Shawn has a friend from our previous life in Ohio. His name is Cody. His mom is my friend, Susan. Their family has remained faithful friends to us through the ups and downs and loop-de-loops that we’ve been through the last few years since we were thrust out of Ohio and “normal” life into our Journey of Fire. Their family’s life hasn’t been very normal for the last few years, either. We’ve called and prayed for each other. We’ve given to them, they’ve given to us. We’ve shared what the Lord is speaking to us. We’ve laughed and cried together. We’ve encouraged each other. Most of this has been between me and Susan.
But some of the relationship has been between me and Susan’s daughter, who is the artist that I feature in the sidebar of my blog, Emily Kate. We talk on the phone and used to chat online until they moved to a house that doesn’t have internet access (Can you believe it?) Their family came to visit us one time in Illinois, and we had a worship time with them that was so sweet that we felt God right there with us.
Susan’s oldest son, Cody, has maintained a long-distance relationship with Shawn through emails from time to time and a few visits and just a few talks on the phone. But the Lord has knit their hearts together, and He had a plan to strengthen that bond even more.
Two weeks ago, totally out of the blue, inspired by God, Cody called and asked Shawn if he could come and visit us for a while. None of us knew what was going to happen or exactly why Cody was supposed to come, but we all had the feeling that he was supposed to. So God worked out all the details for the visit, and Cody got to fly for the first time, and we got to enjoy his company for about eight days. He just became one of the family. He played chess with the little ones and anybody else who would play with him. He convinced us to get the board game Risk and played it with Garrett and Shawn – and Garrett won the game the first time he ever played it! He got a deck of cards and played Go Fish with Garrett. He became best buddies with Garrett. The little ones really loved him. He was a joy to have around.
We watched a movie all together, The Muppet Movie.
We had some talks and prayer times together. I prayed over Shawn and Cody that the Lord would speak to them and show them what He wants to do in their lives and how they can prepare for the next step in their lives. Like our family, they have homeschooled all the way through. We met years ago when Cody and Shawn were only about 8 years old, and I started doing their family’s homeschool assessments. Cody taught himself how to repair engines and how to restore cars, so the Lord spoke to us about how he could use those skills as a stepping stone to the goals he has to own his own farm some day and raise animals. As we talked and prayed together, things became crystal clear and we could just sense the hope and faith rising that this was possible and doable and that God would bless the work of his hands and prosper him. It was very exciting to see God unfold His plan for Cody’s life.
Shawn and Cody prayed together and did some Bible study.
We got some revelation from the Lord about the next steps Cody is to take to set things up for the bigger things that God has put in his heart to do.
One of the highlights was a worship time we had together. Anna played her guitar, and we sang some worship songs that she had learned. Then we sang in the spirit and sang whatever the Lord gave each of us as Anna strummed on her guitar. It was sweet, similar to the time we had with Cody’s whole family when they came to visit us in Illinois. The presence of the Lord was strong.
The Lord called him here, and he answered. It was mutually beneficial. We all enjoyed having him here. We got to know him better, and he got to know us better. We felt like he was a good friend before, but now he’s one of the family.
We hated to see him go. As a final send-off, we took him to our favorite ice cream place. We all went to the airport to see him off. It was a 3-hour trip there and back, but the little kids did very well.
It was a wonderful time of refreshing for all of us. Something new and different, out of the ordinary, a special time of ministry and memory-making with a very special person that the Lord has put in our lives. We are looking forward to what the Lord is going to do in Cody’s life and the life of his family.
Our hearts are knit together even more than they were before. We are thankful that the Lord orchestrated such a blessed time. Only He could have planned that and pulled it off without a hitch. Gary even got to be here for part of the time. It was just a perfectly blessed time. The Lord is doing great things for us, and we are glad. We are grateful to be in His service. And thankful to have friends who are so real and authentic. Hearts that are pure and seeking the will of the Father for their lives. May we always be found faithful and sensitive to His leading.