“The most beautiful thing in the world is a heart that is changing.”
― Anasazi Foundation, The Seven Paths: Changing One’s Way of Walking in the World
I read this article the other day and I knew I had to share it on Valentines. Not only is it a story about love, it’s a journey that encircles everything from doubt and pain to grace and compassion of a changing heart. This story connects to my own journey in a way that through daily prayer, I too, like Sharon have witnessed transformation from one of the toughest men I know, my husband.
He went from a raging alcoholic to a man of humility and tenderness. There were times whereas I felt I couldn’t (didn’t want to) go through the pain of watching him recede into an angry old man, but with the strength of knowing God was with me and my family through it all – I could hang in there, and be apart of His Plan. ❤
“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16
Allan was a tough man.
Raised by a single mom with five siblings, he learned to scrap his way through life by sheer determination and grit. He married at 19, had his first son at 20, then a baby girl at 25. Over the next two decades, he advanced from driving a lumberyard delivery truck to becoming part owner of a building supply company.
Allan drank heavily, fought with his wife verbally and physically and terrorized his children emotionally. He gambled, dabbled in pornography and had questionable relationships laced with a host of unsavory vices. But when his teenage daughter gave her life to Jesus and began praying for her family, God grabbed the chisel of grace and began chipping away at Allan’s proud heart of stone.
One day he told her, “I’ll go to church with you from time to time, but I could never become a Christian. I’ve done too many horrible things in my life. God could never forgive me. I could never be good enough.”
His daughter explained no one could ever be “good enough.” If we could, then Jesus wouldn’t have needed to die on the cross to pay for our sins. But Allan couldn’t wrap his mind around that kind of grace.
When Allan was 46 years old, his life took several troublesome turns. After a business deal went terribly wrong, he faced an ugly lawsuit.
Allan teetered on the brink of a nervous breakdown. From his perspective, he was on the verge of losing it all. From God’s perspective, Allan was right where he needed to be.
One day, in a panic, Allan drove from North Carolina to Pennsylvania, attempting to find his wife at a meeting she was attending. When he couldn’t find her, he stopped by a church and asked for prayer. The church receptionist drew Allan a map and sent him to find a pastor who was out in the woods building his new church.
Allan followed the scrap-paper map and found a man with a hammer in his hand and Jesus in his heart. He told the pastor everything he’d ever done in his raucous life. Then the man put his arm around Allan and said, “Now, let me tell you what I’ve done.”
The way Allan later explained what happened was this: “That man had done everything I had done. I knew if God could forgive him and he could be a pastor, then He could forgive me, too.”
Allan accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior that day in the woods of Pennsylvania and became one of the sweetest men I’ve ever known. Allan was my dad.
From my earliest years as a Christian, I experienced the power of prayer to change a man’s life – to strengthen a man’s resolve, protect his heart and grow his faith.
~Article written by SHARON JAYNES
I believe if there is ‘true’ love in a relationship and both people are ‘in it to win it’ – for better or for worse, that miraculous transformations can take place and with faith, NOTHING can override God’s plan of divine intervention – it is truly absolute! ❤
“When it comes to seeking a change of heart, our starting place must include our present situation, with the people we live with right here and now. It is with these very people that we must learn to forgo all taking of offense.”
― C. Terry Warner, Bonds That Make Us Free: Healing Our Relationships, Coming to Ourselves