Monday, September 22, 2014

Choices (Part 2)

*** This is Part 2 of a two-part story. To read Part 1, Click here. ***
            My heart was breaking for Trish. I couldn’t tell her what to do. This decision was too hard and the consequences were too great. Lord, what should I say to her?
            Tears were streaming down both our faces, knowing how difficult a one-year inpatient rehab would be. Actually, she knew, but I could only imagine. Worse than that, I tried to imagine a year without seeing my kids. It was too much. It was just too sad. I wanted it to be all right. Wasn’t it enough that she returned the phone? But I knew this was a pivotal point in her relationship with God. Lord, this is too much, too painful for her to make this decision.
            “Trish, this is your decision and you need to make it. I do know that if you decide to confess and you end up in the one year rehab program, where will God be?”
“With me.” She sobbed softly.
            Wiping my tears away, I continued, “Yes, God loves you so much Trish, and He is so proud of all you have accomplished here. God will be with you during the whole year. God will be with your girls too. He will never leave you. Who knows, maybe there are women in the rehab place that need what you have, and you will be able to share the Lord with them.”
“I know I need to tell the supervisor. I know that is the right thing to do.” She said.
            We prayed right there for the Lord to give her the words, and if possible, for the supervisor to be lenient with the consequences. We were asking for a miracle. We talked about what she should say. I told her to keep her words short and to the point, no rambling or making excuses. I had her role-play with me, repeating her confession and apology several times. I tried asking stern questions I thought the supervisor might ask, so Trish could practice responding without sounding defensive.
            As we drove back to the house, the thought crossed my mind that she could be leaving today. I might be helping her pack her things and driving her to the parole office, or waiting with her until the parole officer came to pick her up. Either way, it was going to be hard to say goodbye to her knowing where she would be going.
            Before we walked in to the supervisor’s office, I told Trish I would go in with her, but she was to do all the talking. Again, I reminded her to be short and to the point. She lost points with the supervisor before because she rambled and became defensive, and I could tell the supervisor did not trust her.
            The supervisor was intimidating as she sat behind a large black desk. We quietly sat down in the two chairs facing her. I felt like I was in trouble too. Would I also get kicked out of the program? Should I have told the supervisor three weeks ago that Trish broke the rules? I knew it. My first mentor assignment and I had blown it by not turning her in when I knew what she did was wrong.
            Trish started speaking, just as we had rehearsed. She was short and to the point, I was so proud of her. She apologized and acknowledged she was wrong and asked the supervisor to forgive her. The supervisor turned to look at me and asked sternly,
            “Did you know about this, Robyn?”
            My face flushed. “Yes, I did.”  I replied.  I knew it. This was my fault. What a terrible mentor she probably thought I was.
            “So, Trish are you only here now because Robyn told you to come?” She asked accusingly. No, she didn’t. I wanted to defend her. She made the decision on her own. I didn’t say anything.
            “No Ma’am.” Trish said. “I have been feeling guilty for a while. I could not sleep and couldn’t live with it anymore.”
            Again, the supervisor looked at me, “Is this right Robyn? Did you make her come and confess?”
            “No,” an unexpected peace came over me. “I told Trish it was the Holy Spirit speaking to her and not letting her rest. She made this decision all by herself. I am only here to support her.”
            Something changed. I could see a sparkle in the supervisor’s eye. She was trying to appear tough on the outside (and doing a great job, I might add!) but I could tell by her eyes she was proud of Trish. The Lord was softening her right before us.
            “Trish, you know what happened to the other women who got caught with cell phones, right?”
            “Yes Ma’am.” Trish responded.
            “I’m glad you came to me and confessed. This shows you are following the Lord. The Lord forgives you and I forgive you, but there are still consequences for breaking the rules. Had you been caught with the phone or had Robyn told us, I would not have any choice but to remove you from the program.” My heart leapt. Grace! We were about to see grace!
            “Trish, what do you think your consequences should be for breaking the rule?” She asked.
            Trish did not hesitate. Any other consequence would be easy compared to what we had anticipated. “I know I should not be allowed to see my daughters for the rest of the time I’m here, and I should have my other house privileges taken away.”
            “Ok, that sounds fair to me.” The supervisor agreed. “Thank you for coming in today, Trish. I am proud of you and glad you listened to the Holy Spirit in this situation.
            “Thank you, Ma’am. Thank you so much. I really appreciate this.” Trish gushed.
            Outside of the supervisor’s office Trish and I hugged, thrilled with this miraculous turn of events. We both knew it could only be the Lord.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
       In this ABC’s of Growing Closer to God, ‘M’ stands for find a Mentor or be a Mentor. Being a Mentor to someone and helping them grow in their relationship with God will help us grow stronger in our faith as well.
        ‘N’ stands for Nudge.  As we continue to walk with the Lord, we recognize that nudge inside us is the Holy Spirit pointing us toward the right decision.
       How have you felt the Nudge of the Holy Spirit recently?

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