2006 – Broussard, LA
It was a Wednesday afternoon and the phone rang…nothing out of the ordinary. Our cell phones ALWAYS rang and even when we were away from the church office we had to answer them.
But, this time around it was an old friend calling to say that he would be in town for the day. He asked if he could swing by and see us that evening. Luckily, we had a couple of hours free so we welcomed him over for dinner before church. He knew several of our friends on staff, but he only wanted to see us…He said he had something important to say.
Once he arrived, we ate dinner and shared several laughs together. We had been friends for years, so his company was easy and refreshing. Before he left, he looked at Barry and I and told us something very timely for that season in our lives. He respectfully and lovingly stated… “This isn’t it for you guys…there is so much more…you won’t always be here.”
We both sat there frozen and shocked as he encouraged us and shared what God had placed on his heart. He had no idea what we were going through, we hadn’t spoken in months. For that matter, no one really knew of our heartache…we hid the pain as best as we could. We were slowly dying and we were beginning to think that we would always feel that way. We were convinced that it was God’s will for us to be completely obedient to our leaders and pastors. It was very subtle, but they were controlling us with timely financial blessings, deceptive teachings and promises of a bright future in ministry. But, Barry and I both knew they had just shot down all of our dreams only months before…so this conversation hit a deep chord in both of our hearts.
For the first time in a long time I felt as though God was listening. In the most unexpected way, He was showing me that He cared deeply about the things that were concerning me. I genuinely trusted that God wanted us there in Louisiana, but that conversation opened up a glimmer of hope in my heart. As we walked our friend outside, I looked across the street at the church. It was beautiful and enticing, but I couldn’t help but begin to despise what it represented in our life. As we said our goodbyes I prayerfully asked God for a miracle…I asked Him to get us out of there as soon as possible. We needed His help, I knew we could not do it on our own.
But, as it is in most cases…things tend to get worse before they can get better.