Beginning a journey always starts with a first step. In my journey following Jesus it seems that so many days have been filled with first steps. How many first steps are there? Do you know how hard those first steps are?
As I prayed for clarity and understanding about “this call” on my life it seemed every moment was a first step. “This call” sounds so formal. All I know if that there was a deep feeling in my gut and heart that said it was time to move on and get to know Jesus.
I was trying my best when a letter came from a “so-called” friend who had been sentenced to prison for having sex with a minor. She asked specifically for me to come see her. I had no clue why and frankly I was mad. OK – I was really scared, frightened, and WAY out of my comfort zone, which made me mad. Why had she asked to see me? Surely there were close friends she had that could come to visit.
I battled with God for days. He knew I didn’t want to go, I made that VERY clear! But that deep feeling in my gut kept telling me to “get over myself” and go. So, I submitted all my pertinent paperwork to visit her in prison. I figured that would appease God and He’d let me off the hook when it came right down to it.
He didn’t. The specified day came for me to go visit her in prison. Let me make this clear – I DID NOT WANT TO GO! I was mad. I wanted someone to go with me because I didn’t know what I was doing and this was WAY out of my comfort zone. I was basically having a hissy fit and it was all aimed at Jesus for making me go. Yes, He can get bossy when He wants something done. I was totally disgusted and said to Him, “If I just had a friend to go with me.” Whine, whine, whine!
I got my things together. In my mad, I huffed my way to the car. I turned the key and over the radio blaringly came the song, “What a friend I have in Jesus!” (Yes, I listen to loud music.) I quickly realized Jesus was the Friend that was going with me and I felt tears creeping down my cheeks. Lord, I can’t be crying now I have to be strong! I kept telling myself, “Alene, put on your big girl panties. This is going to be OK! Alene, just put on your big girl panties!”
I got to the prison and met the guard at the front. He begins to ask me all these questions and he totally FREAKED me out. As I answered there was not a question I got right, NOT ONE! So, I just got mad all over again! The guard begins to tell me that I can’t bring in my purse and everything else I had carted up there to give my “friend”. And then the topper – I HAD THE WRONG TIME! Excuse me, this is when my friend told me to come! Of course, the guard thought I should come back in two hours. Right, like I was going to hang around the prison grounds for two hours. NOT!
As I spun around on my heels, I was fuming! I was giving Jesus, my Friend, the what for. I’m pretty sure I was verbalizing it out loud. Yep I was – that totally explains the strange looks, now that I think about it!
I got to the car and knew there was no way I was going back in there! No way!
Amazingly, Jesus had different plans . . .