I realize that too far too often I write when things are tough and we need prayer. But later, when God responds and resolves the situation, I don’t always communicate that. And so here we are, a month or so after the last crisis and I never wrote about what happened in the end.It was an interesting few weeks back in August. It’s difficult when you have to make a decision that you know is going to significantly affect someone’s life. I’ve had to ask guys to leave the house in the past and it’s never easy. You don’t want to watch someone lose what is potentially a life changing opportunity.
Obviously I was praying a lot over what I felt I needed to do. The young guy in question was a good kid and a great friend, but was choosing a lifestyle that was not only destructive to him, it was affecting the rest of the guys in the house. It was especially difficult for me because this guy was one of our leaders and a huge help in the house.My biggest fear was letting my personal feelings interfere with what was best for this guy and what God wanted to do in his life. It’s easy to look at things from a personal perspective and decide you know what’s right. I did my best to step back and just let God do His thing. Having said that, the post below speaks to what I felt in my heart. I was tired and definitely more than a little frustrated.
And then an amazing thing happened. God didn’t just work in this young guy’s heart like I’d hoped and prayed for. He did some significant things in my heart as well.I’ve never had a problem trusting God for our physical needs. Again and again He’s provided for us. I struggle sometimes though, in trusting what He’s going to do in the lives of the guys I work with. I’ve never really understood how God’s Will and our own free will work together. So I sometimes worry and get more frustrated and concerned than I probably should.
But throughout that week I saw little reminders again and again that God was always going to be faithful no matter what the circumstances.A couple of quick examples…I have nearly a thousand friends on Facebook. One morning I checked
my status feed and two of my completely unrelated friends had posted the same verse only seconds apart. And both statuses had shown up on my feed. The verses they wrote spoke to God’s faithfulness and very specifically to what was happening. I thought, “Yea…that was kind of cool…”Then a couple of days later another friend wrote me and shared a verse with me. After thanking her I went back to my feed on Facebook and the first status I saw was that same verse being shared by another friend. Again, the passage spoke directly to my situation.
And then finally on the Sunday, one of the young guys in our church asked if he could talk to me. I’d had a difficult weekend with everything going on and really I just wanted to go home. But I said sure, no problem. I figured it was just going to be a whatever conversation.He took me outside and promptly asked if we could pray before talking. I was like, “Uh…okay…” Inside my heart was starting to sink and all I could think of was, “Man…what’s gone wrong now?”
After praying, my friend started to share how, all day Saturday he’d felt this frustrating and a deep sadness. He couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. There was no reason for it. He started praying and asking God why this was happening. Finally in the evening he said that God spoke to his heart and explained that this was a message for me. God wanted him to understand what I was going through and then to also explain that this was God’s heart for the situation as well.He went on to affirm the ministry and what I was doing here (I’d had more than a few “What am I doing wrong?” moments through all of this). Then the verse he gave me was Matt. 11:28 “Come to
me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”The cool thing about this was that I hadn’t talked to Facu (yes…that’s his name) in over a month. He
had no idea that I was having any kind of issue at all. I’m pretty good at keeping my game face on when I’m in public, so as far as he knew, everything was all sunshine and flowers. But he felt strongly that God was speaking this message to me, so he stepped out in faith and shared it with me.He had no idea how much it would mean to me.
Back to the situation with our young friend who was leaving the house. Monday rolled around and this fellow called me to let me know he was packing his things to leave. So I went over to the house to see him before he left. I sat there and chatted with him as he gathered his things.Finally the moment came and everything was ready. I asked him if I could pray with him before he left. He said that would be fine. I knew that I’d seen God at work in his heart throughout the week and even though I was definitely sad, I felt a peace about the situation.
After we prayed, my young friend asked me if I wanted to know why everything had happened. I said of course, if he wanted to tell me. He proceeded to open up more than he ever had before. He talked about his life and choices and why he’d done what he’d done. He asked if there was any chance he could have another opportunity.I told him that if it was up to me there would be no problem. But his actions had affected other people in the house as well. He sat for a moment and then asked if it was alright with me if he spoke with Maribel and the guys and explained that he truly wanted to change his life. I told him it was okay with me.
So he did.
If you know this culture at all, you understand that for a guy here (okay…maybe everywhere…but especially here) talking about personal issues and asking for forgiveness is not something that comes easily. But that’s exactly what he did. And everyone agreed that he should be shown grace and given another chance.Since then? He’s been a different kid. Only God truly knows what’s happening in someone’s heart. But as far as I can see he’s sincerely seeking after a deeper relationship with God. It’s been pretty cool to see. He’s much more at peace and there’s a definite joy in him that wasn’t there before.
So that’s what happened. Thank you for praying! I know many of you were, and it made a difference. God was very faithful and we’re experiencing all the blessings that come from that faithfulness.Thanks for taking the time to read all of this! I don’t always respond but really appreciated the support and encouraging notes many of you wrote when this was happening.
Come back soon and I promise it won’t be another month before I write something! =)