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Something Happened In Church

Sunday morning I found myself at church with my family – something that I don’t do often these days even though I grew up in church.  I was a preacher’s kid.  Did you know that?  Anyway, I woke up aggravated because I didn’t get much sleep and my relatives who were visiting were loud and anxious to pick on me.  I’m usually pretty good about it, but I prefer to be annoyed mid-afternoon or later.  😉  So I begrudgingly got up and showered and dressed for church before making the hour long drive to Uncle Wesley’s church. Oh, and I was running late (though we made it on time.)

And as I drove, I still wasn’t pleasant.  My Aunt Debbie and Mom (while not completely blameless…ha) had to deal with my foul mood until I decided to let it out.  I was stressed about going to church for a few reasons.  The first was that one of my favorite cousins and her husband are mad at me.  And while I don’t believe that I did anything to justify their anger, it bothers me.  People have been mad at me before, but family is another story.  And I don’t like it.  So recently, I humbly approached my cousin asking why she was angry and for her forgiveness, and she said “I know I sound crazy, but I’m just not ready to forgive you yet” which leads me to my next source of frustration – church folks.

I know that there Christians who absolutely walk by faith and believe what they preach (Uncle Wesley being a shining example of that!)  But more often than not, I run into professing Christians who say one thing and do another.  “I’m not ready to forgive you.”  What if God said that to you on judgment day?  Anyway, that’s just one example of many that leave me dreading the church scene. (For the record, I believe in God, and I know what the Bible says about this topic.  I’m not seeking a Biblical debate.  I’m just telling you where my head was Sunday morning.)

So I went to church and felt happy as soon as I arrived, just like I always do when I visit Uncle Wesley’s bayou church.  And seeing him walk in, shaking hands with people after doubting whether or not he’d make it through the week, was incredible.  But that’s nothing compared to what happened during the service.  My uncle Jerry had planned to preach, but Uncle Wesley moved to the front to share a few words about faith.  And he preached an entire sermon on faith.  He said that God had a plan, and it was time for us to start believing in it.  He believes in it.

Anyway, near the end of the service Uncle Wesley asked to pray for those who had a burden that needed to be lifted.  He said that he knew that some of us would be hesitant to ask him for prayer because of his circumstances, and he even went so far as to say “If you don’t come up and get your blessing, it’ll be your fault.”  So there I was..sitting on the front row (to the left of my uncle’s seat) arguing with God in mind…telling him that I was still angry and unsure about Uncle W’s situation and lacking faith.

And without uttering a word, I sat with my eyes closed and told God that if he wanted to lift my burdens through prayer that he’d have to send Uncle Wesley to me because I was not moving.  And literally seconds later (not exaggerating) Uncle Wesley wheeled himself over in his wheelchair and said “I’m here.  God sent me.” Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?!?!?  I was speechless and completely floored, and as he began to pray for me, my tears started flowing.  He prayed for the burdens to be lifted, and they were.  Whoa.

That’s not the first time I’ve asked God to prove it.  I asked for the same thing around this time last year and received it so I’m not sure why I had so much doubt this time. But the bottom line is that after a few weeks or frustration and questions that only yield answers that I don’t understand, I’m at peace.  I know that God is real and that there’s a plan beyond what I can see, and I can’t tell you how good that feels.

I can’t promise that I won’t doubt God or his power again because let’s face it, I’m a reflective and inquisitive human, but I’m pretty confident that God understands that since He knows my heart.  I also know that whenever Uncle Wesley leaves this life that he’ll be greeted by someone who loves him more than I ever could, and there’s peace in that too.  But for now, I’m going to enjoy the time I have with him whether it’s a day, a month, a year or many years.  Doctors only know as much as their human brains can comprehend, but I’ve never been so sure that there’s a supernatural power that can provide healing and comfort and everything else even though I have no idea how, when or why.

 

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42 Comments

  • Reply
    Tim
    October 11, 2011 at 3:34 am

    Uncle Wesley must have unbelievable strength from within for him to continue to be so strong despite everything that happening. What a guy!

    I must admit I LOL’d at the ‘whaaaaat?’ bit because if I was in your shoes I probably would have added a couple of swear words in there and probably run away! Ha. Talk about showing you proof, huh!

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      October 12, 2011 at 1:09 am

      He does have unbelievable strength…I was floored..

  • Reply
    Alysia
    October 11, 2011 at 7:38 am

    Love, love, love this. Thanks for sharing your heart.

  • Reply
    mary
    October 11, 2011 at 8:09 am

    thank you kenlie…this brought tears to my eyes
    faith is a powerful thing
    so are you
    and so is uncle wesley
    xo

  • Reply
    Joshua
    October 11, 2011 at 8:52 am

    Amazing! Truly a testament to God’s power and wisdom. I continue to pray for your Uncle Wesley and your family. Wow – I have no other words then wow!!

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      October 12, 2011 at 1:10 am

      Thank you Josh…so glad you’re here, and so glad you’re praying for my family.

  • Reply
    Jen B
    October 11, 2011 at 9:11 am

    Wow! What an amazing story..gave me goosebumps!

    I have you and your family in my thoughts right now

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      October 12, 2011 at 1:10 am

      Thank you Jen!

  • Reply
    Erin
    October 11, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Amazing experience. Just amazing. Praying for you and your family. 🙂

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      October 12, 2011 at 1:10 am

      The prayers that are coming in are really amazing, and I’m so thankful…

  • Reply
    Lisa
    October 11, 2011 at 9:49 am

    That’s beautiful.

  • Reply
    Ann Wolfe
    October 11, 2011 at 10:13 am

    Thanks for sharing that!!! I sometimes forget that HE does and will take care of everything I need if I only let go and let him. Beautiful story and great reminder for me!!! I was sobbing just reading this! XO

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      October 12, 2011 at 1:10 am

      I was sobbing too….a lot.

  • Reply
    Rosalie
    October 11, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Loved this post! So wonderful that God already knew what was in your heart even though you weren’t moving out of your seat!
    Your story of Uncle Wesley reminded me of a good friend of my father’s who was very sick and given only a short time to live, when people came to visit him he wasn’t sad he was dying he was excited to be going “home” to be with his Maker. He kept asking his friends/family if they had any messages for him to give to God or their friends/family who had already passed b/c we know that we’ll see them again in heaven and since he was getting there first he’d pass along any messages. I hope you have that same confidence when Uncle Wesley is called home, just hearing his story is a blessing.
    Prayers to you all!

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      October 12, 2011 at 1:11 am

      It was amazing… definitely. Uncle Wesley has asked us to have faith in God’s plan even though the doctors have given up on him so I’m doing it…at least trying to.

  • Reply
    Nina Patricia
    October 11, 2011 at 10:52 am

    I’m tearing up and chocked while reading this. What an amazing experience. Isn’t funny when we ask and we get an answer and yet we keep doubting? I’m so guilty of this.
    I’m with you with the lovely Christians who won’t forgive or the one’s that go to church and leave in the car criticizing the other folks. Your Uncle is such an extraordinary guy.

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      October 12, 2011 at 1:12 am

      Yeah, he is…he’s a shining example of what Christianity should look like.

  • Reply
    Julie
    October 11, 2011 at 10:55 am

    kenlie, thank you for sharing your doubts and anger about god. this post brought tears to my eyes. i have been experiencing a crisis of faith since my son was stillborn in may of last year. i waver between believing that A) god ignored my prayers for him to be ok, or that B) he couldn’t do anything to save him and is grieving with me. either way, it repaints my picture of god into someone different than i grew up believing in. he either can’t or won’t do the things i thought he could.

    what makes it all harder is that we went through A LOT to get pregnant in the first place, and now have no insurance coverage for infertility, so my only hope is for hubby and me to both lose enough weight that we magically become one of those couples who weren’t *supposed* to be able to get pregnant, but did it anyway. in the meantime, i see people around me get pregnant, both accidentally and purposefully, both prepared and unprepared for parenthood, and here’s what hurts the most – MOST of those people already have at least one child. anyway, i’m sorry to get so deep into all that. but my point is that i absolutely know what it is to doubt god, to doubt what you were raised to believe, to doubt what was fundamentally a part of you, until things went wrong.

    i’m glad you were able to find some peace, and continue to spend some time with your uncle. i can’t say that i’m praying for him, as i am no longer able to pray. but i do hope for something wonderful to happen.

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      October 12, 2011 at 1:12 am

      Oh Julie..I wish I could say something to ease your pain, but I don’t have words that can do that. Instead, I’ll pray for you even though you feel like you just can’t..and I’ll ask Uncle W to pray for you too.

      • Reply
        Cathy
        October 14, 2011 at 5:09 pm

        Julie – I understand. Completely. Our son was born 15 weeks early in 2003 and died 6 hours later. Kenlie has my contact info if you’d like to talk. Tomorrow is October 15 – Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Go to http://www.october15th.com. Sending you hugs!

  • Reply
    Sandra
    October 11, 2011 at 10:56 am

    In a world of doubt, you just reassured people everywhere that God is still in charge, no matter how crazy this world looks to the human eye. Thank you, your story is EXACTLY what I needed today.

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      October 12, 2011 at 1:13 am

      It’s what I needed too Sandra. Thank you for reading it..

  • Reply
    Joie
    October 11, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Beautiful…I got goosebumps. 🙂

  • Reply
    Sara
    October 11, 2011 at 11:51 am

    All I can say right now is WOW! Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply
    Peg
    October 11, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    Thank you for sharing this. It was something that I needed to hear today.

  • Reply
    tanna riggs
    October 11, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Made me tear up a little. Glad you shared this.

  • Reply
    Fat in Suburbia
    October 11, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    Amazing amazing story. God is good. God Bless Uncle Wesley.

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      October 12, 2011 at 1:13 am

      I second that…all of it!

  • Reply
    Brittany
    October 11, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    Wow Kenlie, I am sitting here bawling. That is an amazing story. Thank you so much for sharing it with us (and now I’m sharing it with my facebook friends, hope you don’t mind! 🙂 )

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      October 12, 2011 at 1:13 am

      Of course I don’t mind Brittany! Let’s be friends on FB!

      • Reply
        Brittany
        October 13, 2011 at 12:54 am

        We are 🙂 I’m Britta McLean! 🙂

  • Reply
    Brittany @ LessBritt MoreLife
    October 11, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    amazing! goosebumps 🙂 Amazing how God works huh?!

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      October 12, 2011 at 1:14 am

      Yep…you know it Britt..

  • Reply
    Jessica Fall
    October 11, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    Kenlie, thank you so much for sharing your story, it’s proof that God answers prayers on many levels! When you began sharing about your faith struggle lately, I began to pray for you and your heart. God loves us so much and cares so deeply for every hurt we carry. I asked God to soften your heart, show you that He loves you and your uncle more than you could comprehend, and make Himself very real to you during this time.

    You are doing an amazing job walking this road of life and I will continue to pray for your journey! Blessings to you!!

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      October 12, 2011 at 1:16 am

      It looks like God heard your prayers and listened……and moved….thank you Jessica!

  • Reply
    Steelers6
    October 11, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    Wow. So special. And really generous of you to share how you do. 🙂

    I was praying for Uncle Wesley today.

    Love, Chrissy

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      October 12, 2011 at 1:16 am

      Thank you Chrissy……..for all of your prayers for him and me and everything……..xoxo

  • Reply
    Tasha Lee @ Tasha Gets Healthy
    October 12, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    Amen girl! <3 Continuing to pray for you and your family!

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      October 21, 2011 at 2:36 am

      Thank you Tasha!!! Thank you so much!

  • Reply
    Cathy
    October 14, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    He knows your heart and wants you to know Him better. He sent Uncle W. BEFORE you articulated your prayer. Your uncle was immediately obedient to His call, even in his weakened state. What an amazing event! Praising God for the incredible gift he gave you on Sunday.

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      October 21, 2011 at 2:37 am

      It was amazing Cathy! God knew I needed proof, and he didn’t hate me for it. Instead, he offered it to me through Uncle W, and it was incredible.

  • Reply
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    October 16, 2014 at 12:32 am

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