Sunday, November 7, 2010
A Found Sheep
Olivia is our first born child. She is sweet but stubborn, dramatic but fun, loves a routine but can be flexible in her own timing. She is 15 and dying to drive. The past two years, she has been fighting for an independence her parents were not ready to give. There was a maturity not yet there but we can say she is well on her way to gaining that independence. The past 2 years have been hard on her and us. She has been struggling with her faith in God. She was not tempted by the world in the sense that most teenagers are. She has no friends that party or drink. In fact all her friends were pointing her to Christ and praying for her. Her rebellion was internal.
Surrendering is hard for us all don't you think? We want to do things our way and not have to depend on anyone. Olivia's questions were quite mature. How do you know God is there? If he's real, why doesn't he answer my prayers? We gave her all the right answers and met these questions as best as we could but for 2 years it was not good enough. We resolved to pray for her and build a trusting relationship with her. Whenever we asked some personal questions about her relationship with God we met with resistance. A wall would go up. I can't tell you how hard this was. Mixed with her teenage independence that she so desired, she was also grabbing after an independence from God!
She understood the seriousness of this decision. No one can walk the wide road and the narrow at the same time. You can't do all the right things but have a cold heart towards God.
Rich and I struggled with our perfect family not being so perfect. One of our sheep had strayed. How could this happen? We did all we knew to do. We banned together as a family and prayed, fasted, patiently waited for God to move. It's been a long two years but God was working the whole time!
Little did we know that he was slowly softening her heart.
Last Friday, October 29th, she surrendered her life to Christ! She spent the night with a girlfriend, who has been praying for her and through their conversations that night and much praying together, she laid it all down. She said later that she felt a battle raging within her and that Satan and Jesus were pulling her back and forth. She had to make a choice. Of course, she had to choose Jesus for his love is overwhelming! She came home crying with joy and in awe at how much God loves her. She was so excited she had to tell ALL her friends. Her brother, Anthony, was so moved that he began to cry too. He has been fervently praying for her for so long and God answered his prayer! His BIG prayer had been answered. I was stunned because I never saw it coming. Just goes to show that we need to keep praying even though it appears that those we are praying for are still hardened.
This week has been rough but nothing is as bad as when you try to live without God. Olivia's attitude has changed. I can now direct her towards her heavenly Father for help when it's rough and my advice is not falling on deaf ears. She is eager to know God. The lost sheep has been found and we are rejoicing!
Posted by Olivia at Sunday, November 07, 2010