Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Bold (emotionally) (08/30/07)
TITLE: Wounds From A Friend
By Ann Renae Hair
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Wounds from a friend can be trusted... Proverbs 27:6a NIV
Susie was wrestling with mixed emotions. She knew she should confront her friend. But there was no guarantee Kate would appreciate hearing what needed to be said. Susie’s heart was tender for Kate ever since they first met at Bible Study. Kate shared in the small group that she was struggling with what to do about her husband’s choices for their family. Respectfully, no specific details were offered at that time. Susie and Kate were assigned to be prayer partners. Kate really needed a friend to confide in, since they were new in town, starting out without knowing anyone. She was comfortable with Susie, who had a warmth and strength about her that was inviting. Also, the Study leader mentioned that Susie’s family was also transferred a lot, the common thread that would spark a quick camaraderie.
Kate poured her heart out over the next few weeks. Susie was cautious, but sincere. The pain of her recent separation still lingered, even though a year had almost past. She recalled the day Tony had told her he was leaving. He said he knew a Christian man shouldn’t walk out on his family, but she had refused counseling long enough. He would not go on knowing she’d never be pleased with him. He would rather free her to think about their marriage. He could not be her Mr. Perfect. He was trying to provide for his family the best he knew for the time being. If that wasn’t enough for her, then he didn’t know what else. Her bitterness and anger allowed him to go. He never wanted anyone but her, so he quietly rented an apartment near the kid’s school and set out to be the best Dad he could, since he obviously couldn’t ever be the husband she wanted.
Susie had since picked up the study on I Corinthians, Chapter 13 that the Pastor’s Wife had given her as a gift before the last move. This past summer, she spent her quiet mornings alone working on her lessons before the kids woke up. That is where God met her in a very powerful way. Verse by verse she recognized the sin that drove her husband away. At first she wanted to justify her actions. After all, he knew that all she ever wanted was to settle into a cozy home-life and raise her kids in a safe place. But Tony’s job kept them on the move. Not to mention the overnight travel at the end of every month. She knew if he would just change jobs, they could find a place to stay and she would be happy. That’s what any good father would do. Every time she brought it up the last couple of months he just withdrew from conversation, until…
But now she admitted her sin; confessed it to God – and to Tony. She knew God forgave her repentant heart right away. It would take some time for Tony to see that the change in her was genuine. Then maybe they could start over in mutual love, based on God’s truth.
For now it seemed God had brought Kate into her life in His perfect timing. She recalled her own past experiences of “do gooders” trying to change her when she didn’t see the error of her ways, judging her when they didn’t even know her. She just didn’t want to come across that way to Kate, who had so quickly become a dear friend. She knew she needed to be bold and speak the truth. She loved Kate too much to not be honest. It was time for Kate to hear Susie’s whole story – and time to warn Kate about walking the same destructive path.
Susie prayed silently, “Dear Lord, give me courage to be a true friend. Help me be Your light in Kate’s life. Prepare her heart for Your truth. Prepare my words to give You glory. Amen.
She picked up the phone and dialed.
“Oh, hi, Kate. It’s Susie…Hey, I was hoping we could get together this afternoon. There’s something we really need to talk about…”
My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover a multitude of sins. James 5: 19-20 NIV
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