Sunday, August 17, 2008

Internet Cafe Chat


Tell about one time in the past 5 years where you took a HUGE Step of Faith in your journey with the Lord. What was the outcome?
Before I begin this, if you haven't read my post entitled "Darkness Into Light", you might want to stop and read over that. Then, you will know why this was such a huge step of faith for me.
That being said, I will begin. I have a strong passion for bringing others to Christ. I'm not pushy about this--I invite people to join me in a church service, I try to live in a way that others will wonder and ask what brings me such peace in a world of turmoil, and I give all the glory to God. I want others to see Jesus in my life, in my eyes, in my smile.
God placed a heavy burden upon my heart regarding my ex-husband. We have had a turbulent past, but we also share 3 children that we both love. Granted, our children are adults now, but we still share them during holidays, birthdays, when my youngest visits from Texas. I know that he is far from God.
I prayed about this many times, and I kept receiving the same answer--"Call him and talk to him". Realize, that I have not talked with him except to inform him of emergent situations regarding our children, such as my daughter's recent hospitalization. She even arranged visiting times so that we both would not be at the hospital at the same time to avoid undue stress, not only for us but also for her own sake.
I talked to others regarding this--my Small Group, friends in Christ, mentors. And, I kept receiving the same answer from them: "If God is placing this on your heart, what do you think you should do?" I knew the answer was to obey God's will in this, but I kept questioning and asking, "God, are you sure this is what I am to be doing? This man has hurt me and my children deeply. I have forgiven him, but is this really what you're telling me to do?"
And God, He just kept on answering, "Yes, this is what I want you to do."
One Saturday afternoon, I called him. I didn't feel nervous about this at all. I didn't know what I was going to say. I just prayed to God to put the words into my mouth. We talked for a time about our children, how things were going with them, our jobs, mundane daily things.
Then, very suddenly, I asked him, "Do you have a relationship with Christ? Have you completely surrendered your life to Him?" And, his answer was simply, "No".
I invited him to meet me and attend church with me the next day. He said he would, but I wasn't sure if he would show or not. I made it very clear that this was all this was--an invitation to church--to grow closer to God--not to grow closer to me and try to re-establish a relationship with me. I have to admit that I was surprised to see him there.
We went to breakfast afterwards and talked--talked about our children, their lives, how important each of our children are to us. There were no arguments, no bringing up of the past, no accusations from the past from either of us. Just talk.
He continued to attend church every Sunday after that. On Easter, we attended as a family--all three children, myself, their father and three of my children's friends.
So far, so good. Attend church, sometimes breakfast afterwards--with me making it clear that we still are not re-establishing our past relationship.
A few Sundays ago, I attended an earlier service than I usually attend due to the fact that my son needed to use my car that morning. I was standing talking with friends before I left when my ex-husband arrived. I told him that I wasn't going to be attending that service due to the car situation.
Anger immediately came upon his face. I wasn't imagining it--my friends saw it also. One told me later that they had never seen such a quick change upon someone's expression.
I asked him then, "Are you coming to church to grow closer to God or are you coming because of me?" I have to admit that I did edge a little closer to one of my friends when I asked this question.
He then exploded, saying that he was coming because of me--I keep blowing him off and he is just going to forget it. All of this in the lobby of the church with a crowd of people around.
I walked outside towards my car. He left at the same time, yelling at me across the parking lot--about how he's just going to forget this. One of my friends watched me safely to my car and called me at home later to make sure I was okay.
I took this leap of faith in obedience to God. I know that God is still working in his heart and mind and that this is far from over. When my youngest daughter was here visiting from Texas she went to see her father.
When she came home, she said to me, "What's Dad talking about? He's telling me that he didn't yell at you in church."
Funny thing is, I hadn't said a word to any of my children about this incident. They knew nothing about it. Yet, it is still weighing on his mind. He is still thinking about this.
I feel that I did the right thing in obedience to my Lord. Things didn't quite turn out as I had planned, but then again, who am I to even begin to think that I'm planning anything regarding this. This is God's plan

3 comments:

Aunt Kathy said...

Beth

God's Word never comes back VOID, it always does what it was sent out to do. Even though he was not at church for the right reasons, Gods Word was still spoken and he heard it. Keep praying for him.

Truth4thejourney said...

What a powerful post! You did what God had placed on your heart. The outcome is not up to us, that part is in God's hands.

I applaud you for how you went about it. You are a woman of faith! God will do great things through you. :)

Tiffanie said...

The thing about obedience is that it is God's plan, and not ours. God blesses you for your obedience, as well as for your suffering when it is for His name. I have parents and siblings (and X's) who do not know the Lord, and sometimes I get very nervous about talking to them about my faith (even when I know God is asking me to). Recently, a girl my brother was trying to get to know broke things off with him because He doesn't have a relationship with Christ. At first, he came to me, crying and wanting to understand. We had good conversations about God and sin and... I thought this is it, but all of the sudden... he got angry at me for about two weeks (in fact he called me yesterday for the first time to say that I could call if I needed anything while hubby is gone). Anyway, it's God's plan and HIS timing. Right.