Back in the Box!

19 06 2013

It seems like every family has at least one member who is a challenge to get along with. Ours is no exception.

*Please read note at the bottom of the page!

Several years ago, a young man joined our family. The things he said and did were an offense to our sensibilities – but he was here to stay. How on earth could I love someone who was so “unsavory?” I asked Jesus for help. It came in the most unexpected way, through the movie, “Faith Like Potatoes.”

Based on a true story, it is about a young Scottish family in South Africa, based on the life of Angus Buchan. At the beginning of the movie, he struggles with making a go of farming. Because things are not going well, he drinks, has fits of rage, and is generally a pain in the…you know!

In the middle of the movie, I sensed the Lord say, “Pay attention. This is your young man, and what I’m going to do with him.”

You’ve got to be kidding! Are we talking about the same fellow? I asked in amazement.

Yet, when the Lord speaks, it is truth and it settles deep in the heart. I sensed the veracity of His statement, though His plan seemed impossible – even for God.

Over the next several months my daughter called several times, seeking support and guidance. The things she related angered me. It took every ounce of self-control to leave this guy in the Lord’s hands.

Finally, I cried out to God, “I can’t love him. I need your help.”

Later that day I went to the fabric store. While I was in the checkout line, I noticed a red heart-shaped box. Inspired, I purchased it.

Upon returning to my home, on its cover I wrote,

“God’s. Hands off!”

Next, I found an index card, and wrote his name on it. I placed the card in the box, and replaced the cover.

Addressing the Lord, I said, “You told me that You plan to do an amazing work in this man. I know that I must trust you in this matter. That means I need to love him, and leave him in Your care. God, his behavior is so atrocious that I can’t love him. I want to fix him, but he won’t fix.”

I lifted the little heart box toward heaven.

“Lord, I’m giving his behavior to You. Only You can change his heart, so I give that to you. In exchange, I’m asking You to give me Your love for him.”

He did! It was the weirdest thing I’ve ever experienced…and the most wonderful, too.

From then on, it didn’t matter what he did, how awful his behavior was. It rolled off my back like water off a duck. Because I trusted God, I was able to teach my daughter how to trust Him as well, and to encourage her to stay put and wait on the Lord.

Of course, it wasn’t easy. My daughter would call and unload. We would pray, then hang up. Anger rising, I would grab the box, hold it up and proclaim, “Back in the Box! Back in the Box! Lord, You’ve gotta help me!” 

He always did!

The short version is that God came through! He and my daughter are raising their kids to love Jesus. What a wonderful, capable Lord we serve!

(Here’s my box, wrapped in my prayer shawl; and, yes, that is a heart-shaped potato! )                                                       Faith Potato

Watch for the post, “Faith Like Potatoes” for more of this amazing story. This was, without a doubt, the greatest miracle I’ve ever witnessed!

How about you? Is there someone in your life that makes you crazy? Why not find your own version of the God Box?

* This is not my story to tell in its entirety. Love covers a multitude of sins, and does not expose another. I have Brandon and Beth’s permission to share their story -and you will be reading more of it in the coming months. If they want to give details, they are free to do so. The exact nature of Brandon’s behavior is not pertinent to this part of his story, therefore has not been disclosed.
It is important that you know what it wasn’t. This was not a case of domestic violence. Had it been, I would have handled the situation very, very differently.
Ideally, parents should not get involved in their childrens’ marriages. Ask my sons- and daughter- in law. They will tell you that I do not make a habit of doing so. In this instance, I had a clear word from the Lord, and counseled her using the Bible as my authority. Beth was taking baby steps in her faith-walk, and had no one to advise her or I would never have gotten involved.
I’m so thankful I was obedient to His call. So are they as they prepare to celebrate their 6th wedding anniversary. This would not have been the case had I turned a deaf ear to the Lord. 
In addition, there would be no story to tell. They would have separated – or divorced, and Brandon might not have come to faith in Christ. He thanks my husband and I for loving and accepting him during the early years of their relationship.
All of this is to the glory of God, who reigns supreme. I thank Him for empowering me to believe His Word is true enough to get out of the boat…and teach my daughter what it’s like to walk on water.
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31 responses

28 08 2013
Robin Claire

Hi Tami,
I read all three of your posts on this. All I can say is “PRAISE GOD!!” He is so wonderful! You hear his voice so much. I want to hear Him as much as you do, but I’m not connected up to Him enough to get all the help and guidance I need. You make getting connected very appealing. Sometimes I do hear from Him though, loud and clear, but it’s usually during ‘a fork in the road’ times. But you had a fork in the road here it seemed. Anyway, all three posts were wonderful and I can hardly wait to read what happens next.
all blessing always,
robin

28 08 2013
lessonsbyheart

When we really need to hear from God, He makes it easy. It’s through those times that we learn how to hear His voice. Once we recognize it, it gets easier.

\o/

28 08 2013
lessonsbyheart

{thanks!}

16 07 2013
GetWithTheProgramPpl

Truly beautiful. Great idea. I’m going box shopping tomorrow. As I love M a lot…I shall find a pretty box, fill it with prayers and my love…and let God almighty do the rest. Amen.
You’re amazing! xxx

16 07 2013
lessonsbyheart

Can’t wait to see what Jesus has in store for you!

\o/

21 06 2013
Toni Sprandel

Woo Hoo! This is so awesome! The power and sovereignty of the LORD! I continue to stand amazed!! Love you!

21 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

Try it…you’ll like it. 🙂

\o/

20 06 2013
cshowers

Tami,

What an inspiring and encouraging testimony. Thank you for sharing it, and what wisdom as well. I love your God box, and I love you as well, my friend.

Many blessings to you,
Cheryl

20 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

I’m so thankful God led me to the idea of the box. It is so helpful when I have difficult people around me that I need to love – and not judge. His idea was a fantastic one!

Love you too, dear sister!

May the Lord’s face shine brightly upon you today.
\o/

19 06 2013
Deena Siddle

I disagree, we told our daughters as they got married that as problem came up not to come to us with them. Unless it was a safety issue. They could call and ask for prayer and God knows what they needed and would take care of them. The reason why is after the issue she will forgive him that is the way it works. But mom and dad will not forget. I is harmful to the relationship to let your child share with you about there marriage.

19 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

Hey, Deena 🙂

Had physical abuse been an issue, i assure you, my response to her would have been very different. I’ve been on the receiving end of more abuse than I care to recall. This was a very different situation. I’m not at liberty to share the nature of what she was dealing with.

The last thing I would suggest (and I’m glad you brought it up) is that ANYONE in a physically abusive relationship stay, pray and trust that God will protect them. He’s also given us a brain that knows when it’s time to high-tail it.

Neither do I encourage my kids to talk about their marriages. She lived three hours away without any godly support. She had no relationship with God to speak of, either. We didn’t discuss particulars, but we did discuss the faithfulness of God. He honored our faith in Him, took care of my daughter and her kids, and intervened.

Thanks for pointing out that there IS a time to remove oneself…personally, I had to go the Women’s Refuge route, complete with restraining order. 😦

\o/

19 06 2013
Pure Glory

Love how you used the box to give it all to God. What an awesome God!

19 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

My cup overflows with His love today. How would I ever live without Him?

\o/

19 06 2013
Pure Glory

You wouldn’t be living but just existing.

19 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

Amen!

19 06 2013
Elizabeth Yalian

I need several boxes! Thank you for sharing this. It is encouraging to be reminded that though we hand the prickly ones over to God, any growth or enrichment on our part is also a process.

19 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

That was the beginning of a new way of relating to people for me. I have many names in my box now, and God’s heart for them in exchange. He is so sweet to us!

20 06 2013
Elizabeth Yalian

Amen! Yes he is!

19 06 2013
vonhonnauldt

Love it! I pretty much drive myself crazy!

19 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

🙂

19 06 2013
melanie jean juneau

love it- God’s ways are not our ways

19 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

…and they work! Imagine that. 😉

\o/

19 06 2013
melanie jean juneau

🙂

19 06 2013
Larry Who

Inspiring story and practical, too. Thanks.

19 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

I’ve added many others to my box – with the same results. God is good!

\o/

19 06 2013
Rebekah L

Wow, what an amazing testimony. The love of God is transformational!

19 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

It is indeed. My dearly loved, “boxed” son in law is the one holding my granddaughter in the picture of my header. God is so good!

\o/

19 06 2013
Timothy Murray

Amazing story, thanks so much for sharing! God is amazing!

19 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

Yes He is!

\o/

19 06 2013
Karina Susanto

Great story..)

19 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

Great God 😉

\o/

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