I have been talking with a friend for a little while now over some of the events/choices that are going on in her life.
A little background information for this story. Tina had been married to her husband for 10 years when she felt a calling to go back to Church. Her marriage was having issues as her husband was cheating on her and they were having money issues that were pretty severe. They had two children and Tina felt a need to get some sort of stability back into her life so she turned back to God. Her husband berated her for months as she attended Church faithfully. As a last resort, her husband demanded that she either stop going to church or he would divorce her. That night she moved in with her parents.
Tina continued going to church and started going to school in order to try and get her life back on track. About two years ago, she met a nice guy who cared about her and her kids. The father was not an active participant in the boys lives, so the male attention was a nice change. Tina and Chad talked about hopes and dreams and about the events that occurred in her marriage. Tina really cared about Chad, but he had one thing going against him. Chad did not believe in God. Tina not wanting to lose what appeared to be a good thing continued to date Chad while praying that God would change his heart. Chad was really a good man, but he never had that come to Jesus moment that Tina was hoping for. Eventually, Tina understood that she made the wrong choice by being in a relationship with Chad when he was not a Christian and ended it. That was about six months ago.
During this time, Tina had quit her job as things were not going how she expected them to. She was trying to become a teacher and had graduated from college with her degree, but the school she was working at did not hire her as a teacher. Angry, she quit and began looking for another job. During this time, she began hanging out with an older man who had provided some emotional support during the divorce. This was a man she met at her church and he offered a sympatric shoulder. They had kissed once and there was some sexual tension between them during the divorce, but nothing ever came of the relationship. With Chad gone, Tina began talking to this man again. Thinking that she missed the signs from God that this was truly the man she was supposed to be with, she started hanging out with him again. So sure was she that this was God’s plan that she ended up sleeping with the guy to help solidify the relationship. The guy had an issue with conviction and avoided her afterwards. She would text and call, but he would never respond to her.
Now I have been talking to her through all points of this tale. We would talk and I would offer my council and what I felt God was saying. When Chad came into the picture, I recommended against the relationship, but I was told I did not understand because I was not privy to God’s will in her life. When the relationship ended, I pointed out where she made foolish choices, not to say I told you so, but rather to help her process and heal from the failed relationship. When she started hanging out again with the guy from her church, I warned her against the relationship as it just felt wrong. I was once again told I did not know what I was talking about because this was of God. Once it ended, I gave her suggestions as to what happened and how to deal and heal from the failed relationship.
Tina’s new path was to get a motorcycle as she had been praying for it for a year now. After the last two failed relationships, God wants her to meet a godly biker who will be a good role model and the spiritual leader of the family. Now her parents are in a Christian motorcycle club, so I understand where the influence is coming from. Well, she had a couple of auto accidents recently and the settlement money provided her with the opportunity to purchase a motorcycle. She found a motorcycle at a reasonable price and she felt that this was God’s will. Now to put this in context, she took settlement money to buy a motorcycle instead of paying down her debt or using it to move out of her parents house.
The next goal is that she wants to move away because God is calling her to an area that she will like more. Now these are her words and not just my perception of the conversations. She just got her oldest son into a Christian school with full scholarships after prayer and petition from many people. To me, her desire to move is another one of her desires to be happy. Now there is nothing wrong with wanting to be happy, but I do object with saying all of your desires are from God. If it was God’s desires for either of the relationships to work and be successful, she would have abstained from sex and tried to honor God in his directives. You do not ask for blessing of a relationship while it is functioning in a sinful manner. Well you can, but you probably should not expect the blessing to come.
You probably should not be looking for God to bless you with a recreational toy so you can go out and have fun, apart from the kids, and want it to be from God. Now God could have provided the resources and the bike and it could be from God, but with the disregard to her debt, which we are to avoid, and the dependence on her parents as she can not support herself gives me reason to doubt that this is truly the will of God. The same is true with her desire to move away. If God wants her to move, then that is great, but when you do not have a job nor can you provide for yourself and your kids, I become suspect. Especially when you state that you hate the area you live in because people are against you here. To me and from my discernment, this comes off as a carnal desire that she wants God to bless.
When I questioned her on the idea to move and the bike, I was met with anger and frustration. Once again I did not know the will of God in her life. We have desires and having desires are not wrong. It is not wrong to pray for our desires and hope God will make them happen. If we are listening to God, we will know what is right. I agree with part of that, but she has a nasty habit of confusing her desires with the will of God. The fact that she gets angry when I address it seems to confirm it for me as the flesh is rebelling against the spirit. In the end, she is responsible for her choices and I have fulfilled my responsibility of offering wise council and speaking against what I deem to be wrong.
Tina is not alone in these issues. My sister has struggled with many of the same issues, so maybe that is one reason I have taken an interest in Tina. You truly want to save them from making the same mistakes, but in the end, you can not make someone seek God first and put aside their worldly desires. Maybe part of that is the problem of the church not teaching how to better discern the motivations from desires or the hole they have in their life could be more powerful than their relationship with God. In this society, we are taught to seize opportunities that fulfill our desires, so I can truly see how this seems natural to them. I just wish and pray that they could better understand the desires that are from God and hold their desires against the Word to see what its origins are.
The saga will continue…