no one is out of reach
“What are the 3 most important qualities you’re looking for in a spouse?”
I nervously asked Kyle this question over the phone about 11 months after we first met. I don’t remember Kyle’s top 3 answers, but I do remember what answer he didn’t say – faith. Kyle reversed the spotlight onto me and asked the exact same question. My first, most important answer was faith. Houston, we have a problem.
Have you ever had the feeling in your gut that something isn’t right? Like a weighty ton of bricks in your chest or knots pulling tighter and tighter in your stomach? That is exactly how I felt after Kyle and I hung up the phone that evening. I had been praying for a spouse, and finally felt like this was my answer. Kyle was definitely not the one for me.
The next morning, I woke up with the same uneasy feelings as the night before. I began to process and pray through what to do next, and felt like I couldn’t continue to grow closer to Kyle without God as the focal point in our relationship. To my surprise, I felt the Lord whisper, “Mandy, talk to Kyle more about me.” I remember thinking, what? why would I do that? He just told me faith isn't a priority.
I felt God reply with a firm and clear, exactly.
The next evening, I prolonged bringing up faith like it was nobody’s business. Kyle and I talked about the weather, sports and any other basic, light topic that wasn’t faith. You know, just in case God changed His mind. Turns out He didn’t, and after about an hour I finally had the nerve to bring up faith.
Kyle was open to sharing and said he could see himself believing in God, but didn’t see the need to pursue a relationship with Him. His lack of faith broke my heart and inspired boldness simultaneously. I didn’t feel prepared, worthy or smart enough to answer all of Kyle’s questions about faith, but I knew I had to try. I remember feeling scared because I didn’t know how Kyle would respond, but God was with me in those moments. There was no turning back. How people respond to your faith is not up to you, but how you obey God is.
After about an hour of honest conversation, Kyle asked how he could grow in his faith. This was not the response I was expecting, and candidly, I was not prepared to give him an answer! I felt like my mind went blank. As we sat in silence, the only answer I could come up with was suggesting he read The Purpose Driven Life. One chapter a day is all it takes.
Here’s an example of why I believe with every fiber of my being that God is constantly at work in our lives: The Purpose Driven Life was sitting on his nightstand. His mom had sent it to him the week before. God was pursuing Kyle with love and intention way before I ever showed up. He pursues and loves you like this too.
Kyle held true to his word, and read a chapter of The Purpose Driven Life each day. Our phone calls became even more of a highlight because we started to openly talk about faith. If you’ve ever read The Purpose Driven Life, you know on Day 7 Rick Warren asks you to accept Jesus into your heart.
After that specific day of reading, I woke up to a moving email from Kyle. With his permission, I’m sharing part of it below:
Essentially, I feel like I have been living a good life. I consider what I do no different than that of a man with faith. The only difference is that I have not accepted Jesus into my life, and haven’t lived a life based on what God wants me to do. Instead, I have been living a selfish life based off of what I want, where I've wanted to be, and what I've thought will make me happy.
While doing my reading and my quiet time to ponder what I've read, and after really digging deep into myself, realizing how a relationship with God can change, help, or just improve someone’s life, I said a prayer to myself silently tonight. I am accepting a life that includes Jesus Christ.
I realize that faith is not an overnight thing, but I’ve never felt closer than I do now. I haven't been this excited about learning and developing myself as a person as I have been the past couple days. I am committing to realizing my strengths that God has given me to fully serve Him through being a good Christian/person/friend/husband(someday)/son/boss, etc...
I mean what I say and I am not just saying this because of the conversation we had a week ago. While I am head over heels for you, I want to do this for myself but also for my future, which at the end of the day I wouldn't mind if you are there.
Anywho, thank you again for being a friend.
Y’all, I can’t make this stuff up.
No one is out of reach.
God can blow away our expectations and reach people through just one, simple conversation. If you have someone in your life who is far from God – a family member, friend, co-worker, sibling, child – God sees you and them! He is our Shepard; the one who desperately searches for the lost. I hope and pray our story encourages you to never give up hope.
P.S. - One month after our faith conversation, Kyle and I reunited for our first “real” date in Atlanta. He showed up with a thick, dark mustache and a tacky Christmas sweater on. I knew I was in for a treat.
See y’all next week for part 4!
Have you placed someone in the “out of reach” category? If so, why?
Who can you cheer on in faith this week?