Monday, 16 July 2012

One step at a time ....

And so the adventure with God began. Graciously He had gone before us. When I mentioned the Coffee Morning to my next door neighbour, I discovered that not only did she share my faith, but that she would be delighted to come and make the coffee. Ethel recruited Mary, a toddler loving friend, whose own children were at school, and we bought a bargain box of mugs. We were in business!




For two years we jogged along happily, meeting fortnightly during term time. There were a few ‘interesting’ moments. One morning the speaker’s daughter managed to lock herself in the downstairs toilet, and had to be rescued by me squeezing through the open window, while her mother chatted happily to the assembled guests, completely unaware of the excitement in the hall. We hung the key on a hook on the wall after that!


The children did get sick occasionally. All of my three contracted chicken pox, and spent the morning tucked up in our double bed, while I ran up and down stairs for a visit every few minutes, and were none the worse for the experience. But nothing obvious HAPPENED spiritually until Doreen came to speak to us.


She had come to faith eight years after she was married and her husband was deeply unimpressed by this new passion in her life. She told us about the ways this personal relationship with Jesus had impacted her marriage, and her audience hung on her every word. We always had an opportunity for questions, but normally our guests just chatted among themselves. Not on that occasion. She was bombarded with questions.


‘What do you do about the children?’ asked one.


‘I’d love to have a faith but I’m afraid of what it would do to my marriage!’ said another.


‘What do you do about going to church when he wants to go out for the day?’


‘My husband reckons that the church is just after your money. I don’t have any money of my own so how could I give?’


On and on the questions flowed until finally I asked the assembled company ‘Isn’t there a book that looks at marriage from this perspective?’


‘Oh no!’ they assured me ‘All the books on marriage we’ve seen, assume that you share your faith.’


They just haven’t looked in the right place, I thought to myself. But when I began to research the subject I found it was true. There was one book available from the US at that time called ‘Unequally yoked Wives’ with a rather unhelpful cover decorated with chains, and that was that.


‘You write a book for these women’ God whispered.


‘How can I?’ I protested, not really believing what I was hearing ‘Gordon and I were both Christians when we got married. What do I know about such a challenging situation? Anyway I write fiction for children, not adult non-fiction.’


‘Step out in faith and I will help you’


It was another ‘I am sending you to Pharaoh’ moment. I wriggled and struggled but this time I wasn’t quite so slow to respond, even thought I hadn’t the slightest idea how to set about it..







17 comments:

  1. Coffee Morning? Do tell... I'd love to hear about that. :) It's lovely to see how God can use us despite our excuses. :)

    If you want to follow my blog it's:

    http://lucymorgan-jones.com

    Great post, I look forward to hearing what you have to share next.

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    1. Thank you Lucy. I look forward to catching up with you too. coffee mornings? Coffee: people: in the morning! - And in our case a speaker to chat to the coffee drinking ladies for 20 mins or so on all sorts of topics. The one non-variable was that the speaker was always a Christian even if her topic was collecting antique ginger jars!

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  2. It sounds like you have found an idea for a book that needs to be written!

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    1. I did -twice! But more of that later

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  3. There are actually a few books out there on this topic, but it's one that deserves more encouraging treatment, for sure. I lived with my husband for 12 years before he came to know Jesus. It was a beautiful miracle--an answered prayer--when he finally made a decision.

    There are a lot of lonely women in churches, and outside them, who are in this position. I had never thought about women who might not yet be believers who would be encouraged to make the decision if they had some of these questions answered. I hope you follow the Lord's direction and that He blesses you and your book.

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    1. When I first came upon this need it was way back in the 70's and I'm sure that there have been lots of interesting and helpful books written on the topic since then. But I did seek to answer some of the answers to those questions in the book and since in magazine articles and speaking

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  4. Replies
    1. Thank you. Next installment on Monday 23rd

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  5. Stepping out in faith... that's a tough one (especially when I'm so prone to wanting to figure it all out by myself). Can't wait to read more, Marion. Thank you!

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    1. It's wonderful when you can look back and see how the plan unfolded Erin. I shudder to think that I might have missed so much

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  7. Hope that you do choose to write it, I have a number of friends who I'd love to give it to. It can be easy for women in this position to feel different or isolated - even tho there's many woman going through similar experiences. I blog at http://www.hopeunlimited.co

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    1. It's been written Jen, so if you want a copy contact me via my website and we'll sort something out [www.marionstroud.com ]

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  8. Hi Marion. Great to see you sharing the story, bit by bit, like this. Interested to see how many readers haven't spotted the book already! Just shows that blogging is opening new opportunities for you.

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    1. Mmm!Maybe it's a case of better bloggers get busier! The funny thing is that I was really using this as an illustration of how one step of faith can lead to so many other things

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  9. Hi Marion,
    Love the idea of Coffee Morning and happy to meet you here and start learning more about your story! I'm a Bookie too.
    Diane

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