood near her in the kitchen, leaning against the counter for moral support. I placed my hand on her shoulder and let ‘er rip. Her tears testified to the accuracy of the words pouring out of me which I didn’t know the meaning of. It felt taken care of. Peace nestled between us. “Thanks, Dawn. You’re great,” her lips cornered into her sweet upward turned grin – the Sheri grin, dotted in Caribbean Sea blue eyes and long dark brown eyelashes. She exited.

My toes gripped the floor and committed my still leaden body back to the “couch.” I closed my eyes and absorbed Heaven’s luscious fullness. I could feel fulfillment soaring in me and through me.

Heaven’s heartbeat is 100% fulfillment, in all ways, at all times. That is heaven’s nature. And that is God’s desire and perception of our lives – always moving toward fulfillment: fulfilled promises, fulfilled health, fulfilled destiny, fulfilled alignment, fulfilled victory. Fulfilled you. Fulfilled me.

As I was splayed there on our loveseat I felt I was at rest in the seat of love. I felt I was goozled into an oversized beanbag in the throne room of heaven. Consummately enraptured and in union with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.”

Song of Songs 6:3

In Hebrew it is written:

אני לדודי ודודי לי

Phonetically it sounds like: Ani L’Dodi V’Dodi Li

And what a lovely, melodic symmetry there is to those words. Ani L’Dodi V’Dodi Li. The timber of the consonants expectantly looking up in vowels, it resonates like a match made in heaven. It sounds like unity. And that is what I felt lying there in my second floor apartment on our black-sheet draped loveseat beneath the dim light of my grandparents’ old blue and green stained glass lamp. Oneness.

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Speaking in tongues added lushness and power to my life. Once the gift was ignited, I operated in it nearly daily. I still do. It stirs up the streams of living water inside me and it gives me heaven’s secrets as I pray for people and situations.

And it feeds the ONENESS.

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One thought on “My First Speaking in Tongues

  1. Pingback: Appetizers from the book I am writing « lovesick & fearless

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