Here’s what I know for sure….prayers get answered. If you are hoping to hear that it happens in a timely manner, you are not going to like the answer. In fact, I’m certain that often times people pray and feel like it isn’t going past the ceiling of the room they are in, so they stop; but He hears you. And He has a plan. It’s just not likely going to line up at all with YOUR plan.
This post is incredibly sentimental for me. It was something that I have been praying over for the past 20 years. Yes, you read that right, prayers have been lifted, that my husband would become a believer in Jesus Christ and be given life eternal through baptism, for TWENTY years. He didn’t know that I started praying for it right after we met. He didn’t know I prayed for it as often as I did, and I’m sure there were alot of times he really disliked the idea of someone praying FOR him, because my macho boyfriend back then, didn’t need anything or anyone. His success in life would come by his own hand and hard work. He knew I was a believer, I was baptized and our kiddos each got baptized; but he had no intention of going there. Especially not when he just didn’t see the point of it. It’s just a ritual, right?
But do you remember my post about the Marriage Ministry called re|engage?? It was an 18 week course we took September 2015-February 2016. While he knew it was through the church, Kent decided he would do it to “learn some tools to put in the tool box on how to handle my wife better”; but the glorious irony of the situation is that what ended up happening, is he opened his heart just a little, and God’s light broke through and filled him up. All He needs is a crack, and light will overcome any darkness when given the chance. Can I get an AMEN?! The change in Kent was clear and he declared his faith as we became official members of the church in January 2016.
When the moment came, in June this year, that I overheard Kent ask our Lead Pastor, Mark Sorensen (who has become a VERY good friend to Kent and this whole family, so it took the sentimental value up about TEN notches, that someone we knew well and appreciate so much would be able to lead this) at the Harvest Worship Center in The Woodlands, Texas if he would baptize him I nearly hit the floor. YES…I’m a TOTAL sentimental, emotional mess most times; but friends, the moment that Kent said that, and I stopped in my tracks, the first thing I heard in my mind was, “I was pursuing him all along”….those were God’s words to me, confirming that He heard me, and ALL of the other people who had been praying for Kent’s faith to be awakened, and He knew Kent would not be an overnight success…..no, He patiently pursued his son because He loves him so, put amazing people in his life that would share the Word, it’s Message and it’s Meaning with him, and bring him to a place where, as an ADULT, he looked at his life and knew he could no longer continue without accepting that Christ is his Savior. He realized now, at 40, that there is NO WAY he walked through this life alone, or did it all on his own, or created success for himself by just his own hard work….no, he could reflect and see clearly that God had been there all along. And while he felt it right down in his soul, he wanted to be baptized by immersion to seal the deal.
But this story isn’t about me or my answered prayers, it’s about a grown adult who never had faith in their life at all, and was almost set on NOT believing to prove his point that if you are a good person, take care of your family, work hard, donate your time or money once in a while and show kindness, you won’t be denied a place in Heaven. Then the more he learned about declaring your faith and baptism, he came to the decision all on his own. And THAT was God’s work in Kent. I even got to watch how God used our children to bring Kent closer to this decision. Both Devon and Sophia were very concerned about their Dad not being able to “be with us in Heaven” because he wasn’t baptized. Sophia had a REALLY hard time with this because even she, at 7 years old, could see how much her Daddy now loved God and was turning into the Faith Leader of our family, so WHEN was he going to get baptized already?! Out of the mouth of babes people….
I couldn’t be more proud, humbled, or grateful for this moment. Not only did Kent move towards getting the INFORMATION he needed, he then took that and REFORMED the way he was thinking and acting, which eventually TRANSFORMED him from the inside out. (See a message on these three things HERE) God continues to show up for Kent and for this family, and it’s almost as though, when your eyes are opened, and your heart is filled with His love, you cannot go a day WITHOUT seeing his blessings.
Thank you for letting me share this very personal part of our journey with you. Thank you to Mark for being the Faith Leader that makes the Word something we understand, relate to and can take into our daily lives with confidence, clarity and a little humor. That is no small feat, and you, my friend, truly have a gift. We feel quite confident that God speaks through you very clearly. What a blessing to be witness to that, and share part of our journey through life with you, your family and this community. It’s worth spreading the Word that its never too late to give your life to Jesus Christ. Based on all that we are seeing in the world today, we need MORE people to open their hearts to this. So I encourage you to find a faith community you can be a part of and really dig into the messages, find how they apply to THIS life, right now, and commit to walking in His ways.
Who do you know that needs a little more Jesus in their life??
Photos courtesy of: Mandi Roach – Mudpie Photography (find her on Instagram @mandi411 or on Facebook www.facebook.com/mudpiephotographytx)