The challenge of walking with the God who knows me
Names changed throughout except in some cases where the person involved has been or is in ministry.
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17
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“You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God you will receive what He has promised”
“Will you invite me to put my finger on an area of your life that needs changing?” The request from God was not one that I took lightly. I had given permission before, and had suffered. The results however had been wonderful, and my freedom with him had increased. The previous time I had responded to a rather challenging talk. Now God had taken the initiative to approach me!
Well, whatever it was, I knew I could trust him, and whatever the pain, the results would be worth it, so I gave permission. In the months that followed I began to get verses on suffering.
Now, as I visited Eva in the few days we had before my return to England, her father asked me if we could have a word in private. He instructed me in no uncertain terms that I was to leave his house; never see his daughter again and never come back! That was quite a surprise! Eva had warned me, but it still took me aback. All I could say was that God had told me that we were to get married and so for me to leave Eva would be disobedience to him. I could not do that.
Eva and I went for a walk. Eva wondered if it was worth pressing on. I had not understood that though I was certain Eva could not see into my will. She had to judge whether I was going to go the whole way or give up when the going got tougher. So, we went through what God had shown us at Show Low, that God had spoken and that we had to go with him to the best of our ability. Eva agreed, and we were back on track. It was hard for her because she would be the one to carry the greatest burden.
One of the hardest issues I had was to ask Eva’s father’s blessing for the wedding. It seemed like a complete contradiction in terms. How could he possibly? Yet we felt that above all we should honour him in every way and that this was important. Amazingly after a little delay and some intervention from others, he did give his blessing!
All through our courtship the issue with Eva’s father was the key issue. Neither of us had really confronted authority before, so this was our baptism of fire. He was one of the strongest authority figures that I have ever met. It was really hard to see what Eva had to go through while I was off in England, There was a continual pressure on her from her father, and her mother though in favour of the match had to side publicly with her husband. Eventually she was kicked out of her home – thankfully, Jim & Mary Williams took her in. When this did not have the desired affect she was taken back in again.
Throughout the engagement there was constant manipulation. The worst was that if we wanted Eva’s father to come to the wedding then either we were to marry in two weeks or in two years, and that during the two years Eva was to go to Bolivia as a missionary and be out of communication. We just had to say that if he wanted to come to the wedding he was more than welcome, but the date was fixed.