The Rescue: A Trilogy of Faith – A Sister’s Faith
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
I’m a compulsive binge eater. In front of others, I acted like I was on a food program, but I lied and binged in secret (sin). About a year before, I had lost 35 pounds, but gained it all back and then some. I isolated from my friends and family to protect my secret sin. I was living Romans 7. I hated my life but didn’t believe God would restore me. I believed I could not live without food being my god. I did not move into the truth that Jesus Christ was sufficient in me to walk through this compulsion. It was sin and rebellious for me.
Also during this time, my sister, Dacia, was in sin and had cut herself off from fellowship, not only from our family, but from other Christians. I felt God wanted me to stand in faith for my sister and for her return. I knew I could not keep believing for Dacia’s return if I wasn’t believing the truth for myself. I knew I could not practice an addiction and be of any help to her. At the same time, it was clear to me that when you are believing God and living out His right life, something happens against Satan–the balance shifts toward God.
In February, 1996, I again went on a food program and knew somehow my choice to go God’s way affected my sister. Although I was embarrassed to be around Dacia, knowing that I had gained all that weight back, I met her for dinner. I told her about my sin and what God had shown me. I was glad to tell her some truth.
Commit your ways to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.
In March, God told me to call Dacia once a week to go for a walk or out to dinner. But being with her was agonizing. She seemed cold and defiant, like she didn’t care about anyone or anything. She was unwilling to budge toward any kind of light. I felt helpless, thinking, Nothing seems to change–it’s useless. But then I’d think, No matter what it looks like, I’m believing God is in control. No matter what I see, that is not what is going on in the spirit realm. My stand was that Dacia would return. She would be broken and 100% for God.
When we were together, I looked for common ground. I asked Dacia what her apartment was like, indicating I’d like to see it. But she said, "No way!" It seemed like nothing could touch her. Finally, I thought to myself, I don’t care how you look, Jesus Christ is in you; this is not what it appears to be. Satan, you’re not keeping her! Sometimes I was shaking all over. During one dinner, when I started to talk about God, she said in disgust "I knew it would get to this!" Then Dacia grew very abusive. I knew I had to do something dramatic to let her know that this behavior was not okay. I got up and left her in the restaurant.
Eventually I grew dissatisfied with seeing Dacia once a week. I didn’t like the routine we were in. I felt it was time to stop calling her; the ball was in her court. On my birthday, Dacia called me to invite me to go to dinner. When I accepted the birthday gift she handed me, she said, "I was nervous to give you this because I was afraid you would reject it." I was surprised.
…do not worry beforehand what to say. Just say whatever is given you to say, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.
The next step was amazing! I was lying on my bed in the apartment I used to share with Dacia. The phone rang, and I heard my mother’s excited voice. She and a few other people had been in The Intercessor office discussing the next magazine. Someone picked up an old Intercessor issue entitled "The Struggle of Romans 7" by Dacia Trethewey. Mom called me and read the first two paragraphs to me over the phone. I couldn’t believe Dacia wrote them. I said to Mom, "I’m going to read this to Dacia in person!"
It sounded crazy to me. This is so stupid. She won’t want to listen to me. But I knew I had to read it to her face-to-face. When I could not reach her at home and at work, I decided to drive to her workplace. Her car was parked there. I thought, I’m not leaving here until I see Dacia. Twenty minutes later she stepped out of a friend’s car.
"What are you doing here?"
"I have something to read to you," I said. But I was thinking, This will never work. Why should she listen to me?
"Do you want to come to my place, or should we go to your apartment?"
"I don’t want to go there."
"Well, do you want to get in my car?" I’m so sure! You won’t want to do that.
I can’t believe she said yes! Well, God, you’re going to have to take over here. Should I lock the doors? No, she doesn’t have to stay if she doesn’t want to.
I read both of her articles word-for-word. "YOU wrote this, Dacia. This is you. The way you are right now is not the real you. No matter what you say, I don’t believe you are happy. Is this what you want?"
"I don’t know what I want."
A time to sow…
I could see we both were getting heated. What can I do so we can have some common ground? This verse suddenly came to mind: The word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword." The Bible! I could read to her from the Bible! I grabbed the Bible and started reading the Proverbs. God, if you really want me to read, I’m going to keep reading. If not, I know I’ll stop. Something different will happen. You’ll have to let me know when to stop reading because I don’t know what else to do.
I paused occasionally, thinking, I should give her a chance to say some-thing. l bet shell get out of the car now. Then I came upon verses I had under-lined, some with her name written beside them. Please don’t look over my shoulder! I thought.
I read her all the Proverbs and paused. She was still there sitting still and silent. I began to read in Ecclesiastes. Sometimes I commented on what I read: "Look, I didn’t know that verse was in Ecclesiastes!" You would have thought I was a preacher or had studied the Bible as I read clearly and emphatically, turning the pages with ease. I had never in my life read smoothly. I was even in special education classes as a child.
Finally, I came to the famous verses in Ecclesiastes: "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven; a time to be born, a time to die; a time to plant, a time to uproot;, a time to kill and a time to heal; a time to tear down and a time to build; a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance; a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them; a time to embrace and a time to refrain; a time to search and a time to give up; a time to keep and a time to throw away; a time to tear and a time to mend; a time to be silent and a time to speak; a time to love and a time to hate; a time for war and a time for peace." I had been expecting a negative reaction from her the whole time. But she said not a word!
Then I realized that the Bible was our common ground. Without it we would have been yelling at each other. I stopped reading and waited. She never looked up. Finally, she said, "Okay. I’ve got it. I have to go now to meet some friends. But I did listen and thanks for reading."
She got out of the car. I felt disappointed that there was no sign of brokenness. But I drove off saying to myself, Christ said everything He needed to say. And there will be some change, whether I see it or not. God made it clear that the ball was now in her court. I knew it was important that she call me from now on.
…and a time to reap
A week or two later Mom informed me that she wanted to invite Dacia to dinner at the apartment Dacia and I had shared. She asked what I thought about the idea. I hated it! I did not feel like it was the right thing to do. What’s the use? I hated feeling so negative–I did not want to see that miserable face again. When I’m with her, I feel like I’m fighting her; it’s so exhausting! But I knew not to go against what God was saying to Mom.
I looked around Dacia’s room. One week a few months ago God told me to get Dacia’s room ready for her. It was an intense impression. I spent the day cleaning and arranging her room. Dacia had taken almost everything when she moved out. I thought of her childhood bed in storage and decided to set it up in her room.
When furniture was moved in, I looked at the bare walls. The only picture left behind was one I had bought for her. I framed it and hung it on the wall, thinking, When you come back, you’ll see it on the wall.
The night of the dinner, we had the apartment looking clean and attractive. We lit votive candles and set them around the room. When Dacia came, we were all pretty uncomfortable. Dacia asked to see my room and then looked into hers. "It’s waiting for you," I said, touching her bed. "It’s all ready for you." The negative thoughts welled up in me: That was stupid to say!
Dacia seemed the same as usual–cold and aloof. I thought, Fine for her to be bratty and talk about how she feels. Now I get to say how it’s been for me with her gone. I told her I felt like I had lost my best friend when she left. I got very teary as I talked to her about it. I asked her to think what it would mean for the three of us to work as a team for the rest of our family. That was a reality check for her. She seemed to start to thaw a little bit.
Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Sometime during supper she broke. She began telling all the sinful things she had been doing. She told me later that whenever she’d think of holding back an incident, she’d say to herself, I won’t hold on to it! And then she’d say the thing that was on her mind. It was unbelievable! Everything she was so ashamed to admit came tumbling out of her mouth. I was seeing what I had believed for but could never picture in my head: Dacia talking from a truly broken and contrite heart!
At 1:00 a.m. Mom got away and called friends of ours to let them know the visible results of their stand of faith for Dacia’s return to God. Dacia said she wanted to stay here at the apartment tonight with me. The phone rang. It was our friend, Ginny. When I told her Dacia was right beside me, Ginny said, "Put her on!" When Dacia got on the phone, Ginny invited her to come over. By the time we got there, ten friends were gathered to welcome Dacia home.
We walked into our friend’s home and everyone welcomed and hugged Dacia. As we all talked, after a while it almost seemed like Dacia had never been gone. We started to catch her up on what had gone on while she was gone. When she found out that a friend of hers in Scotland had been believing with us for her return, she picked up the phone and called her to tell her the good news. I felt excited, weepy, and thankful that God had answered the desire of my heart for Dacia.
…and when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors saying, "Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which is lost!"
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 13 No 2
- Summing It Up
- Editor’s Note
- Moments with Meryl
- A Look at a Book
- "Having nothing, yet possessing everything."
- The Rescue: A Trilogy of Faith – The Prodigal
- The Rescue: A Trilogy of Faith – A Sister’s Faith
- The Rescue: A Trilogy of Faith – Reunion
- Tape Talk
- Questions & Answers
- The Total Remedy
- The Mailbox
- Words to Live By…