Josh left for Texas yesterday. He is in the military and he has a 30 day training. I thought that when he left I would be relieved but what actually happened was – I got depressed. I went to work for the first time in weeks and my daughter and I had an enjoyable afternoon together but when I dropped her off at school for colorguard, I finally had my long anticipated melt down. There is a spot in my living room where I cry to the heavens and I was led there again yesterday.
My emotions weren’t making sense to me at all and with Josh completely cut off from me for the first time, I was at a total loss and I was sad. I started my prayer time with “God, lead my prayers. I don’t know how to pray and I don’t know what to pray for.”
In the hour that I cried, the Lord led my thinking – yet again. I confessed that knowing Josh was with “TJ” was easier for me to handle than to have no idea how, or even IF, the Lord was working on him during his drive (which has been a longtime prayer of mine lately). It seems crazy but then it came to me. Control. I am still trying to control things. God is clearly not done with me in this weakness. So, not knowing how to pray was a good start.
Even my prayers for Josh’s redemption have been tainted in selfishness. I tried to convince myself that the marriage didn’t matter as much as his salvation and there is a part of me that still believes it but…deep down I was hopeful that if he came back to Christ, Christ would lead him back to me. Manipulative “Control.”
I had given Josh two CD’s for his drive. One was a sermon that I hoped would resonate with him a bit and the other was a mix CD of different songs (mostly Christian) that God had brought to mind over the last few weeks. In my prayer time, I said, “God, for all I know, Josh threw those CD’s away before he even pulled out of the driveway!”….I was broken. For the first time, I also confessed that I was afraid of God’s will because it might not align with what I wanted for myself. “God, I can pray for Josh until I’m blue in the face and it may not be Your will. I can’t be responsible for his actions. I’ve done all I know to do. Have Your way in me. I am responsible for my own actions, my own faithfulness in this time. What do you want me to do?”
I immediately started get texts from work and friends regarding financial issues; several in a row. I interpreted that to be God’s way of saying, “Be about your business. Go to work. Take care of the kids. Keep up with the household.” The reality is that was all I could do anyway. I was completely cut out of Josh’s path back.
I felt better from the crying, for sure. I said, “OK, Lord. I will be faithful with what You have entrusted me and trust that “the good” you have for me is better than what I can plan for myself.” I responded to the texts, returned phone calls and sat on the couch to watch some Olympic coverage.
Not 5 minutes later, my phone jingled. It was a text from Josh “200 miles from El Paso..also, thanks for the CD and sermon. I listened to both of them already.”
Friends, I laughed out loud and raised my eyes upward. Another piece of Manna from heaven. How could I have wavered?…
So the prayers continue and with more intentionality. My brother-in-law has been led to start a 30 day prayer project with any who want to be a part. It starts today. The rules are easy. Every morning, before 8am (your time) pray for Josh. He is periodically sending out specific requests via email based on the Lord’s leading or my needs. He is adding some scripture to reflect on and will likely challenge some sort of collaborative fasting in the midst.
So many people have asked me, “How can I help you? I’m serious. I’m just a phone call away. I can pick up groceries or watch the kids. Anything!.”
Well, here it is; My big ask. Join our club. It’s OK if you missed the 8am deadline today….and quite frankly, probably most of you did pray for us this morning before 8 and didn’t even know you were participating. Please respond to this blog (if I already have your email) that you are committed to pray for 30 days with us and I will forward your email to my Bro. Please don’t put your email in a post here. Send it to me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org. I assure you, he won’t try to sell you Amway.