I have this week had two very refreshing encounters with some women in my life. Both Maki Bayard and Breehan Pfeiffer shared their testimonies with me, which greatly encouraged and strengthened me as a Christian.
Maki and I had set out to have a Bible study together, but we were the only ones who showed up. It was sad for both of us, but we decided to pray for the people who did not come and then spent the time encouraging each other with what God is doing in our lives. It was time well used! In hearing her testimony, it was nice to hear something different than what I am accustomed to, but the thing that surprised me was how similar it is even to mine. How interesting that God uses very different situations in everyone’s lives but that they are similar seasons of good and bad times that we all go through as God pulls us closer to Him.
Breehan’s testimony I expected to be similar to mine, and it was familiar to me as she told it. Grew up in church. Pulled a John the Baptist. (In a position where everyone looked to her as “the Christian” she still had doubts and went to Christ to get the answers. Luke 7:20 It’ll catch on.) Got saved. God brings her closer to Him.
I shared my testimony with her too. It was so wonderful to relate how God has changed me over the years. However, the most interesting thing related to a question she had. I have no doubt whatsoever that the answer was not my own but prompted by the Holy Spirit. She asked how to deal with attraction and admiration of a person without it becoming a sin.
Looking back over my life, the best relationship positively fitting this situation, that I could remember, was between me and Tanner. I had a huge crush on him and admired him greatly. We never dated. All through my years growing up though, I thought very highly of him and wanted to at the very least stay his friend.
I consider how I am still friends with him to this day, and that his wife is my absolute best friend ever, and how much joy it gives me to see them together serving the Lord as a couple. It just blows me away how God has kept this relationship intact and still blesses me through it.
I remembered how I had prayed for him- “God bless Tanner” in this area or that. “God make Tanner better at the guitar.” “God give Tanner courage to step up to the microphone.” “God give Tanner some humility.” “God give Tanner a good wife.”
This doesn’t mean that I never hoped that that “wife” might be me, because I did. I do, however, very acutely remember telling God that if He didn’t give me Tanner, that I expected Him to have someone even better suited for me than I thought Tanner was. My literal prayer was “If it’s not Your will for us to be together, I know that You have someone even better waiting for me, and I will wait on You.” I prayed that kneeling in the brown carpet floor of my bedroom with tears in my eyes listening to Nicole Nordeman singing “Small Enough” in the background.
Looking back, God has answered all of those prayers!
Tanner is the leader of praise and worship in the simulcast service at church. His guitar skills and voice have improved. He has grown in courage and become a leader in our church. and he is much more humble. Oh. And his wife? She’s beautiful, kind, and generous. I love her.
Now, I’m not perfect. I have at least two other relationships in my past that God taught me a lesson the hard way with. I can rejoice that God has healed me and forgiven me when I look back on those times. I assure you, though, that prayer was lacking in my relationships with those people, and that’s very likely why those relationships had to end the hard way.
So, I told Breehan to turn her admiration of anyone in her life into prayer. Whatever she saw that she appreciated in a person- pray that God will use it for His glory/ that God will strengthen the person in that area or skill/ that God will keep that person close to Him and away from sin. That way she has a pure outlet for the admiration she feels and she can love the person in a holy way, by lifting them up to God in prayer.
Trust me. This was not something that I conjured up of my own intelligence. This was the Holy Spirit giving her advice through me and allowing me to rejoice in how He has worked in my life.
Thank you God for the times You have let me fall and thank you Lord for the times that You have saved me from falling! Everything You have orchestrated to be woven together in an intricate and beautiful story. All of it has worked out for my good and I praise You, Father, for Your wisdom and sovereignty!