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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Second Chances

In high school I had a best friend who ended up taking a very different route in life than I. While I got married, had kids, went to church, she became addicted to Meth, had several children from different fathers, and made money in unthinkable ways.

We had not talked since high school, but I would hear stories of what had become of her. Several years back she called me. She was in a rehab center, and had been talking about the people who meant the most to her. She called me to tell me that person was me.

Even though I was a Christian at the time, I turned my back on her. I told her that her lifestyle wasn't something I could deal with and told her not to call me again. I had two little babies at home and one on the way, and I was afraid. Afraid to reach out.

For years I regretted that phone call. As God has convicted me over the years to not fear the lost but love them, she has come into my thoughts and prayers again and again. I've often prayed for a second chance. A second chance to love her as she is... as Christ would. To share with her a God that could wash away her sins... like he did mine.

Last night I thought of her again. For the first time, I decided to search for her on the Internet. Several hours later I came up with nothing. Again, I offered up a silent prayer for her.

Today my husband called me. Guess who called him today? YES! It was her! Through a very complicated web of events, she had ended up with his work number. It had NOTHING to do with my web search the night before... but EVERYTHING to do with GOD!

I called her the first free second I had. My first thought was of how rough she was. She talked like a hard woman. Only 32 years old, she sounded every bit of it and then some. She was raising three kids on her own, working several jobs to pay the bills, puffing an a cigarette as we spoke.

Our lives are worlds apart. I was almost embarrassed to share about my comfortable life. I have had it SO good. She... has not.

After several minutes of talking, she started to talk about her hobbies. She shared how she goes downtown to minister to the drug addicts on the streets. How 9 years ago (right after our phone call) her life changed when she met God. God delivered her from drug addiction, and now her mission in life is to see others delivered as well.

I sit here in awe. My ex drug addict friend is doing more for the kingdom of God right now than I ever DREAMED of doing. She is reaching people only she can reach. I can see her now, in the worst part of town, cigarette in hand proclaiming Gods love. THAT is beautiful to me. BEAUTIFUL.

LOOK AT WHAT OUR GOD CAN DO!!!!!!!!!

I asked for a second chance to save her, but clearly I didn't need one. GOD does the saving, with or without me. But God DID give me a second chance to love her.

...There is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away! Luke 15:7

14 comments:

javamamma said...

I love God's amazing grace! And how He used you to impact your friend's life - both then and now!

Becky said...

I'm bawling my eyes out reading this! That is SUCH a beautiful story.

Praise the Lord for second chances!

While your friend ended up on a different path in life, the Lord has now made that path straight for her...has given her new life and new direction, and she'd probably never change a thing, because it was what finally led her to Him. Her ministry is definitely different from yours, as she reaches out to those that are on the same rocky path she was on all those years, but yours is nonetheless important to the Kingdom of God.

You've spoken about rearing your children to stand up for their beliefs in public school, and to help the oppressed, and your having opportunities to speak to other moms and such...THAT, my friend, is a big part of your ministry. You are raising the next generation of Christian leaders!

This was such a beautiful testimony to the Lord's incredible Grace and Mercy...and a wonderful answer to your prayers.

Rejoicing with you!

Emily said...

Isn't it hilarious that God simply doesn't NEED us? Ever. We're really usually in the way, that's the truth of the matter.

You're always so open about your failings. I love that about you. (Even when I'm sittin at home thinking...MAN, she's WAY too hard on herself) You're Willing to share where you've stumbled to encourage others not to make the same mistakes. That takes guts and maturity to boot.

Love ya.

Halfmoon Girl said...

Wow, what a story. I have regrets like you too. I know God will use someone else if I refuse to do it, but I really don't want to be answering for those times! Praise God that she loves Him now and is reaching others. Her contacting your hubby was so not a coincidence!

Rachelle said...

Amen...Good Post!

Gayle @ thewestiecrew said...

THIS, Karlie, is probably one of my favorite posts from anyone ever.

Seriously.

It just speaks SO many things about our God and how His mercies are amazing...and how we aren't....and how He gently reminds us of that yet loves us like crazy anyway... So much.

GREAT post.

Angela said...

I have a friend from high school whom last I spoke with when she was in a mental hospital suffering from anorexia and she was really out of touch with reality. I pray that one day I will have the chance to talk to her again, if she is still alive! I am so glad that your friend knows God! I really hope my friend's story will have a happy ending, too! That is awesome that she called your husband. God is so cool!

carrie said...

that is a perfect example of what God is all about. I love that. I love what He does for people and I love that it's not up to us.

His Girl said...

*sharp intake of breath*

this was a phenomenal, amazing story.

beautiful in every way.

How great is our God!

Cindy-Still His Girl said...

Powerful, Karlie. I am trying to think of something else amazing to say, but I'm stuck.

EEEEMommy said...

Beautiful!

Christin said...

this is an AMAAAAZZZING story. I'm still...wow, I'm just speechless.

Love it.

And woo-hoo for me. I just became a follower. I've added myself to your faithful fanclub. *wink*

I know. I'm behind on the times. what can I say? but I just figured the whole thing out today. It's a wonder I can turn on the tv.

Joanne@ Blessed... said...

What a great post!

Sandy said...

Tears...best story I've heard all week.