Have you seen moving and surprising transformations in the lives of the people you love? What was that like?
Ricardo and I became roommates after he graduated high school. Believing in God was something we both held in common but following Jesus was another we had yet to touch. One Christmas, while gathered at my Mom's house, my Aunt Pam was among the celebration. It had been years since we had been in the same room, a time I could not remember if I had to.
She was always so fun to be around growing up. Laughter was a constant and toys guaranteed but her presence never was. She would cancel last minute when we were hoping to see her. Disappointed once again, my mom told her over the phone that she was going to stop telling us when she was coming to visit, so we would not get our hopes us, as I listened from outside the door.
What I lacked in knowledge then, I understood later. My aunt lived a different life style and always came to visit with her friend, a friend that was a girl and shared a bed with her. Her friends were always sweet, playing with us and braiding our hair and I never thought anything of it. As I got older, it became common knowledge that my aunt was a lesbian and she liked to party, have her drugs and smoke them, too.
When we met again that Christmas, I had a hard time believing the stories that she told about Jesus and how he had saved her and how she was no longer a lesbian after all these years and her concern about us living together before we were married. I stood next to Ricardo, listening to these words and wondering what she was smoking now, in disbelief, while she sat on the edge of the fireplace ledge looking up at us. Ricardo had never met her and I had to catch him up on her background and such as we left.
It was a while before we saw her again but she still claimed her same salvation through Jesus and denied any claims of being a lesbian. During this time God starting revealing himself to us and we found him, too as we started attending the college group at my aunt's church.
And as we saw her more frequently, her claims become more apparent in her personality and her transformation was solid. She spoke encouraging words to us as learned the ropes of what it meant to follow Jesus, always supporting us in any way possible like being our last minute babysitter and getting certified for respite care once we became foster parents.
God has used her to teach me lessons, like how to get used to people stopping by unannounced, even though I always thought I welcomed it, and how to let go of my children a bit more as they enjoyed time with her in her blue Ford truck. She has taken pleasure in being an aunt a second time around and we have been blessed to have her. She has traded alcohol for Dr. Pepper and zeal for the world in to boldness for Jesus. These days she is serving in prison ministry and helping out friends whose husbands have passed and taking care of her Chihuahua.
What I love about God is his relentless pursuit for us since the fall in the garden of Eden. No matter how far lost we think someone is, there is always an encounter with Jesus that can change everything. Even the family member we have deemed unable to be saved. Nothing is impossible with the Lord.
Here's to surprises and transformation.
This is part of a 365 day blogging series through Savor by Shauna Niequist. If you would like to blog along, whether daily or weekly, I would love to have you for the journey; be sure to link back to the post. And if you are not a blogger, you can join along, too. Just leave your response and answers in the comments.