The other night before Bible study I shared a prayer with my dear friend that I’ve been praying for my husband, which I’m praying on His scriptures and promises. What I’m fervently praying for is that my husband will become our spiritual leader in our home. One line in my prayer is asking God to soften my husband’s heart. Another line prays Mark 10:9, “What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” and I told the Lord that included me. I strongly believe this is in God’s will. After sharing this prayer with my friend, she shared something she heard from my husband that is breaking his heart, and she asked if I have prayed about it. It wasn’t what I expected to hear. I expected her to agree with me.

Just to back up and share a small part of the story, I will let you know that I have lived all of my 55 years within a 50-mile radius of what I will always consider home – where I was born, where I was raised, where I accepted Jesus Christ as my savior, where my parents died. My husband longs to move to another state to be closer to our grandchildren — to be more present in their lives. He has discussed it with me, and I have dismissed it because I don’t want to move. I wouldn’t even discuss it – it was an emphatic “no”. I’ve never prayed about it before.

Well, I have simmered with my friend’s comment. I have brought this to the Lord, and I was led yesterday to let my husband know that while I am not saying “yes”, I’m also not saying “no”. There it is — I have had a hardened heart. I’ve asked for my husband’s heart to be softened, and yet God needed to soften my heart. I was terrified when I shared this with my husband. I don’t see how it is possible, or even that I want to give up my Bible study group, my church, my life-long friends and move away from my home. But here’s the thing, while this is my earthly home, it’s not my home. “For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come.” (Hebrews 13:14)

I’ve had a specific picture in mind while I’ve been praying this particular prayer. My husband would worship with me at my church, and I would then get underneath his umbrella, that is under Jesus Christ. I have asked the Lord to move – knowing He can do anything and everything He wants to do. The day after, I’m not terrified. I don’t know what will come out of my comment to my husband as far as moving or not – when we’re retired – or next year. I don’t know. But what I do know, is that my bringing this to the Lord, and then walking in faith — even though I am terrified of this potential big change — is that my husband’s heart has also been softened. He made an effort to gently and lovingly kiss me goodnight, good morning and goodbye. I can’t think of the last time that happened. James was so right when he wrote, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” (v5:16) The answers we receive aren’t always expected, but our Lord God knows better than I do, and He has His plan.

So why am I not terrified this morning? The Lord softened both of our hearts, and my husband and I have an emotional connection we haven’t had in a while — it was a gift from the Lord! He has plenty of gifts for us if we will only let Him lead the way. Moving to another state could definitely be my Nineveh (Jonah 1), but I ask Him daily to direct my steps and light my path. I want to walk where He wants me to walk. And wherever I walk that is in His will, He will make provision and give me strength. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

Thank you, Lord, for your direction and thank you for friends you have gifted to me who are willing to tell me things I don’t want to hear!