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'The Joy Of A Friend'
by Johnanna Barnes
Not For Sale
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"The Joy Of A Friend..."
One day I was sitting by myself, thinking about something that happened to me a few years ago with a friend of mine. It came about by me going to the mall one day and I was window shopping as I often did when I needed a break. I was looking in this one store and I noticed someone was standing on the outside of the store and was watching me, or at least it seemed that way to me. Well this sort of startled me and I was beginning to get beside myself with a little fear. But I knew that God's angels were with me and all around me always so I quickly lost that fear and God had told me to try and see just what was going on with this man. So, me being bashful like I am, I did not want to go up to a complete stranger and begin talking to him. Well God told me again to find out about this man. So I did as God had instructed me to do. I casually left the story and watched him as he followed me as I went into another store. I then walked out of the store and right up to this man and started talking to him. I introduced myself to him and he was quite surprised at my abruptness. He then introduced himself to me as well; he said his name was Jeff Michaels. He said that he had been watching me from the time that he first saw me enter the mall. I asked him why he would do something like that to me, and looked at him strangely. He just smiled at me and he said that he felt that there was something about me that just simply intrigued him. He went on to say that he felt that for some reason he just had to meet me before the day was over. Well, by this time I felt God talking to me in my spirit and He told me to ask him to lunch and that if I did this, then I would be greatly rewarded in the long run for it. I was doubtful at first and continued to talk to him about different things going on in the mall that day. Still minutes later God again prompted me to invite him to lunch, this time I did as God had suggested. Well he was very surprised at my invitation as was I. I told him that we could go right upstairs to eat since there was wide variety there to choose form. He agreed to go with me and then let me lead the way.
We settled in at this quaint little restaurant and had lunch there, and after lunch we stayed for a while and just talked. I noticed that it was getting late in the afternoon, and I really had to be going. I had to pick up my kids at school and run some errands after that. So I told Jeff about this and he did not want me to go, but I informed him that I was married and was a mother as well. Therefore I had things that I had to do and I could not stay I told him that I had enjoyed meeting him very much and that I hoped that we could get together again to talk some more. He finally consented to let me leave and I agreed to let him walk me to my car. He asked me if he could call me sometime and maybe meet the family, I told him that I would think about it and let him know but he could call me sometime nevertheless. I gave him my telephone number and then we said good-bye and I left. The whole meeting was a bit strange at times but because God had told me to do it, I did not question it. God always knows what the future holds for us all and would never send us down a path for no reason and never by mistake. So I just put my trust in him and went to pick up the kids at school. As I drove, I thought about the lunch that we had and tried to figure out why God would have made me go up to a complete stranger like he did. Then God reminded me that it was not for us to question why He does what He does, but only to do His will always. I picked up the kids and ran my errands for the day and we then went home to relax a bit. When we got there we found my husband was already home and was wondering where we were. I explained to him what we were up to and he understood. I started dinner and then we settled in for the evening. After dinner the kids were upstairs doing their homework and my husband and I were watching television. Suddenly the phone rang I reached over to answer it and I discovered that it was Jeff. I excused myself from the room so that I would not disturb my husband and his show. I was surprised that Jeff would call me, least ways so soon after we met.
We talked for a few minutes and he asked me if we could meet again the next day, which really shocked me. I thought about the question for a few minutes and waited on God to give the answer. Jeff was getting a little impatient with me but finally God gave me an answer and I still was in doubt, but I told Jeff that we could meet the next day. He was very glad and set up a time and place for us to meet again. I agreed to his suggestions and then said good-bye to him. I went back in the living room with my husband as he asked me about the call. I told him that it was someone that God had told me to befriend and get to know. I said that God told me to meet him again the next day for lunch and to get to know him a bit better. My husband just looked at me and knew that I was it had to be from God because I never go up to strangers unless God tells me to. He just smiled at me and started watching his show again. We stayed up for a bit longer and talked for a few minutes after the show went off, then we went to bed. After trying to sleep for a few hours I got out of bed and went back downstairs to pray for a while. Praying usually helps me sleep when I am having trouble. While I was praying God spoke to me and he told me many things, some new and some old things. I prayed and asked God to help me understand why he had me go up to a stranger like he did in the mall that day and to give me sight into the future where he was concerned. I just did not want anything strange happening with Jeff that I was not prepared for. God answered my prayers in His own time and in His own way. I was up for what seemed like all night when finally God let me sleep. Soon after I had a dream about some things that God had told me about, concerning Jeff. It was a normal dream that had Jeff and I conversing in a public place and normal everyday things were going on around us, nothing to be worried about for me.
The next morning I was awakened by my children coming downstairs wanting breakfast, so that they could go out and begin their day. My husband was not far behind them; he had plans for the day as well. I got up and made them all something to eat and then they all left. I then went upstairs and showered and got dressed for the day. I knew that I was meeting Jeff later in the afternoon, so I dressed for the meeting. He wanted to meet me in a park that was close to both of our houses, and being in the middle of the day I felt safe doing so. I tinkered around the house for a few hours and was just in a lazy mood, as the time grew close to meet Jeff, I started thinking about some of the things that God had told me about him. God told me that Jeff was lonely and searching for a soul mate for his life. Also that Jeff was very confused about a lot of things and simply needed a child of God to listen to him as well as try to guide and direct him through some difficult times in his life. I, having been given a counseling gift from God years ago, was more than willing to use that gift for this situation presented to me. I told God that if He wanted me to use my gifts and abilities for this purpose in Jeff's case, then I would be very willing to do so. I will not hold back anything that God has given to me for any reason, especially when God himself has asked me to use it. Quickly time flew by as I talked with God once again, so He reminded me that it was time to get ready to leave and meet Jeff. When I got to the park where he wanted to meet I could not find him anywhere. I was beginning to think that he was not going to show up. I decided to only give him about five more minutes to show or I was going to leave and go home. Well, it was good that I did wait because Jeff did finally show up and when got there he told me that the reason that he was late was because he stopped off and got me a gift. I was really surprised at this because it threw me at first. But when I asked just what the gift was, Jeff pulled from out of his car a dozen sweet, very soft pink roses for me. Well I was simply lost for words to show just how I felt with the thought and the gift, I simply leaned close to him and gave Jeff a simple thank you kiss on the cheek for thinking of me. He had no way of knowing that those were my favorite flower as well as color, but God knew. I know that it was God's way of showing me that He was in the midst and He knew what He was doing. He wanted me not to worry.
As Jeff and I walked through the park, we talked quite a bit and discovered a lot about each other and about God as well. Jeff told me all about his wife and his pending divorce. Well at that moment I thought I knew just what God wanted me to do in this situation. Jeff went on to tell me all about why he and his wife were getting a divorce and that he still really loved her but simply could not get past what had happened. I was intently listening to him as to not miss a word, I wanted to make sure that he did not think I was not interested in what he was saying to me. The whole time that Jeff was talking to me he kept his eyes on me and all over me actually. When I took notice to this, I asked him why. He stated that he had no choice but to do so because to him I was very beautiful and he could not keep his eyes off of me. Well naturally I was a bit thrown yet again by what he had said and I was sort of shocked. I do not consider myself in that way... but needless to say that was not the subject here. I had told him that it was sort of giving me a weird feeling and I was not sure that he should continue doing it. He simply looked at me and said that if I wanted him to stop, then he would, just for me. Well that really made me happy and we went on talking for a few hours after that. I finally got a very good idea of what the situation was where Jeff and his wife were concerned and what I thought God had wanted me to do. Well, I was about to begin to talk to Jeff and sort of council him about his marriage and his situation. Just then I heard God speak and he informed me that I was not to say anything that I was planning and that I was not to give Jeff any council because I was not qualified to do so. He said that I was there for one reason and that I was to wait on Him to reveal that reason to me. Well I was a bit surprised at this and questioned God on it actually for a few minutes. Still God told me to refrain from even going in that direction with Jeff for the time being.
By this time Jeff and I were getting hungry so we decided to get something eat nearby. After spending the afternoon with Jeff and having God give me a royal lecture about jumping the gun on Him, I felt as though it was time to get back to my reality. So I told Jeff that if he needed to talk to me again about anything that all he had to do was call me and we said good-bye for the afternoon. I could feel Jeff watching me as I left and I knew that he was doing so because of the fact that he and his wife had been estranged for so very long, it was natural. I simply thought of it as something that was uncontrollable on his part and brushed it off for the time being. When I got home my family had surprised me and was waiting for me with dinner on the table. This was a rare event in our house and we hardly had time at all to eat at the same time. I was quite overwhelmed and headed upstairs to regain my composure. When I came back to the table my family was anxious to hear about my day as if I was the guest of honor. Apparently God had been speaking to them all and told them that I was feeling a bit neglected lately and what they were to do for me to help. We had a wonderful dinner and discussed all sorts of things that went on throughout everyone's day. We all went to bed early that night, as I was sleeping God came to me yet once again. He talked to me and showed me all kinds of things for what seemed like hours. I saw things that night that I would have never dreamed of before, they ranged from how my day was going to go the next day, to the plans that God had for me and my family, and yes even Jeff in the future. God had me scared at times and rejoicing at other times during the night. I tossed and turned all night and was afraid of waking my husband up, but God made sure that my husband slept very well. When morning finally came, I felt as though I had been asleep for days and was very rested and alert. I knew that God did that because I usually do not feel anything near what I did that day, when I first wake up. The kids were out and about for the day and then my husband came downstairs and was looking for breakfast. After eating, him and I went outside to enjoy the beautiful autumn morning, as we hardly ever do together. We do not have any time that we can be together alone these days so we take advantage of every minute that we do have. We discussed our plans for the day and the afternoon that I had with Jeff. I then told my husband all about the things that God had told me and shown me the night before. He listened very closely and was very supportive in everyway to what I wanted to do, which his usually always is.
It was a few days before I heard from Jeff again. I was having a day to myself, my husband and the kids were out doing some things together and wanted me to take some time for myself and enjoy my day off, (as they say). I was relaxing a little before going shopping at the mall, which I love to do. I was looking forward to getting something for my son's upcoming birthday at the mall, when there was a knock on the door. I got up from the couch and answered the door. It was Jeff and he looked quite disturbed about something. I asked him to come inside and have a seat. We talked for a few minutes and then he began to get really upset. I excused myself for a few minutes and went into the kitchen to get Jeff and I something to drink. When I returned to the living room, Jeff was not there. I looked around for him and called out to him, he did not answer me. All of a sudden I turned around and at that minute Jeff appeared behind me and was staring me in the eyes. I asked him where he went to and he just simply said that he was thinking about me and got a little lonely. He then said that he was walking around my house trying to get a feel of what it was like to live with me as his wife. Well I was very concerned at his remark. I was not expecting the response that I got at all. It really was a surprise to me. I looked at him with a slight gleam in my eye and wondered what was coming next into the situation. It seemed that every time that Jeff and I would talk, something would come out of the situation that was not right. I mean that there are only certain things that should be happening with me being married. I want to be here for God to move through and to help in this situation, I am just getting confused as to what the real reason is that Jeff and I are getting to know each other. I just do not want anything to go on where Jeff and I are concerned that should not happen. I mean I do not want him to get in a place where he feels that he has to be with me or that he feels that I am so important to him that he changes his life because of me. That is not right, and I can only pray that God does really have a plan here and that I can handle everything that comes along with that plan. Well, after Jeff and I talked this out for a few minutes and got to the bottom of the circumstances, I told Jeff that I would prefer him to not look at me as a would - being his wife because I am happily married to a wonderful man. I wanted him to see me as the friend that God has told me to be him, to see me as the friend that I want to be to him.
Jeff was really surprised at my words and content of what I said to him. He looked at me in amazement and could not believe that he was doing anything. He started thinking about how things were going and the more that he thought, he figured out that he had been doing things and thinking things that were not right. So it was not really feelings that I was having that were wrong, there was something to it. Jeff was really surprised at his actions of late and apologized to me for any improper actions or thought on his part. Finally Jeff was able to get to the reason for his visit. He stated that he and his wife had been talking a little and that they were able to work some things out but not everything. He informed me that they still wanted to get a divorce but this time it was a mutual divorce. He said that he and his wife had just simply grown away from each other and that is why these things had taken place that he could not get past. Well hearing this from him, I knew what was going on in the situation, they were allowing Satan to come into their marriage and life and they gave him full reign apparently to do as He pleased. By this time God was already talking to me in my spirit. He was telling me what He wanted me to say to Jeff, I listened very carefully to God and His message to me. My flesh wanted to tell Jeff that God did not believe in divorces, but God told me not to. I wanted to say that no matter what had happened between him and his wife, something could be worked out so that there would not have to be a divorce. But God said 'no' to me yet once again. As I listened to Jeff talk even more deeply about his situation, I saw in his eyes a very interesting thing. I saw a look of concern and longing for his wife which was not there before. I knew at that time that the divorce was not really necessary. I allowed him to finish telling me everything. As he picked up his glass to get a drink, I simply looked at him and smiled. I told him that I felt that there was much more to this situation then he could even imagine; he looked at me strangely and let me continue. I went on to tell him that I had been talking to God about his situation and that God had given me some very interesting advice for him. He had a very sly grin on his face and an inquisitive look in his eye. I went on to tell him that for days now God has been filling me in on all kinds of things having to do with his marriage as well as his future. I took a break for a few minutes and went into the kitchen to refresh our drinks and to get a snack. Jeff came into the kitchen with me and we went out on the patio with our snacks. It was a very beautiful day outside and the birds were singing. I have always loved the outdoors for just about everything. I have found that talking, for me, was always done better outside. Jeff pulled out my chair for me as I sat down, being the perfect gentleman, and pushed it for me as well. He said at least he was always a gentleman no matter what else was going on in his life. He then turned and started looking over our backyard and the landscaping, which made him reflect on some more things. Jeff went on to say that his wife loved him so very much for years and then, all of a sudden, she just simply stopped. He was not sure of why but he wanted to see just how things would turn out if he were to simply ignore things for a while. Months went by and he said that there was absolutely no affection shown from her toward him at all. So he confronted her and she abruptly told him that she did not love him anymore and she wanted out. He told me that he was so very devastated by what she had said to him. I watched him as he finished his thoughts; I was so very overwhelmed with the emotion that was going through him. I could tell that this whole situation was taking a really bad toll on him. By this time Jeff suggested that we go out for lunch and I agreed. I wanted to clean up a little before we left because he did not say just where he wanted to go to eat. I was not sure of how to dress for lunch so I dressed casually. When I returned downstairs Jeff was waiting in the living room for me and we left in separate cars, only for convenience later. Jeff had told me that he wanted me to follow him so I did; I was quite surprised at where he wanted to go. He took me to the riverbank of a river that was nearby my house that I was very familiar with, after stopping for a picnic lunch first. I had no idea of how he knew that I loved picnics by the river; I felt that it was God and God alone. We had a great lunch and even a better afternoon, we spent time getting to know each other and sharing all kinds of things as friends normally do. We learned a lot that afternoon, but God did not want me to intervene just yet so I simply enjoyed spending time with a new friend.
It soon was time for me to be going home and for Jeff and I to be parting once again. I thanked Jeff for thinking of the lunch and for thinking of the picnic as well. I told him that it made my day. We said good-bye and left soon after. When I was driving home God came to me and started talking to me yet once again. He told me of His thoughts on my day with Jeff and the things that He wanted me to do the next time that Jeff and I got together. I was very attentive to all of His words to me. God told me that He was very pleased in the way that the day had gone and that He knew that the next time that Jeff and I got together that things would go even better. God told me that He wanted me to talk to Jeff the next that we met and that He wanted me to let Jeff know that God did not want him and his wife to get a divorce. God did want Jeff and his wife to come to meet with me to discuss the things that were going wrong in their marriage with God's help. God told me a lot of things that day and I was very alert and accepting to everything that He said. When I got home that evening I called Jeff, and we talked about what God had told me on my way home from our picnic. Jeff was very surprised at some of the things that I was telling him, like God wanting him and his wife to stay together and work things out. I also told Jeff that God said to me that if he and his wife stay together that they will not only have a wonderful future, but they will have two terrific children and as well as lots of grandchildren, and a marriage that others will look up to very much. Jeff was so very enlightened that when I asked him to bring his wife along with him the next time that we met, he did not hesitate at all. Jeff and I made arrangements to meet the next week, on Saturday afternoon for lunch. I was very pleased at the fact that Jeff wanted to bring his wife along with him to lunch, maybe this way he will keep his mind on her and not me as much. I mean that when Jeff and I are together I know that he was thinking of me because I can see it in his face and his eyes. The way that he looks at me and the way that he says things is also an indication of this. I really feel bad that Jeff and his wife are having such a hard time of things and I am hoping and praying that through God the three of us can find a solution to whatever the real cause is. After all God knows all, even as much as we try to hide things from Him and everyone else, He still can see what is in our hearts and minds and souls. If anyone can get to the bottom of their situation, it will be God and God alone. I mean after all, even if Jeff had not been willing to bring his wife, I know they God would have put it in his heart to do so. I know that God is almost ready to step into this situation with Jeff and his wife. By the time Jeff and I have lunch again, God will be ready to do his will in this situation. And I know that God does not make mistakes so all will be well in Jeff's marriage.
Jeff and I finally made a decision on when and where to have lunch. We decided that the day would be in a week and the place would be a unique little restaurant nearby. I told Jeff that if we were to go to lunch, that he had to behave himself and he could be thinking of me, and act like a gentleman. Jeff told me that he could behave himself and show me the respect and dignity and honor that I deserve and require. I was quite pleased with the answer that I got from Jeff. I could tell that he has grown not only in mannerisms but also in sensitivity and sincerity. I could also tell that he has grown as a friend. To know that Jeff has grown, has really made me see that God does work in mysterious ways. When Jeff and I first met he was on his last leg before his divorce, now it seems that he is not only willing to try to repair his marriage but also it seems that he is willing to turn his life over to perhaps God. When I first saw Jeff in the mall that day, I never dreamed that God would do such a miraculous work in his life. What really has gotten to me is the fact that God has chosen me to be a vessel in this miraculous work for His use of His will. My only hope and prayer is that I can live up to the God's calling in my life as well as his need for me to maneuver and aide in this situation with Jeff and his wife. I have never before had the honor of being such an aide and servant to my God. God talks to me quite often and the things he says to me and the way he says them makes the shudder when I think that God knows my life and me that well. I can only hope that when Jeff and I and his wife have lunch, that neither of us misunderstand anything that God says to us or that he wants us to do. I want us all to be very alert and very accepting to Him and His will. After all it is our mission in this lifetime to be a servant to Him. As well as do His will and reach others to tell them of His goodness and his merciful love for each one of us. Jeff was being so very open to everything that I was telling him on the phone and listened very closely to God's words for his life that I shared as well, not only for the present but for the future also. Jeff and talked for quite a long time on the phone and we discussed a lot of things. When we were done talking Jeff reminded me of our lunch and the time that we were to meet and then he said good-bye. That night I slept better than I had in many nights.
The day came when Jeff and I were to meet along with his wife for lunch. I was to meet them at the restaurant and I woke up with a very light heart that day. Everything was going very well for me, all day I kept wondering why things were going so good for me, and then I realized that it had to be God working. I was doing a little work around the house and the all of a sudden Jeff called me and wanted to talk to me about something. I stopped what I was doing so that I could talk to him because I felt that it was very important or he would not have called. We talked about the lunch that we were having in a few hours and then Jeff went on to say that he has been going through some very different things since we last talked. I asked him what those things were; he began to tell me some of the things that he felt that God was doing in his life. He was not a Christian but he knew what it was all about and had been raised around Christianity all of his life. I was very intrigued by what he was saying as well as the reasoning that he had for the things that had been going on with him. I mean that it is not everyday that you have a non-Christian telling you that God is working in their lives and they are willing and open to all that going on therein. Well he went on to tell me that he was so very intrigued at what God was doing and the way that He was doing it that he was even thinking about going to church somewhere very soon. I could not wait to tell my husband of this great news and see what he would say about it. I know that he was wanted me to try to get Jeff to go to church for quite a long time now. I am sure that this will please him and that he will be very excited. If I know my husband, he will not believe it first, but in time he will see that God does work when we least expect Him to. Anyway, Jeff went on to say that he was getting anxious about our lunch, and was really looking forward to it. I told that I was as well, and I was really getting nervous about meeting his wife. He wanted to know why, so I went on to tell him that I felt sort of funny about this whole thing and that if it were not for God being in the middle of it I am not sure that I would even be in it. I mean it is not every day I like meeting new people in strange places. We talked for a little while longer, and then I told Jeff that I had to go. After talking with Jeff I was able to finish my work around the house in enough time to get ready for lunch. I was not sure what to wear to lunch, so I just dressed casual but nice. The whole time I was getting ready I was praying to God that he would intervene and take control of the afternoon. By the time I was ready, God had not only spoke to me many times but also showed me some things that I needed to see, in my own life. I drove to the restaurant to find Jeff and his wife already there waiting for me. We met outside and Jeff introduced me to his wife, Sarah. She was very nice woman, very polite and a well mannered. She was dressed in a lovely dress that was navy blue to be beautiful flower on the upper portion and a smaller on the lower portion.
We went inside and enjoyed getting to know each other over drinks while we waited for our lunch to arrive. The atmosphere in the restaurant was very warm and cozy, the kind of place you that you could just stay forever. We got to know each other very well, Sarah and I had so much in common that it just overwhelmed me. She liked the same things I liked, she did some of the same things that I did, and she even went places to relax, just as I do. I can see now why Jeff is so attracted to me. I could not believe the resemblance between Sarah and I. It was like looking into a mirror and seeing my reflection, I knew that Jeff still loved Sarah very much. I say that because when I would catch him looking at me, I saw a very loving and sincere as well as very honest look in his eyes, that I have only seen in my husband's eyes before. I knew that God could actually find a solution to the problems that they were having in their marriage. We talked for quite a while before our lunches arrived, and afterwards God told me that we needed to go somewhere that we could talk that was more private. So I suggested that we go back to my house to continue our talk. Both Jeff and Sarah agreed that we should go there, so after leaving the restaurant, I was driving and God spoke to me again. I was surprised that he decided to talk to me in the car after just talking to me in the restaurant. He said that when we got to my house I was to begin talking to Jeff and Sarah about the problems that they were having in their marriage right away. He said that I did not possess the skills to fully council them but I did have the skills to get them to talk about the things going on in their lives with me and each other. I could only accept God's instruction, for it was not my place to question Him for any reason. We finally got to my house and I invited them inside, I lead them into the living room and suggested that they sit down. As Jeff and Sarah got comfortable on the couch, I excused myself from the room for a few minutes so that they could talk for a little while. I went into the kitchen to get us something to drink as we talked. When I returned to the room, I set the drinks down and Jeff and Sarah simply looked at me with a curious look on their faces. Then we started talking and as we did I could sense that God was in the room with us. I asked Sarah about their marriage and the reasons that they felt that they could not work through them. She said that after twelve years of marriage she simply quit loving Jeff and that the only way that she could deal with it was withdraw within herself and try to deal with it on her own. Jeff was just sitting there beside her listening intensely to her as she talked. I could tell that she was very nervous as she talked because Jeff was there.
To try to calm her down a bit, I asked Jeff if he would go out on the patio just so Sarah and I could talk in private, he agreed. When he was gone, I looked at her and asked her if the problem was Jeff not showing her enough attention in their marriage, or him not being sensitive enough to her and her feelings. She had a very sad look on her face and shook her head as an answer to my question. She also stated that Jeff was a very passionate man about everything but her, and all of these things were different when they were first married. She was amazed that I was able to pinpoint the problem so quickly. I told her that it was not me, but God that revealed the problems. I asked her if there was ever any religion in her background, she replied that she was always a devout Christian until her and Jeff got married. I asked her why she backslid and she could not really give me a definite answer. Obviously Satan worked in the situation and she allowed Him to. I called Jeff back into the room and went on to tell them both exactly what God had told me to tell them. He wanted them to know that if they wanted their marriage to work and not get the divorce, there were a few things that they must do without hesitation. They both agreed that they did want the marriage to work and they were willing to listen to God and His ultimate wisdom. Both Jeff and Sarah listen very intently as I told them that they were to get back into the church again and not hold anything back from Him and repent for everything and anything that they could think of. Next, they were to ask His forgiveness and rededicate their lives and their marriage to God! Well this came as a shock to Sarah, but not to Jeff, he was thinking of doing just that at the time that I had mentioned it to him. Sarah, on the other hand was a little more put off by the things that I had told them. I asked her why that was, and she just looked at me with a very disappointed look in her eyes. She stated that considering all of the things that she had done since she backslid on God, she just knew in here heart that there was no way that He would ever dream of taking her back into His fold again. Well that really threw me for a moment, I never dreamed that she would say that, I mean being a Christian as she was before I thought that she would know better than think that. I went on to tell her that God would always take her back into His loving arms, no matter what she had ever done or what she had not done. All she had to do is repent and give her life back to Him completely. Then, after they both did all that God had asked of them He would then give them the instruction that they needed to reaffirm their marriage with each other, as well as Him. I could tell that she was becoming convicted as I spoke to her, Jeff was also convicted, but he was handling it totally different. There were individual things that they both had to conquer before their marriage could even begin to heal. Things like Jeff's insensitivity to her and her lack of attention to him. Also they had to work on being more open with one another, and not so very restrictive. Sarah had still another problem to repent for and that was her showing other people parts of her life when she had no business doing so. She needed to start respecting Jeff more as her husband and not just the man that she lived with. God told me that this is where all the problems started with their marriage. Jeff did not help things either by withdrawing within himself and not telling her that there was even a problem inside of him, or with their marriage, with her actions. When I looked at Jeff I saw something that really shocked me and I do not think that I had ever saw that same look anywhere else before.
I saw a look of contentment and relaxation as well as look of relief and concern. I saw the pressure leave his face and the tenseness go as well. I could tell that he was very different than he was when he came in to my house. I knew that God was in our midst and doing a great work in them both. We talked for a while longer and the time was growing late and they were at a place that they felt that could handle all that God has said that afternoon on their own and with the help of God. I looked at both of them and asked them one more question which was if we all could pray together before they left, they both agreed. Well since they were still in awe, if you will, with everything that took place I made my way to them on the couch. We held hands and then I began to pray for strength, wisdom, and peace of mind for them both. We prayed for courage to go down this path together no matter what Satan may try to throw their way. I also prayed that God would walk with them and keep angels around them all the time and that those angels would protect them from whatever may come their way, I thanked God for His goodness and mercy that he has shown to both of them so far. I also thanked Him for His love that was so very unconditional to all of us no matter what we had in our pasts. There were a few more things that we prayed for and then Jeff and Sarah thanked me for my concern and my desire to do God's will within their marriage. I told them that it was not me at all but God working through me and I was just His vessel to use for His work. I said that I could not refuse God for anything and especially not for such a wonderful thing as keeping their marriage together. As they walked out to leave Sarah stopped me at the door and gave me a big hug and whispered in my ear that she really wanted to thank me again because she did not want to lose Jeff and she also really wanted to get back to God. Well all I could do was smile at her and tell that she was very welcome. I felt so very good inside because I knew that God had actually worked magic in their lives as well as their marriage. I also felt great because He choose me to be the vessel in which His work was done.
In the next few days Sarah and Jeff were on my mind and heart very much, but God told to be patient and not call them yet. So I found things to keep me occupied that normally would not have gotten my attention. As time went on even longer I found myself not really thinking about Jeff and Sarah as much and was focusing on my family more. We were planning on going on a vacation for a few weeks to the beach, a place that my whole family just loved. I was packing and thinking about all of things that we were going to do at the beach and all the fun that we were going to have enjoying each other and our kids. I was really looking forward to this time together with the family, because we have not really had much time to be together. Well I was not far into packing for the kids when the phone rang; I stopped packing to answer it. I was very surprised to find out that it was Sarah calling to tell me what had happened with her and Jeff. I told her that I would rather meet her somewhere so that I could take a break from packing and spend some time with her listening to her and not thinking about the trip to the beach, she agreed to meet me for lunch. We decided to meet in the park that was not far from my house since Sarah suggested it and it was close for me. When we got to the park we saw a vender nearby that was selling hotdogs and the fixings as well, we decided to go to him and get lunch. As we were eating Sarah began telling me all about the wonderful things that had happened to her and Jeff since we last saw each other. She said that when she and Jeff got home that afternoon, they sat down and had a very long talk with one another, she said that everything came out into the open between them and from that moment on things were totally different. I simply looked at her and was shocked, I mean that I did not think that they would take things that way but I felt that if it worked and God was there and He happy then it must have been the right way to go for them. As Sarah continued on telling me about the things that took place, I noticed something about her. I saw in her eyes as well as her heart that she was ready to make the changes as God had told her to and that she was also ready to come back to God and repent for everything. I was simply overjoyed at the new light that was in her and Jeff's lives. I asked her if she and Jeff had started going back to church yet and she said that they had and that they were going again this Sunday and they both wanted me and my family to be there when they committed their lives back to God. I was totally surprised at her request and sat thinking about my answer waiting on God to supply me with an answer.
I waited as she told me why they wanted us at the church and finally I had an answer for her, I told her without a doubt that we would love to be there and God would have it no other way! She was so very happy that I had accepted her invitation, I could tell that it really meant a lot to her that I be there for moral support as well as to ease her into actually doing it and not backing out. Well we finished our lunch and talked for a while longer and then we were cleaning up a little from the lunch. I told her that now that her and Jeff were not getting the divorce Satan was really going to try his hardest to break up their marriage, and He would come at them with everything that he could think of to do so. She knew this in her heart and her spirit, but her mind had trouble with it for a while. She tried to discuss the matter with me and I so graciously informed her that no matter what she thought or felt, Satan did not want her and Jeff together as man and wife and that He came very close to completing that task not many weeks before. She could only agree with me on that point. I told her that God had brought her and Jeff together for a very good and important reason, and that he does not makes mistakes in anything that He does. She knew that I was telling her the truth, and she could not disagree any longer with me. We finally came to an understanding of the matter and God was right in the middle, where He should be. Sarah and I had a wonderful afternoon together, we talked about how happy her and Jeff were now that God was back in their lives again and how His goodness and mercy was working a miraculous work in their lives. We watched the squirrels at play and the other people having picnics nearby, wondering if it would be Jeff and Sarah in their place very soon. The afternoon was getting late and I was still in the middle of packing, which now I did not need to do. I looked at Sarah and asked if she was ready to pray as we left each other this time, she smiled and said that she was more than ready and then she did just that. I was surprised at the caliber of her prayer; it showed me exactly how close her and God really were before she backslid. When she had finished her prayer I looked up at her and told her just how proud of her I was for not only coming back to God who loves her unconditionally, but also for letting Jeff be a part of that new life. She asked me why I would say that to her and I told her that I got to know a little about Jeff before her and I met, and I could tell that he was a very good man who loved her very much and I could also tell that he needed that same loved returned to him from her or he would be gone forever. I told her that I did not want to see that happen to anyone. I saw a new look come over her face and in her eyes as well, it was a look of relief and one that I was very glad to see as well. I mean I knew that Sarah knew somewhere in her heart that Jeff really loved her but apparently she did not believe it for some reason. I was thinking that by me telling her about his love for her, she was beginning to understand and believe it now. I know that she knew that God had wanted me to tell her and that I am sure that was enough for her to confirm it within her heart. I was very happy for her and Jeff, so much so that she asked me to always keep in touch with them and I agreed that I would.
Well, my family and I went to church that Sunday and not to the beach as we had planned, we postponed our trip a few weeks. I must say that I had never been to a better church service and I knew without a shadow of a doubt that God was in the midst and within everyone that was there that day. God was all over Sarah and Jeff and I knew that they were very happy that they had taken this step and recommitted their lives as God had told them to do. I was very excited for them both and I knew that God had a very wonderful future in store for them because He had shown me exactly what their future was to be. With everything that had happened and the new things that were going on, still we had only God to thank for it all. I mean that if it were not for Him guiding me to Jeff that day I knew that it would have been someone else that He chose to help them. I feel that it turned out so very well because He knew that Jeff, Sarah, and I would make everything work out very well and exactly how He had planned for it to work out. Jeff had to see just what he as loosing and Sarah had to see exactly where she went wrong, then He put me in the middle of them because He knew that I had the skills and the right spirit to make them both listen to Him and His will for them. There comes a time in all of our lives that we have to turn over our lives to God. We have to be willing to put our flesh aside and let God take over everything that we have form inside out. No matter how things look to us, we have to realize that God can bring us out of anything, and that we need to trust in Him. It may seem really hard for some of us to believe, but God only wants the Best for us. After all He has already created our futures and He does not make any mistakes. It is really so very easy to trust in Him, he is simply waiting for each, and every one of us to come to Him so He can give us everything that he has for us............ Trust Him, he will never let you go wrong, and he will never let you down!! Your heart is in His hands... all you need to do is accept him!!

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...in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them... 2 Cor 5:19

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