A few years ago, I met K. We worked together, and quickly became friends. We both moved onto different jobs around the same time, and within a few months, we randomly started Friday night dinners.
Almost every Friday night for the last 21 months, K and I have done something together. We have had picnics, gone to movies, sat on my couch while reading magazines, gone out to dinner, or ordered from Hungry Howies. It just became assumed that Friday nights was time together. It was never the plan to do it every week, but I am so glad it happened that way. Somewhere in there, we became best friends.
When K and I first became friends, she had never been inside of a church, not even for a wedding. That was just the way she was raised. It was such a contrast to the way I was raised. I have a hard time remembering a week of my life that I wasn't in church.
I never wanted to force Jesus, church, or my beliefs on her. So, I tried to live my life in a way that pointed to Jesus and His love, I answered any question she had, but most of all, I began to pray fervently.
I prayed almost every day for 21 months. I memorized Isaiah 59:1 "Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear."
I begged God to soften her heart, and give her the desire to know Him. I rejoiced every time she had a question about Jesus, church, religion, or the Bible. I prayed even more. I sobbed when I drove home one particular night, knowing she was beginning to understand. I asked God to make clear opportunities in conversations to share Him.
She started to attend church with her boss pretty regularly around the beginning of the year. My heart leaped inside of me.
One day a few weeks ago, she told me she had been thinking about my future husband, and so she stopped everything and prayed for him. There are not enough words to express how much that blessed my heart. I had no idea she was beginning to pray, let alone, pray for my husband.
Last week she asked me if I would be at church when she gets baptized. I agreed, but told her, only after we had a serious conversation about some things beforehand.
So tonight, we went to dinner, we caught up after a busy week, and then we sat down on the couch. Bible in lap, I began to go over the plan of salvation. I wanted to know that she understood the Gospel, and wasn't just getting baptized just to get baptized. I wanted to make sure she knew baptism does not wash away sins, or get us into heaven. It is just a step of obedience in following Jesus. I wanted her to know that the Bible is truth, and that we can go to it for everything. Religions and denominations may not have the answers, but Jesus and His Word always will. She stopped me a couple times to clarify as I read and explained things, but at the end of our conversation, I asked her if she had accepted Jesus, confessed her sins, and believed in her heart yet.
She looked at me with big, tearful eyes, and told me she had. She couldn't remember the exact day this winter, but she had accepted Jesus as her Savior.
Between tears, I told her of how I had prayed for her for months and months to know Jesus in a real way, and how faithful He was. I told her that Jesus is the most important thing in my life. He brings hope, peace, everlasting life, love, joy, and so much more. There is nothing more I could ever want for my friends, then to know my real Jesus.
So, rejoice with me today. My heart is full.
God is so faithful. His timing is perfect.
His arm is not too short to save. His ear is not too hard of hearing.
He saves. He hears.
Thank you for all of your prayers the last couple of years. You may not know my friends, or even me, but I know people are praying.
The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16b.
Please continue to pray for K as she is a baby believer, and is beginning to sort out her faith.
I cannot wait to share more stories in the future, of things I am trusting and believing He is working out. What a faithful God we serve.
Have a nice weekend.