Spiritual Non-Fiction posted October 30, 2017


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Never Give Up on a Friend

by MelB


When I met Patty, she was married with four children, and an abusive husband. She was referred to me through our mutual friend, Brenda. I talked to her about coming to me for counseling, but she wasn't ready. She brought her kids out to ride the horses and they stayed for three hours. The kids loved it and I'm sure you could hear the giggles for miles! Coming to the ranch, gives people a chance to forget about their problems for a while and bond with these beautiful animals. Horses have a gentle touch, and know the right way to respond, especially to the kids.

I encouraged Patty to separate from her husband, until he could get some help for his anger and abusive behavior. I stressed numerous times, it needed to be for a minimum of six months, until he completed an anger management program or counseling. He moved out, and went to one counseling session, but was done after that. She allowed him back into the house, and told me things were going to be great. I knew better.

Patty attended one of my sexual abuse recovery groups, where I spoke truth to her about many things that had happened in her life. She mentioned books she was reading by a pastor who used to lead a church of 10,000 people in the area. He was a very godly man, but opened himself up to the New Age occult, fell off the rails, and moved to San Francisco, California. I warned her about his teachings, and told her about my mentor, and how she and her husband had helped him start this church. Patty got upset with me, but we were able to move past it, and finish the group.

Patty ended up getting a divorce, and I didn't hear from her for six months. I sent her messages on Facebook, and by phone, but there was no response. Finally, she messaged me, and asked to meet me for lunch. When we met, I could instantly tell something was off about her, but I couldn't place it. When, she talked, she kept saying two words, "my girlfriend." After hearing this several times, I said, "When you say 'my girlfriend,' do you mean a friend that's a girl or an actual girlfriend?"

"I mean girlfriend," Patty said as she waited for my response.

"Well, that explains why you've avoided me for six months."

"Yes, I was afraid you wouldn't be my friend anymore."

Oh, God help me to say the right thing here. "Well, I can tell you I wasn't expecting to hear that today! But, I love you and you're my friend. You do know I stand one hundred percent with the bible though?"

"That's why I thought you'd drop me as a friend."

"Well, you were wrong about that. I still love you and you're still my friend."

After lunch, I sat in my car, and prayed. "Lord, please help me. I hope I said and did the right thing here. I don't know what to do. Please, show me how to handle this situation, Lord."

After this, I noticed Patty isolating herself from her friends. Her Facebook posts became angry and controversial. I invited her to bring the kids back to ride the horses, but she never came. Every time she was supposed to come over, this woman she was in a relationship with would stop her from coming. I knew it was because I am the one person in Patty's life who will speak the truth in love to her, even if it costs our friendship.

I prayed for God to show Patty that this relationship was not right for her. My gut was telling me Patty was in another abusive relationship. When I spoke to our mutual friend, Brenda, she confirmed my suspicions. Unfortunately, Patty's ex-husband and his sister told Patty, she was going to hell and she had demons. She had some friends drop her, and one person told her she was abusing her children by being in a lesbian relationship. Well, thank you people! You just made my job ten times more difficult!

I showed support to my friend, and told her I was sorry that these people had wounded her with their words. She showed up at my house one day, and was almost at rock bottom. She told me she didn't believe God wanted her in this relationship. I looked her directly in the eyes and said, "No, I don't believe He does." Inside, I was doing a fist pump! Patty was struggling with depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. I spoke truth to her about many things that night, but again, I didn't touch the relationship. I sensed it wasn't time, and continued to pray for my friend.

I prayed for more than six months, asking God to convict Patty that He didn't want her in this relationship. Finally, she got out of it, and moved out of the house they were sharing. Her kids were having behavioral problems through all of it. Her oldest daughter even said, "Mom, you are making me want to be an atheist!"

I looked for places for Patty to live, offered moving boxes, to help her move, and even helped her find work. I talked to her again about counseling with me, but said I would help in any way she wanted. One day, I got a message from her asking me about baptism. I said, "Yes, that would be a wonderful thing for you to do!"

Patty replied, "I know...I'm asking if you'll do it?"

"Oh, my, I was afraid of that! You know I'm a biblical counselor, not a pastor. So, I don't know if I can do it."

"You can. I already checked."

"Let me check that out, and I'll get back to you."

I checked with my mentor and it turned out I was qualified. She told me to look in the book of Acts about baptism. There are no special instructions listed, as far as who can do a baptism. She also asked me if John the Baptist or the disciples were pastors. I guess my excuses were running out.

I called Patty and discussed details. I asked if she was planning on anyone attending. She said she might want her kids there. I said, "Wouldn't it be amazing if your kids wanted to get baptized too?"

"Yes, it would."

"Well, I'm going to pray for that this week. See you next weekend!"

A week later, I showed up at the lake Patty chose in a small resort. I pulled into the administration building parking lot, and within two minutes had a jeep pull up behind me.

Good grief, this joker is parked awfully close to my bumper! What's he doing? As he approached my car, he read off my license plate number, and I realized he was a security guard. He walked to the door, and I opened it.

"Hello, I'm meeting a friend here. Is there a problem?"

"We don't usually have people pull into this parking lot."

"She wanted me to meet her across the street at the golf cart place, but I didn't think there was room to park over there. Do you need me to move somewhere else?"

"No, this is fine. We just sometimes get riff raff around here."

Riff raff. Really? Do I look like riff raff, buddy? "She should be here any minute and then we'll be moving on."

"Okay, no problem."

Well, if this is a problem...I should hit him with why I'm really here. "Say, my friend would like to be baptized in the lake. Would we be able to do that here?"

"Oh, I don't think we can allow that here. Are you a member?"

"Nope, but my friend's dad either is or used to live in here for a number of years. She can tell you when she gets here."

"Well, who is going to do it? Are you?"

"Sadly, yes," I laughed.

"Well, let me check."

"Okay." Great! This should be interesting!

After Patty talked to Mr. Security, he decided we could go down to the lake and do the baptism. However, there was one catch--he and his other security buddy had to come down and watch.

"Great," I said. I got back in the car, and followed the caravan. You have got to be kidding me! What are we going to do, steal sand?! I looked up at the roof of my car and said, "Dear God, you are really testing me here. You know I don't like lakes or cold water. I've never done this before and now, you're going to add the Wonder Twins to the mix to watch. That's just great! I mean, you are really stretching me out of my comfort zone here!"

Before we went down to the water, I asked Patty if she had ever asked Jesus into her heart. She had done that the week prior. I also asked if she would like to repent of the relationship she was in with the woman. She expressed she did, and that she knew deep down it was not what God wanted. I gave her a prayer to do. After she repented, she gave me a big hug. I told her that I've known all along that I had to be careful what I said to her, especially after others had wounded her so deeply. She was appreciative of the way I handled it.

Here's the reason I had Patty repent: "Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God." 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 NASB

That night, I baptized Patty, her four children, and her friend's son. Every time someone came up out of the water, signifying new life, we all cheered, and Patty's dog jumped out of the water in celebration. Through the cold water, the mucky bottom of the lake, and yes, even with the Wonder twins looking on, it was one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had in my life! If someone would have told me I would be baptizing six people in a lake in October in Michigan, I would have laughed till it hurt.

Before we left, since the security guards had made me even more uncomfortable, I decided to have a little fun with them of my own. I did my best Phil Robertson impersonation, and said, "Ya'll want to get in on this?"

One froze like a statue, and the other guy darted his eyes around, and said, "No, I'm good." I didn't think they would take me up on the offer, but I had fun making them squirm for a moment. I had a good laugh, and so did the others. Afterwards, we thanked them for allowing us to use the lake.

Patty thanked me, and hugged me two more times before we left. I said, "Love ya girl, and I'm so proud of you!" Patty had been suffering from anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. Since that night, she is doing better and hasn't had any suicidal thoughts. She has more healing to do, but I believe this was a huge step in the right direction!

Never give up on a friend. Prayer can change things!


Recognized


Sorry the picture is sideways. I'm trying to fix it, if I can.

*Names were changed.

Convict - I did mean to use this word over convince. When I use the word "convict" in a prayer, I've found it is very powerful and I've had great results with it!

I've shared this because it was an incredible experience for me and one I never even dreamed I would do in my life! I also shared it because I was deeply concerned for my friend, and I believe prayer works. I don't know if I handled everything exactly as I should have, but I will tell you, I've never prayed so hard for someone in my life!

If you are a Christian, please be careful how you talk to your friends engaged in sin. Remember, we are to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), and we are to bring our brother back to Christ. Speak gently, lovingly, and most of all pray!

Ezekiel 3:17-21:
17 Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman to the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from My mouth, warn them from Me. 18 When I say to the wicked, You will surely die, and you do not warn him or speak out to warn the wicked from his wicked way that he may live, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. 19 Yet if you have warned the wicked and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered yourself. 20 Again, when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I place an obstacle before him, he will die; since you have not warned him, he shall die in his sin, and his righteous deeds which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. 21 However, if you have warned the righteous man that the righteous should not sin and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; and you have delivered yourself.

I realize the subject of homosexuality stirs up strong emotions in people. If you are not a Christian, you will not agree with the Bible. That's okay with me. If you are a Christian, you still might not agree with the Bible. That's okay with me too.

Before you review, please remember that I did not write the Bible. I am a Christian, and a Biblical Counselor, so I do believe every word of the Bible is true. Therefore, if you disagree with me, that's fine. However, I don't need to know it. Just critique this on grammar, punctuation, etc. If you can't do it, then please respectively pass up the review.

If you have questions, or want to respectfully chat with me about it, please private message me, and I will be happy to talk with you. I've taken a great deal of explosive criticism on here for my faith, and I will not put up with anymore abusive comments toward me! Thank you in advance for respecting my feelings. Love to you all, Mel

This article explains in more detail about the unrighteous verse, what repentance means, and how it's possible to be saved and inherit the kingdom:
https://www.str.org/blog/unrighteous-will-not-inherit-kingdom-will-i#.WffsGtCnHIU

Phil Robertson is an American professional hunter, businessman, and reality television star on the former popular television series Duck Dynasty. He is also featured on the television show Buck Commander, a hunting program on the Outdoor Channel. His new show, In the Woods with Phil, will be starting soon on CRTV.
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