Intersecting Stories by Brianna Richardson
I’m ashamed to say I don’t remember her name. I wonder if she even remembers me. She was a sweet elderly lady. Nicely dressed. Expensive jewelry. She appeared beside me suddenly, asking if the seat was taken. I thought it odd then: a round table of eight seats, most of them empty, yet she chose to sit directly next to me.
Later she confessed that as she scanned the room, she felt drawn to me. In her words, “there was a peace about me”. She attended faithfully for several consecutive weeks before she shared her story. Her daughter, a few years younger than me, was causing her worry. Not outright rebelling against God and her upbringing. Mostly just wondering and wandering. I could hear the concern in every word combined with a well-meaning desire to buckle up her adult child in a carseat and drive her where she believed she should go. After she finished speaking, I felt an overwhelming, uncontrollable, urge to tell her what I felt being pressed upon my spirit. “Jesus, help me word this carefully.”
“Ma’am, listening to you, I can’t help but notice a lot of “I” statements. It’s natural for you to be worried about her. But I feel like someone needs to tell you that you aren’t the main character of your daughter’s story. She is. The stress you are experiencing is a result of not understanding that you are an important supporting character, but not the author. Your story is going to be about praying for your daughter, and watching as our faithful God works a miracle to lead her back to him. Your daughter’s testimony, when she shares it, because she will have a testimony one day, is going to be of her gratitude to a faithful mother who fought for her in prayer and experiencing God’s grace. You’re worried and your heart hurts because all you can see is that the two of you are on different paths. You can’t see that the paths lead to the same place, but the author can. Trust Him.”
The woman appeared taken aback. Her body language stiff. Then, all at once, she relaxed and her eyes became watery. “Wow. I’ve….wow. You’re right, no one has ever told me that. That’s beautiful. I feel so calm. Thank you.”
The lady attended a few more times. Each time more relaxed, more joyous, with praise reports. I still pray for her and hope that she and her family are well. I believe God gave me the words to say to her because I had already experienced the pain of relenquishing a relative to God’s plans, knowing that I couldn’t follow him, nor could I stop him. It was one of the most painful and freeing things I’ve ever done. Friend, if you have a loved one who is far from God, who worries you, rest in Your Father’s perfect will. He knows what He is doing. Especially when we don’t.
You are loved.
The Lord isn’t slow about keeping his promises, as some people think he is. In fact, God is patient, because he wants everyone to turn from sin and no one to be lost.
2 Peter 3:9 CEV