As I write this, a good friend of mine is headed east to Tennessee, where he will plant new roots and walk forward in a major blessing of God upon his life.
My friend Jason moved from Springfield this evening, and it wasn’t easy to see him go.
I believe I was led back to Missouri for three reasons, and Jason was one of them. Our friendship is unique in that we had both lived here in Springfield before — we met at Rocco’s Pizza in Republic in 2007 after he found my blog — moved away, then came back after our lives were individually shaken to the core through tremendous trials.
I recovered from my trials fairly quickly, thank the Lord. But it was tough to see him going through an indescribably tough time in his life when both of us had thought things would get better soon. He simply needed a friend to be there, and I thought I did a serviceable job at that.
I encouraged him until I was blue in the face, and I prayed and prayed and prayed for him without even so much as an answer for one and a half years.
The prayers didn’t stop. I kept calling out to the Lord and kept encouraging him to do so, and I didn’t stop. I still haven’t. Now, just in the past few months — almost on the same timetable as a personal revival of my own — he has grown in leaps and bounds in his faith with Jesus Christ, and a door opened for him to move to Memphis.
When God places people in our lives, he does so for a distinct purpose. He was a blessing to me because he taught me that you keep praying, keep seeking and keep the faith if you don’t get an immediate answer — and even if there really never is an answer.
Before Jason pointed his rented U-Haul east, I gathered with our friend Larry and his friend Amy at Jason’s place. “I feel led to pray for you and send you forth in Jesus’ peace,” I said.
I put my hand on his shoulder, Larry did as well and Amy joined in the prayer. It wasn’t a long prayer, but it certainly was the most fulfilling of all the prayers I had prayed for him in this long journey.
“Lord, we know you don’t start something in our lives and leave it incomplete,” I prayed. “I fully believe and I pray that you will continue this good work and bring your joy, peace and love forth in this move.”
Watching God move in others’ lives is a faith builder for me. It’s definitely exciting.
But tonight it was a bit tough too, as I no longer have that person-to-person connection someone who made it easy just to talk and share my joys and burdens with.
However, I believe God has great things down the road — and hey, if I ever need a place to stay should I choose to visit Memphis…
Jason, thank you for being my friend and helping increase my faith as we walked through life’s journey here in Springfield. Godspeed, and I hope to visit soon.