Taking Off The Badge
Sometimes are you overcome and overwhelmed with the sheer love and patience God bestows upon you?
Glad it’s not just me.
His relentless persistence to get through to my heart and more, my thick-head, is astounding. In the weeks since the conference, I feel like I’m reading scripture for the first time. I’m in love with the book of Luke right now and can’t get enough. I’m reading that book like it was personally written for me. Scripture verses have new meaning, depth and POWER in my life.
And my friends I want to share a scripture passage that I hope utterly brings you to the floor with worship and prayer and then raises you up to the purpose and the power it is intended. And it is a scripture written just for us, spouses who live with pre-believers, doubters and even those hostile to Christ.
So, get ready. I’m not sure how long this post will be but I’m writing until the entire story is out. Because it is HIS-story and all for His glory.
He Breathed On Me
I think I mentioned in the post about Maria that God was intentionally selective about the conferees that He placed around us during the three day event. Our God did not waste one minute of the conference. He sent Helen to us at lunch and Maria next to me in the audience and Laura prayed with us in the bathroom. That story still makes me chuckle (a tale for another day, I promise).
But God also used Heidi, Dineen and me as we spoke truth and love into each other’s lives. A bond of love formed between the three of us that is impenetrable, powerful, perfect and sealed in eternal love. I hope all of you experience this kind of Kingdom friendship and love.
Onward. It was the last day of the conference and all throughout the day, through people like Laura, Darlene, and Helen God was trying to talk to Dineen and I. He wanted to speak about something Dineen and I wear. You see we kinda promote this badge on our chest. I’m still struggling to figure out how it comes to rest on my chest and why. But the badge we wear says this:
I’m unequally yoked.
Truly we have move past wearing this badge as martyrs. It’s just easy to say, “I’m unequally yoked” because in Christian circles people always reply to our declaration with a serious nod of understanding accompanied by eyes full of concern or pity and they utter one word, “Oh.” As if to say, I see, I get it, poor you.
Sheesh, just writing that makes my stomach turn. Onward.
Well after three days of proudly wearing our invisible but very discernible badges around the place and after God sending people to us to speak gently about our malady of unequalness, God was sick of us. So He sent in Heidi.
We were walking along the road to a nearby restaurant for dinner. Now I don’t recall the conversation specifics at the moment. I think we were talking about Laura and the words she prayed over us in the women’s restroom. And Heidi with trepidation in her voice says, “Did you hear what she was saying to you?”
“Ya, I thought I did.”
Heidi looked at me and Dineen with uncertainty in her eyes and then she ventured, “I really don’t know how to say this and I’m not saying this to be hurtful or anything but I don’t think you are hearing what God is saying to you.”
I froze in my tracks on the side of the road with cars passing by. I stared at Heidi and Dineen was standing right there frozen as well. “I just hear God telling me to tell you this. ‘Your marriages are not mismatched or unequally yoked. Your marriages are mine. Your husbands are mine.’”
Instantly I felt chastised by our most loving and Holy God.
Heidi rushed on, “Please don’t be mad but I hear God telling me to say to you, ‘They are mine.”
That instant my heart broke wide open. I felt ashamed that I had not believed God about this and even more shame that for so, so long I’ve worn this stupid “spiritually mismatched” badge about my person.
She said, “Your words have created a prison where you have held your husband in a cell.”
Pain. O, the pain.
However the pain and shame instantly left me as I said to Heidi, “Oh Heidi, you are right. God is so right.”
It was at the moment that I opened the doors of the prison. I tore off the badge and I surrendered it to God. I remember saying to Heidi and Dineen, “This changes everything. Even our ministry. Perhaps we are to even change our ministry name?” A million thoughts rushed into my head. And those thoughts Dineen and I are still wrangling with today.
Out of this entire exchange what has remained profound and clear to me are three words that the Father spoke to me and Dineen, “They are mine.”
My friends, deep calls to deep. Step into this deep with me and see if you can uncover the truth of those three words in your life. What are the implications? Why it is God would say this to Dineen and I, “They (our husbands) are mine.”
Now I have to also be clear in this. Heidi spoke these words as they were placed upon her through the Holy Spirit and they were intended for Dineen and I. However, I also believe they are intended for our community. But there is a progression or a spiritual shift that happens within us that allows God to speak these words to those of us who live with an unsaved spouse. And it’s this development, this shift that changes everything. And I’m desperate to share this with you so that you don’t have to be hit upside the head from a close friend on the side of the road.
But, this post is way too long for today. So join me on Friday as the BEST part of this story still awaits.
Oh on Monday, I have another astonishing story to share and you play a distinct part in the telling. I can’t wait to tell you the story and see how you take us to the ending.
I love you. I really love you… Choose love my friend. Living in the Presence, Lynn.