I looked up from the toys strewn all over my kids’ room and glanced at the clock. I calculated how long I would need to cook dinner. My husband would arrive home any minute, and my guest was still here.
Usually I have more control over the situation. I drive this friend of mine to the store about once a week. Speaking in my second language to my Indonesian friend, as we walk with our young kids around the stiflingly hot store wears me out. But at least I can say that it’s time to go and drive her home.
But this time I pulled up in front of her house, and she stayed in my car.
“I’m not ready to go home yet. Can I come to your house?”
A half hour into her visit, I wracked my tired brain for more questions, more topics of conversation to draw out my quiet friend. Then her 3-year-old son with the disability started banging his head on the floor. And as she normally does, I waited for her to scoop up her thrashing son into her arms and shout her goodbye as she struggled out my front door.
But this time she stayed.
And she began crying and talking like she’d never before shared. I already knew some of the hard things in life. Her arranged marriage to her husband who keeps her at a distance. Her strained relationship with her in-laws—with whom she and her husband live. The blame placed on her for her son’s health problems. Her distance from her God, to whom she prays in Arabic.
This time she told me more and my heart broke again. She said she wanted to leave her husband that week. I thought about this friend as a single mom, caring for an autistic son on her own, and I forgot about dinner.
I was afraid to do it, but I prayed for her to my close God, and though we don’t share our beliefs, she listened. And she stayed.
I talked about a love that never ends and comfort from a God who cares and verses that give life. I waited for her to walk away, thrashing against my words as they banged in her head, shouting her final good-bye.
But she stayed.
And dinner would just have to wait, and I knew my husband would understand, and the mess got bigger as the kids played, and her mess wasn’t going to go away with one conversation. And her heart needed more than a fixed marriage or a healthy son.
BUT, days later, she sent a text. Though this certainly isn’t the end of the story, for now anyway, she wouldn’t leave him. For now, she would stay.
By Rebecca Hopkins, Borneo Wife
Photo Credit, TibchrisLeave a Comment
Maureen@Loving This Life says
This is a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing it. Blessings to you and your husband as you serve in Indonesia…and to your precious friend. I pray for Jesus to become irresistible and real to her…that she would know His peace and His love for her.
Love this! It’s those guest who won’t leave that seem to frustrate us the most, when they also tend to need us the most. Thanks for sharing your experience!
Chrissy @ Fireflies and Hummingbirds says
We just never know when God might put us in a situation where we can really make a difference. I’m glad you let Him use you. I’m praying for your friend.
Beth Williams says
Praying for your friend to find courage and Jesus!
Thank you for being there in the moment for her and not worrying about dinner or a clean house. God has put you there for a reason and is using you–thanks for being available!
This moves me so — helping me see the Father and His heart for the broken hearted. I am so thankful for your words and beautiful heart. Thank you.
Betty Draper says
Be present….now that is an exhortatioin straight from the Lord. Will be praying your Indonesia friend comes to know the King of Kings Rebecca. For sure she is seeing something different in you.
We are missionaries with New Tribes, served for 7 years in Papua New Guinea, right around the corner from you. I have flown on those MAF planes, so very thankful for Godly pilots who give of their talents to take the gospel all over the world.
What a beautiful story. What a way for God to use you!
amy in peru says
it’s so very hard to lay our lives down, but we’re so very blessed when we do.
thank you for your shining example. 🙂
amy in peru
Heather @ Raising Mighty Arrows says
What an amazingly beautiful story! I pray the Lord continues to move in both of your hearts and does the great and awesome work in her life that He desire to do. 🙂
Angie in Guernsey says
So interesting that I came across this post after reading Jessica’s about not over-committing during the holidays. Sums it up beautifully – just to respond to God’s timings and not stick strictly to our own agendas. Lovely post.
Oh my, that’s beautiful. Thank God you were there and listened at that time she needed it. Praying it all works out and God bless you and your family.
Dianna G says
Such a moving story. Prayed for this dear woman, and for you as you minister to her.
Rebecca Hopkins says
Thank you all so much for your kind comments and your concern for my friend. Keep praying for heart-change!
perfect job perfect site
Wow what a precious story. Thank you so much for the reminder that all relationships can’t be rushed.
pame stoixima says