“My spiritual gifts are in the background of the community, right where they are needed, and I didn’t even know I was using them.”- Erin O’Shea
Erin O’Shea grew up here at KUMC, and is an active member and leader in student ministry, but she never considered her desire to serve a spiritual gift until she completed a spiritual gifts inventory and took a look at herself through that lens. At KUMC, Erin serves on the student leadership team, UM Army, SIFAT, and Flipt. Service is also part of her academic life as a junior at Kingwood Park High School where plays basketball, and serves others through Reading Buddies, Best Buddies, National Honor Society, and French Club. Erin shares with us how she discovered her gifts, her eagerness to use those gifts as a member of the body of Christ, and that just because you don’t know what your gifts are, doesn’t mean God isn’t already using them.
As a 17-year-old, I shouldn’t know where I’m going. And the truth is, no matter how much I wish I did, I have no clue. And when I took the test to find out what my spiritual gifts were, I didn’t know what to expect. What I knew about myself was that I liked to stay in the background.
When I read about my first spiritual gift, I wasn’t surprised it was serving. Getting the opportunity to help someone, whether they needed it or not, never failed to give me a sense of purpose. And more than that, I loved being hands on.
My next spiritual gift was faith. In the back of my mind, receiving this gift terrified me. I knew what I believed, and I was raised as a God-fearing child, but for as long as I could remember there were questions swirling around in my head that no one seemed to have the answers for. But I realized that my spiritual gift being faith was not because I had no doubts about God, but because I trusted God, despite my doubts and questions, and would follow whatever he called me to, simply because he called.
The last spiritual gift I received was evangelism. And this surprised me. Yes, people sometimes come to me and ask questions, but I almost never have an answer for them. And then I read more, and I discovered evangelism does not just mean preaching to the worthy. It means communicating with the lost, building connections with the non-believers. It means having your heart broken, again and again, but continuing moving forward. Now I’m not very good at public speaking, but I was given the gift of speaking with a pen. And the words on my paper are my form of evangelism.
Now all these words and sentences were to come to the conclusion of this: just because you don’t know what your spiritual gifts are, doesn’t mean you don’t have them. It also doesn’t mean God isn’t already using them. My spiritual gifts are in the background of the community, right where they are needed, and I didn’t even know I was using them. But now that I do, I’m going to emphasize them. Now I know what God has given me, and I will use that to further the Kingdom and glorify Him.