Today, I can't get a memory out of my head...dare I say, the holy spirit has planted it there for me to work with?!?
A while back, a very dear friend of mine was having marital problems. It seemed to me it was the type we all go through occasionally. (Except for Keith and me, because we are perfect! ha!) I listened to her tell me she wasn't happy and defend herself as to why she wasn't happy and something kept tugging at my heart through this whole conversation. (That pesky holy spirit again, possibly?)
I wanted, so much, to reach out to my friend and say "Leave the slob, you DESERVE to be happy! You DESERVE better!"
(There's that word again! That word seems to get us all in a lot of trouble! We use it liberally and believe it every time we say it!)
I didn't know her husband at the time, and I loved my friend and wanted to make it all better. I wanted to follow my gut instinct and tell her she DESERVED to be happy, but, I couldn't. I didn't know what she deserved. I wasn't in that marriage, I didn't know her heart, her motives or her husband.
I had no idea what I was supposed to say and how I was supposed to react. My heart hurt as I listened to her, and throughout our entire conversation I kept a continuous dialog with God running in my head.
God, this feels like something big...I don't know what's going on in her life, but PLEASE do the talking for me. PLEASE don't let me blow it!
So each time, I felt that "D" (deserve, not divorce!) word creeping up in my throat I swallowed it back. I let her talk and I listened until God decided to do the talking for me. I don't remember word for word, but I remember telling her repeatedly to make sure that what she wanted was to serve Him and not her, God's needs come first.
I drove home after that long talk with my dear friend praying each mile of the road. I prayed for her husband, I prayed for her family, and I prayed for whatever God was going to do with their situation.
This is one of the first times that I've gotten out of God's way enough to let him handle a situation and what He did with it was amazing! I'm happy to report that through much hard work, love, devotion, and prayer my friend and her husband have gotten over their hump.
I had zero influence their success story, and I don't even know if anything I said that night mattered, but I do feel pretty confident that what God kept me from saying did matter. God kept me from telling her that she deserved better, and God decided what she deserved! He kept me from encouraging her to make the wrong choice, and He led me to encourage her to come to Him.
I'm humbled that God worked on me so hard that night and kept me from blurting out what I thought she deserved. (He must have big plans for that marriage! I know keeping MY mouth shut was work!) I'm blessed that He has let me watch as my friend and her husband remodel their marriage into a true christian definition of marriage, and I'm so happy that I now have made an effort to know her husband and I think he's a pretty cool guy!
I've learned a ton of lessons from that night and I'm so blessed that God used her situation to teach me so many things, and I'm so honored that He continues to bring us all closer to each other and closer to Him!