Wednesday, August 29, 2012

For if You're Wondering if God Still Pursues


I talked to Robert today. I talked to him twice.

The first time was a collect call, so I ran to the closet, shut the door, stuck my finger in my other ear, and closed my eyes. I didn't want to miss a thing. (Also, he's a mumbler.)

I had heard a rumor a few days back, one that changed the whole course of my night, one that made me cry my eyes out on the couch.

Now I know for myself that it's true.

He met Jesus in his jail cell. And it's all he can talk about. It's all that he wants.

I knew Jesus was there, in that steel-barred gutter. I begged Him to hunt Robert down. I pleaded around the clock for someone to put Jesus on and wear Him right in Robert's face - right where he couldn't miss Him.

I said I would keep hoping and I meant it. But I thought the fire might take years to ignite. I was never thinking in weeks.

Skeptics will say that everyone finds Jesus in jail, and man, I wish that were true. But what I do know is that I'm learning for the very first time what it's like to fight for a soul. I know that this boy is different.

So tonight his eyes were never clearer. His spark has never been sparkier. He smiled back at us, bright teeth and dark skin, still a goof-ball with a pic stuck in his hair.

But this time, there was more when he looked back. Maybe the jailhouse teleconferences feel extra safe, but he laid himself bare. He told the truth about some thing, truths a guy with a street name wouldn't typically mess around with.

He held up his Bible, said he's reading John. He'll put Calvin on their prayer list - he'll do it tonight. He wants to go to church with us - "I'll bet you never thought you'd hear those words from me!" He ran back to his cell and grabbed a book that he wants Cory and I to read. He's already on page 60 and did a mini reading with me on the line, busting out words like "Deuteronomy" and "sovereign" like they were baby food.

God wants this kid. And I can't say that I blame him.

So thank you for your prayers (and sorry for the whole Abraham/Robert confusion). :)

Please keep praying for our big kid.

(If you're dying to see Robert, watch this. But no laughing at my man voice.)

72 comments:

  1. shivers! in awe of how good God is. Prayers for Robert and your family. Thanks for this follow-up. Good news indeed :)

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  2. Oh what fabulous news to read tonight! Praise God and thanks for the reminder that He still pursues. Holding onto that truth!

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  3. amen amen amen. a thousand times over. :) i would love to say i don't wonder... and then i read this and my heart breaks for how i need Him to increase my faith. good gap- standing girl. :)

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  4. Thegirlsometimesknownasunicorngirl...August 29, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    What awesome news! I'm sure there are several unicorns circling around the clouds rejoicing that their young has seen the light...ok...that went down a different path then intended...but in real life...really awesome and exciting update...and so encouraging for you all I'm sure!! ; )

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  5. woot woot. I have been praying. I am so ding dang happy to read this!

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  6. Oh I am praying for his sweet soul.thankyou jesus that he is seeking you, walk with him lord, hold him in your hands. Thankyou lord.

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  7. So happy for Robert! So happy for you! I'm thinking of heaven rejoicing over Robert!!! Goosebumps, girl, GOOSEBUMPS!

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  8. Absolutely LOVE this. Never underestimate what God wants to do. I am so proud of you guys for standing alongside Robert, when most others wouldn't. I am proud to call you guys my friends.

    Thank you for demonstrating unconditional love, persaverence for those that God brings across your path.

    I will continue to pray for you all and for Robert and the impact, that God is having in that jail because of Robert and the investment you choose to make.

    Can't help wondering about all those people who "questioned" you bringing Robert into your house, those that questioned your judgement for investing into his life.

    If they matter to God they have to matter to us.

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  9. our God is so good... good to bring beauty from ashes. just as he thought his life was over, it is now only just begun!!! PTL!!!

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  10. So great!! Im always amazed at His love for us...I love how He hunts us down. Crying happy tears for your Robert tonight.

    XOXO,
    Angie from Ohio

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  11. hallelujah!!!! a praise song just burst forth in my heart! tell robert all your blog sistas are PROUD to be his sister too<3

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  12. So beautiful - what a good God we serve!

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  13. This is the best thing I've read in a long, long time! I almost burst out crying! What a good God we serve! What a gracious loving Father who wants to know His kids. So excited to see how He'll be using young Robert!

    Wow! Praise God!

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  14. thank you for sharing robert, and inspiring us to continue to believe for all those robert represents. i pray we all come alongside at least one, every single child needs someone to stand with them, believe for them, cry all night for them, and never give up.

    huge hug, a sigh of relief, and exhuberant joy!
    <3

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  15. Tears happy-sad-happy tears for your big kid. I will keep praying for him - that he would be continually strengthened and encouraged and comforted.

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  16. I have tears in my eyes, this is beautiful news to take to bed this evening! I am praising God, thanking Hiim for perusing our prodigals. Praising him for those that will wear the name of Jesus

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  17. I love this!! Maybe the trouble he is in is all worth it. Knowing Christ is more important than freedom.

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  18. hallelujah! Thanks for this good news, Shannan.

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  19. You've made me cry because I don't know what it is to fight for a soul, and I've got three kids and I know I should be fighting for theirs. They are little, not prodigals, but there's fighting to be done, and you've just reminded me how much of the battle is mine.

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  20. Grace, simply amazing!!!!!!!!Now you know how that Daddy felt when he looked up and saw his son coming back home. We are shouting with the angels tonight, and will continue to lift up our newest family member. He will need a lot of encouragement in the weeks and months to come. But for tonight we just stand in awe, and offer thanks to our Papa God.

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  21. Thank you for walking this thing out for us to witness Shannan. I have a few people in my life that I feel brave enough to have Jesus hunt down. My tears are joining yours. Patty

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  22. You must have been body popping in that closet!! What fantastic news. Wow. X

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  23. ...my heart leaps for joy...for your robert...for you...for all those "roberts" this robert is going to touch...blessing laney

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  24. Yay! So happy for you guys!

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  25. And we rejoice with the angels.

    God is awesome and doing His thing in Robert, in you guys... it's amazing.

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  26. This is wonderful news. Wow!

    FlowrLady Lorraine

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  27. what a great big wonderful God, to bring home the likes of robert and me. (don't know where this lands on the feasibility scale, but i'd so like to meet your robert--i love him something big through your posts already.)

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  28. Wow! I've got souls to fight for and my own is first on the list. I've been reading you faithfully for a couple of years now - it's the only "God" thing that I will allow my self to be exposed to. I've been angry since 1999 when I lost my brother to cancer. He was 37 and should not have been taken from us so soon. Keep talkin', I'm listening. And softening.

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    1. Renee, I was praising God as I read your comment...to hear you are listening and softening. Can I pray for you, that God would continue to pursue you?

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  29. Now he's my brother for all of eternity. Someday soon we'll meet on the other side and serve our Lord together forever more. That is huge! Words are not enough to express what Jesus has done for us. Thank you for choosing to let God use you, because it is a choice and it is a sacrifice. Keep looking to Him!

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  30. Hooray!!! This literally just made my week/month/some long period of time :-) And I have tears in my eyes of joy for you and Robert and answered prayers. Amd also for my Sabo . . . I am believing that God's not through with him yet either!!

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  31. This is every kind of good. I am so proud of him and for him. Praise God for He is good, ALL the time!

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  32. yay!!! may you all continue to be blessed by our most wonderful God.

    kathy

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  33. Tears of joy . Love it when God captures that soul you've been praying for. There is NOTHING at all like it. I suppose that's why the angels rejoice as well! Thanks for being a light in those dark places most of us Christians shy away from. You've pricked me in my little white cocoon.

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  34. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

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    1. My mom and sister break into this song when something good happens (they are goof-balls) so I read this comment as a song. :)

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  35. Bless the Lord! I could not be happier to read this news!

    The skeptics can stuff it. What do they know?

    I've been praying for y'all...sometimes waking up in the night to pray for Robert. Tell him I said welcome to the family. :) Great big, heaped up piles of blessings on you, FPFG!

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  36. All I can say is YEAH!!! like a kid. Way to go Robert.

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  37. I have never commented before...kind of a lurker. But this time I must. PRAISE GOD...YIPEE...HALLELUJAH...WOOHOO...GOD IS SO GOOD, SO FAITHFUL!!!
    I am beyond happy for you and yours.

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  38. Praise God the miracle of new life.
    continuing to pray for Robert....how amazing.

    It is amazing to fight for someone's soul and see the fruit of those prayers!!!
    SO celebrating with you!

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  39. Writing this through tears of joy, I am so proud of Robert! Yes, God does pursue us.everyday.he.does. Our last talk about Robert really changed my heart about loving, praying, pursuing, visiting our loved ones in jail. He needs you. They need us. God is good, His word is true and its working in Robert's life!
    yeah!
    heather

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  40. Praise God!!!! Gives me hope.....always praying for my own who has walked away <3

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  41. My heart feels so happy about this. As a momma and as someone who has people I love who haven't found Jesus, not even in their jail cells. Thank you for sharing this story

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  42. Praising God! I love this God of ours so much who will chase us til we start chasing him. I'll be keeping those prayers coming!

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  43. What wonderful news! I'm so very happy for you both. :)

    Lyndsey

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  44. WONDERFUL!!!!! Our God is mighty to save!

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  45. My husband and I have a good friend that did something very stupid and is in jail for the next 12 years. He found a relationship with Christ there thinking he already had one and finding he never did. We call jail his severe mercy. Had it not been for prison, he would have never been set free from his true bondage.

    As for you, I am reminded of the verse in Matthew 9 that states "the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few". You are laboring my friend! If only we could all have the same said of us!!

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  46. Praising the Lord as I read this!!!
    He is so, SO good.
    xo

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  47. Praise the Lord! Isn't wonderful that He finds us where we are? Praying for Robert's new faith and the impact it will have on him and others. Thanks for sharing!

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  48. Happy days! He will do whatever it takes for us to see Him. So glad Robert had you to continue to pray for him!

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  49. Praise God! Praise God! In the last couple of months I have read "Born Again" by Chuck Colson, and am now reading "Life Sentence" which describes how God brought him to prison ministry...to reach people just like your Robert. So thankful for the pursuit of our awesome God. :)

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  50. Praise the Lord and hallelujah!
    xo

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  51. I was so moved by this post and I got the shivers, which rarely happens at the tender age of 4.0!

    So glad to hear this news.

    And I laughed at your comment about the goofy pic in his hair.

    My younger sister STILL only uses a pic to do her hair. It's hilarious. Whenever I ask for a brush, I am offered said pic. I always respond "Is it 1986 and did you just get a home perm? Who uses a pic?"

    Apparently, a lot of peeps.

    What do I know.

    xoxo~

    TT

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  52. I used to go to a personal trainer that served a 10 year prison sentence for dealing drugs. He grew up in the projects and was one of 11 children. He was the only one of the 11 to get into trouble. He now works with troubled kids to show them there is a path other than the one he went down. He didn't hide the fact that he had been in prison. He would say he spent 10 years of his life in a box and during that time he knew if he made it out he would be a better person, follow God, and make a positive impact on the world. Maybe this fella will do the same!

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  53. as a child in the foster care system from the time i was about 5 to 17, i only wish that i had someone like you that knew the Lord and would have told me about a loving God that cared for my soul. im now 55 and and praise God that he did find me in my early 2o's. The Lord can really use this kid, so lets be praying that he grows!

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    1. Thank you so much for this, Debbie. Means so much. I'm so thankful for a God that picks us up - wherever he happens to find us. Just got a letter in the mail from R and it's so full of hope. I can't stop praying and praising. THANK YOU!

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  54. Oh, there is someone I have been fighting for in prayer, and I NEEDED this!
    Praise God!

    Who cares how or where that He grabs hold of us, it ONLY matters that He grabs us, and that we in turn GRAB HOLD OF HIM.

    May God magnify his mercy on Robert, and may his Spirit continue to lead Him (I know it will) and may Robert follow/submit to him, and find LIFE ABUNDANT!
    In Jesus Name, Amen!

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  55. I have a big lump in my throat - - trying not to cry at work. Amazing.

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  56. I had to wait a day to comment- too many raw emotions. I've talked through the bullet proof glass using a phone handled by who knows far too many times to count. I've seen the vacant expression after the withdrawal period, then the anger, the resignation and the defiance. That you are being blessed with a LIGHT in the eyes of this young man is so wonderful!!

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  57. Tears in my eyes. Blessing. Love.

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  58. PRAISE GOD PRAISE GOD PRAISE GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  59. Keep meaning to respond to text you, this is the coolest, best, most awesome thing that I've heard about in a very, very long time. Praying for Robert!

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  60. Keep being wonderful and believing, the world needs more people like you! Thank you for opening your heart and opening ours with you. God Bless You!

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  61. God has some mighty big plans for that young man -- I just know it!

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