This Valentines day was quite different for me in a lot of ways. First off this is the first year that I have been without a “valentine”…secondly this is the first Valentines that I have spent without my children. SO… I was all about CARMAN! When I got off work I thought of another single girlfriend of mine and called her to see if we could go get something yummy to eat, then go grab a coffee and talk about what God is doing in our lives til our little hearts were content…just a good night for two “foodies” that love the Lord! She agreed and as I was in the middle of getting ready she called me back. She said that the man that she had just recently started seeing had invited us over to a bonfire at a house where he was babysitting for a friend of his. Also, he had made a nice big batch of Lima beans with ham hock and that we should all have dinner together.
Now…In my little world all I could think about was the steak and chopped bleu cheese salad that my taste buds were ready for, how it was Valentines day and I certainly didn’t want to go watch someone babysit…much less eat LIMAS????? However, I knew that my friend really wanted to see her new-found friend, so I attitudingly (is that a word?) agreed.
As I was in my closet trying to find out what I would wear I argued with myself and God. It went something like this….”Why am I going to this stupid bonfire?” I don’t want LIMA beans on Valentines day!” “She needs to just go by herself…I certainly don’t want to be a third wheel!” Blah blah blah! “God why am I doing this?”…….. and His response to me was “Be still and understand that you need to do the opposite of what you feel like doing!…You need to go.” SO …I then remembered that a few years ago God spoke to me and told me that If I wanted to be in His will…all I had to do was the opposite of what I felt like doing. Needless to say He was right!
I held my selfish attitude even though I knew that God wanted me to go. When she picked me up I said “Well, I still want to get something to eat, because I am hungry, I haven’t eaten since 1pm”. She knew that I was all into ME, but she lovingly went along with it. So we drive about an hour to get to his exit and the only thing on this whole road is a truck stop! I thought “Oh well, at least it’s not lima beans!” Can I just tell you that we sat down and ordered and there was hair on my plate and we waited for almost an hour for our food…so, I was like okay God I get it… Limas it is!
We finally pull up to the house and in the distance in the back yard you could see the bonfire. It was a country setting, deep in the woods dogs and cats running around the yard, very homely. So Don (my friends new beau) introduced us to two young men who were sitting around the fire. One young man was 18 and the other was 14. Don went and fixed us a mug of Limas and I have to say it was delicious…Go figure! So we were all around the fire talking about music, life and of course God. Somehow the conversation shifted and these two young men just began to pour out about what was going on in their lives. The 18-year-old told us that he was smoking spice and he felt horrible about it each time he would do it, but he couldn’t stop and that he could feel it making his brain bleed as he would cough and blood would come out. He then began to tell us about how abusive his father was to him and his family. Replaying the words of his father in his mind “Idiot, you can’t do anything right!” He began to weep. The 14-year-old is in high school and trying to play football and maintain his grades, while at home watching his mother get thrown around the house by his father, who beats not only his mother but also him and his brothers. He began to tell me that he at times thinks of killing his father. He also carries the secret that his grades are really dropping. He worries that all the bragging his father does to everyone about his future pro-football career will leave him open to shame and humiliation if he fails and also that his whole life will come crashing down if he can’t go pro and save his mom and brothers with his success. What a heavy load for a child to bear!
SO GOD…. THIS WAS WHY I HAD TO COME?….. WOW!
My friend and I began to minister to these young men about forgiveness and breaking the cycle of abuse in their families. I shared my testimony with them about a challenging situation that I had to forgive my father for. Most of all We shared the Love of Jesus with them and how God never fails, that He wants to have a relationship with them and show them how to make it through this with Him leading the way. So both young men opened up their hearts and trusted Jesus that night. It was so precious. I even had the chance to minister to the 14-year-olds mother about abuse. We have connected with these young men but more importantly connected them to Jesus!
This was a night that God really showed me that all my trials were for someone else.
I had to repent to my God for being so “selfy” and not being sensitive to what He really needed for me to do! I also asked my best friend to forgive me for thinking of my tummy! It made me realize that I need to watch out for the times when I try to get into self and think about what is on the other side of that focus.
I had to share this with you because this was the BEST Valentines day ever for me simply because God sent me to Love on someone who needed it most!
Prayer: Heavenly Father help us to realize that we are here for your purpose and not our own pleasure. Lord thank you for strengthening us to make the right decisions, even and ESPECIALLY when it’s uncomfortable for us to do! In Jesus name Amen!