Some of you may know a bit of my family’s story that includes a challenge with one of our daughters. You may have also heard of one of my friend’s influence in my life long before our own journey began. I watched her navigate the life of a Christian mom who walked close with Christ (and still does) through a very difficult relationship with her daughter.
She always shared openly with me in a season when not many women in the church were transparent. In fact, I thought she was the only Christian mom in my church who had walked this journey until my own began. Then I thought there were only two of us. Of course I found out later that was not the case, but no one else had ever shared her story with me.
For several years while my children were in elementary school, I watched this friend walk in faith, peace, and trust. I prayed for her and cried with her. I learned so much from her before I ever dreamed I would need it. As our journey of fear and confusion began, I knew God could do in my life what He had done in my friend’s life, and that it was possible for me to experience that same peace.
Several years later, after restoration and much healing, both of our stories have been shared to help others, including contributions to a book for hurting parents and blogs. Recently one blog post was submitted by my daughter. (God had used her in many ways to reach out to struggling women regarding several issues she has experienced.) That post just recently showed up on Crosswalk.com. And this was my email to my daughter and my friend who are part of this story:
I have to share with you what happened last week. I am still in awe of how God works. Janet, because you asked Alycia to write that blog post and then submitted it to Crosswalk I got an instant message from a high school friend.
She and I were pretty close through most of high school but lost track of each other after graduation. During our 40th reunion year I discovered, she had become a strong Christian, and we caught up over the Internet, but then stopped corresponding.
She sent me an instant message and said she desperately needed to talk to me after reading that blog post. I called her shortly after that and found out she and her husband had adopted children of a relative, a boy and girl, whose parents were drug addicts. The daughter has worked through a lot of stuff and doing well, but the son was not.
She asked me if our daughter had been dishonest, lied about us and run away often. I talked to her quite awhile, and now pray for her and her family continually.
Never in all my life would I have thought that after 45 years I’d be talking to a high school friend about her needs. Never would I have thought that the honesty and ministry of my daughter, at the request of a friend, would be the catalyst to reconnect us and allow me to use our experiences once again to encourage another mom.
Thank you both for making this happen. I stand in awe of God’s work on this journey.
As soon as I sent this email, I got a response from my friend who is a ministry leader herself:
Wow! God’s timing is amazing, Chris. I read your email right after reading Chapter 25 “Nurturing the Mother/Daughter Relationship” in Praying for Your Prodigal Daughter in preparation for our Parents/Grandparents of Prodigals support group tonight. Also I’ve been working on a retreat that my daughter and I are doing together in a few weeks where we’ll be sharing our prodigal story and also talking about forever friends and how social media has restored old friendships from years past!
I’m overwhelmed at how your story below touches everything I’m working on right now and how God’s timing is so perfect! I submitted this to Crosswalk in August, and they said they would run in September or October, so I had almost given up on it and then I received their email it would run on Oct. 28.
We will never know all the parents who have been encouraged to keep praying, but God does. We’re living out my definition of mentoring: sharing life’s experiences and God’s faithfulness and then praising God for how He takes our meager offerings and uses them to bless others. Humbling and motivating to keep on about His work!
Leaders: Do you see that God knows every detail of our lives and how incredibly He works it all together for our good and His glory? Michael W. Smith was a recent surprise guest at our Lifeway Chapel service. One of the songs he sang was “Sovereign Over Us,” which includes these lyrics: Even what the enemy means for evil, You turn it for our good, You turn it for our good and for Your glory. Even in the valley, You are faithful, You’re working for our good, You’re working for our good and for Your glory.
This is why we must share our stories and lead women to share their stories. Many ministry doors open when we do and God gets the glory.