Holy Spirit Story: The Dress

Acts 1:8 (NIV)

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”


Today’s Holy Spirit Story comes from Nancy Mulford. Here is some context from our correspondence. Nancy writes:

In January of 2022 I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a surgery in February, received chemo treatments March through July and began radiation treatments in September. I had heard of Seedbed. My husband, a biblical counselor, had received many of your publications, but I was not aware of the daily Wake-up Call. Just before I began radiation our pastor mentioned that he listened daily to the Wake-up Call and sent us all the link. My radiation treatments were daily, Monday through Friday, in the city, twenty minutes from our home. We tried to arrive a few minutes early and I usually had time to read the Wake-up Call before my treatments. I finished treatments in October and have continued in community with you ever since. I enjoy listening now and singing along with you. Thank you for this wonderful devotional that calls me to a deeper more intimate walk with my Savior. It has truly blessed me.

Below is a Holy Spirit story. It happened long ago. While it is not about my recent struggle, all the Holy Spirit stories of my life led to my ability to trust him in and through this latest struggle.

The Holy Spirit has prompted my heart on many occasions, but this one seems particularly profound even these thirty some years later.

I was a single mom sitting next to a good friend in a special service at my church. A woman missionary from Brazil was sharing her testimony of God’s call and the work she and her family were doing there. Not being a fashionista, it was odd that I was drawn to the drabness of the dress she had on.

As a teacher in the 90s we were expected to dress professionally and I had a particular dress shop that I liked. I had been there that day. I had tried on a dress that was okay, in what I thought were my colors. I liked it, but didn’t love it, and even though it was more than I would usually spend, I bought it and brought it home. 

While listening to the missionary talk, I couldn’t get the drabness of her clothing out of my mind. The dress I bought came to my mind and that distinctive voice of the Holy Spirit whispered, “Give her the dress.” I thought to myself, “This is crazy! She’s probably not my size.” I argued with the Lord for most of her talk, but finally leaned toward my friend and quietly asked, “Do you think she’s my size?” I explained what I had been sensing. She answered, “I don’t know, but you better go get it.” So as soon as the missionary finished, I left my young son with my friend and raced home for the dress.

When I returned, I presented her with the dress still in the plastic bag from the dress shop. I explained that the Lord had told me to give it to her. I wondered if she would think I was crazy or be insulted, but she was overcome with delight. Her friend eagerly explained that the missionary had several speaking engagements in the next few days and that they had been shopping for a new dress all day to no avail. There were still many people around and we all enjoyed a moment in awe at what the Lord had done.

Several days later I received a lovely thank you note with a picture of the missionary in the dress. It was perfect for her. She looked radiant in it. 

As I look back on this memory, even now my heart is warmed at the kindness of our compassionate God who gave me the opportunity to be his instrument in blessing someone else. I had just been through a very painful divorce and he along with this church had generously and in so many ways held me together. To bless someone else in this manner brought healing to my own broken heart, affirming that he is the giver of all good gifts, tenderly and compassionately loving us, even in the seemingly unimportant details of our lives.

Let’s thank God for and continue to pray for Nancy’s ongoing healing as we all remember and give witness to the faithfulness of God. 


Father, thank you for this story we have heard today and how it is a story within a story. Thank you for the way you weave all these stories of our lives together, layering the remembrance of your faithfulness year after year and from generation to generation. Holy Spirit, would you remind us of our own Holy Spirit stories today and give us the grace and courage to share them near and far. For not only do they give you glory, they increase our faith and compound our joy. Praying in Jesus’s name, amen. 


Are you learning to sense and listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit? To trust those inward leadings and not unnecessarily complicate it by overthinking them? 


Today let’s sing one of our favorite hymns, “Great is Thy Faithfulness,” hymn 44 in our Seedbed hymnal, Our Great Redeemer’s Praise. 

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt

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P.S. Holy Spirit Stories Welcome

I would love it if you would send a story of faith from your life we might use on a Saturday in the future. We will be glad to attach your name or a pseudonym or anonymity—it’s up to you. It can be a story of coming to faith, a story of transformation, a story of healing, deliverance, suffering and sufficient grace, family reconciliation, prodigal returns, answered prayer, and so forth. Word count of 500–800 words works well. We can’t guarantee publication, but assure you of our prayerful discernment. You can reply to this email with your story and it will come to me.

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WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

Comments and Discussion

2 Responses

    1. Perfect response. God is always with us, using us to help others. This always brings us closer to Him! I just do not understand how anyone could get along in this world without Knowing GOD!!❤️❤️❤️✝️✝️✝️✝️✝️✝️

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