Friday, January 18, 2008

520 - Dear Donald

Dear Donald, This is Leigh Gray. We met yesterday in Evansville as you were quickly doing my nails. (Oh by the way, I was not late! I asked God to do something special with the time and guess what? When I arrived at the doctors they were running behind so that made me right on time. He came through.) I enjoyed our conversation and just can not stop thinking about everything you said. I had to write you here in hopes that you might see it and understand better about my God.

First of all, Donald, I want to apologize for any and every Christian you have seen that has given you a false interpretation of who my God really is. He is the Creator of all, He is Master of the Universe, He is perfect, He is the Judge, He is everything. But He is grace, He is mercy, He is forgiveness, He is patience. He doesn't just possess those qualities, He is!! Sometimes we as Christians allow life to get in the way of what we know to be true of our Lord. We display much worry saying to the outside world that He is not capable of handling things. We have little faith as if to say He has let us down before or has been imperfect. Nope, not my God! We talk rudely or at the very least very unbecomingly of the standard a Christian is to be held at. Forgive us for not looking any different. We are so selfish in our dealings with the world and I am, again, so sorry Christians as a whole have not given your a correct opinion of who the Lord God is.

In the Bible, James 2:14 says "What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save Him?" Donald, I know you said over and over you are just waiting for faith to hit you - like when you had faith then you would believe. You are obviously a very intelligent young man and there was no way I could even hang with you in a conversation trying to explain the whys about everything. It takes faith to believe that God will save you from hell, but that is only the beginning. Like I said yesterday, we have to start somewhere. But if you take the first step and asking God to come into your life I promise, promise, promise He will be faithful to grow your faith and show Himself to you. He wants you to know Him better so that is something He will make sure happens. I know you want to have it all together first and be ready to really die for this "thing". That is so incredibly honorable. But frankly you will never be ready, prepared enough, nor sinless enough to approach the Lord. That is why He died for you and for me! I could never be good enough on my own. He made a way!!

Faith is not something to be figured out, but there should be some evidence that one has faith. In your life it would just be the fact of stepping towards God and asking Him into your life. All the other stuff will come if you seek Him. It really is very easy as far entering into a relationship with Him. But to understand the ins and outs of faith first, it just won't happen. And that is an OK thing!

I can soooooooooo appreciate your honesty. It was as if time stopped for us to have our conversation. Donald, God is reaching out for you. He has a plan for your life and is waiting for you to take the first step. You told me that I was the second or third person you had had a conversation with in the last few days about God and faith. I am so thankful for the lady that invited you to church! Even if you don't have faith and do not believe in God find a church and stick with it. It will not be perfect and certainly not the people inside, but God will reveal Himself to you!!! But as I was saying, God is reaching out to you and it is in a very obvious way. I am thankful that you have seen faith in your house, but now it is time to discover and accept it on your own. Yes, your family are ones you can turn to in time of pain or need, and even as wonderful as they are, He is better!!! Oh Donald, He is so much better!!!

I do agree with you about people hiding behind their faith to not have to deal with reality. I have seen that. Instead of confessing their weakness or what I call up "mess-ups" and dealing with consequences, they hide in "I have forgiveness, everything will be fine". You do have a point there! But also, there are those I have seen that are going through things so unexplainable that they have no other option or would have it no other way, but to hide in the Faith they know to be real and peaceful. They hide in the One that can make them rise up for another day. They hide in the Lord who gives them joy in the midst of it all. Now that is the kind of hiding I want to do. You asked me if I can go to bed at night with peace? Oh yes oh yes oh yes!!! God gives us a peace that transcends all human understanding!! I go to bed each night knowing I will see another day - could be in the same room just a few hours later or it will be in Heaven. I have peace that no matter how bad it gets I will not be crushed or destroyed!!! You can have that peace too!!!

I know you said that people should not pray for you because you don't believe. But i believe He is speaking to you and is waiting for you. I have a responsibility to pray for you and I will. Keep your eyes and ears open for more ways God is talking to you. He is calling. Keep your heart open and ready for Him to come close. The ball is in your court and He is waiting. I can only imagine what God would want to do with such an intelligent and handsome young man like you!! I believe!

PS, Donald, I just received word that I did get the True Love Waits event!!! Thank you for your insight in speaking to these kids! I would be thrilled if you left a comment just to say hello.

26 comments:

Valarie said...

YOU GO GIRL!

Donald, God wants to be the one to clean you up - He doesn't expect you to get it done BEFORE you come to Him. That's His job and one you'll NEVER be able to do on your own. TRUST ME on that one!! He's made something beautiful from the disaster I made of my life!!

Leigh - I'm so happy to hear about the True Love event. Be sure to fill me in on details girl.

Love ya.
V

Fran said...

Hi Leigh. Hi Donald.

I just wanted to stop by and say hello to both of you and give you a word of encouragement and hope for you...for all of us.

I didn't "know" God until I was an adult. I grew up in the church but I didn't know what He could do for me on a daily basis until I was much older.

I got a taste of reality with Him and there was no going back. Just sit back and ask Him to come in.
He will. He just does. He is the beautiful God.

I'm praying for you Donald. My life is too hard to do it without Him. He is everything to me. I want Him to be everything to you.
But, it takes time and some "steppin out there." He is the most patient thing ever! :)
He could have easily been done with me loooooong ago. But, He's on the edge of His throne waiting for the word and your heart.

We're never the same from that point on. HALLELUJAH!

Blessings over both of you. Praying~
Fran

Nicki said...

Leigh, how awesome is this!!

Donald, if you read this, I am lifting you up today to our heavenly Father. May He touch your heart in ways you never knew possible! May you feel the very presence of Him in your life today. I apologize as well for the Christians you have met how have not represented Christ the way that they should have. Although we are not perfect, nor never will be, I am so sorry you had to experience anything negative!

Leah said...

Donald,

God has known you from before you were created. Now, He wants you to know Him. Just like a lover pursuing his beloved, God pursues you. Give Him a chance. He will be the best thing that ever happened to you, I promise. I'm praying that He will stop you in your tracks with His amazing love.

Leah
www.thepoint-leah.blogspot.com

Leigh Gray said...

Donald, this is from a friend that could not get her message posted and so she sent it to me.


Hi Donald,

It was long ago that I was not sure about the whole “God thing” myself, but I can tell you that the day I gave my life to Jesus I went from a depression, suicidal teenager to a teenager with joy, peace and a purpose for the first time in my life! God has done amazing things in my life and I promise you that if you take the leap of faith and give your life to God – He will also do amazing things with your life.

Knowing Jesus is the greatest adventure you can ever take. You will find yourself meeting people and going places that you never dreamed of! He has great plans for you – He created you and can help you with everything in your life. I would love for you to check out my website and read my entire story: www.tracyhurst.com and click on the “Speaking Page” for my entire story. I hope to take the leap of faith and if you do – you will enter the greatest adventure of your life!!

Love,
Tracy Hurst

Patty said...

Hi Donald!!
I agree with everything Leigh has written! I am sorry if you have been judged or mistreated by a Christian. I pray that you won't let that keep you from God. I love that 3 people have come to you to talk to you about faith. God is reaching out to you through them! Donald, today is the day of salvation. I pray that you will reach out to God today. He is waiting for you. You are not here by accident. God has a plan for your life. He is Faithful. Man is not BUT God is!!
"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." Praying for you!!
Blessings,
Patty

fuzzytop said...

Hi Donald,

If you're reading this, thanks for checking out Leigh's blog and reading the comments. Leigh is an awesome lady, and she exudes her love for Jesus in her blog.

I did not grow up in a Christian home. My dad (btw, his name is also Donald) rsised us with an athestic world view. I started attending a church when I was in high school, simply because that's where my friends went. I was truly a social Christian, and I was probably exactly like many Christians you have probably met that make you want to run screaming from God, Jesus, and anything resembling church. I praise God that when I was in my early 20's, he put people in my life (not Leigh, but people like her) that showed me authentic faith. I was sitting in church one day, and when the preacher gave the altar call after the sermon, I just knew in my heart it was directed at me, and that if I didn't recognize what I was, truly repent and ask Jesus to be my savior and take control of my life, I honestly felt I would disintegrate right there in the pew. I apologize if you have been disuaded by unauthentic or "social" Christians. Thankfully, there are also genuine Christians (like Leigh) just please remember we are not perfect, and will not be perfect this side of Heaven.

I believe God is pursuing you, as he pursues us all, but he waits for an invitation. He's persistent, but not intrusive. I pray that you will pray for faith. He is faithful and he will answer your prayer.

Adrienne

Lisa said...

Donald,
I don't know how you feel about anonymous women from blogland writing to you,:) but I hope you hear in our comments that we do care very much about your soul and where you will spend eternity. One of the greatest things about God is that He always meets us right where we are. We don't have to "perform" to get him to notice us. It doesn't matter where we live or what we did last night, He is ready, willing and able to heal our hearts and adopt us into His family.

Here's what I can promise you if you decide He is what you are searching for. (Even if you don't think you are searching, all of us are in some way.) Peace, joy, fulfillment, hope, and lasting love -- all yours for the taking. There's no big THING you have to do to receive His gift of eternal life, just believe and ask Him into your heart. It doesn't even really matter how you ask. He's not picky.

Anyway -- hope you read these responses and pray that you are drawn to Him today.

Lisa (A North Carolina mom who will be praying for you!) :)

ange said...

Hi Donald and Leigh. I am a regular reader here on Leigh's blog and have found her to share God's word just as it is. We are not perfect because we are believers, we are still sinners but we are under construction. God is working through each of us. I know as a Christian I have let down many people but God's grace and mercy covers those things and I take responsibility and ask for forgiveness and let God pick me up and dust me off. I am so glad you are here Donald. Please know you will be in my prayers and I feel so blessed to be able to pray for you!
ange

Bev Brandon said...

Leigh - that's pretty neat that you got the True Love Waits...

Donald - sounds like your God has given you a great mind...you ought to read C.S. Lewis' book Mere Christianity. When I was 25, someone told me that the majority of stuff I believed about God was wrong---well that got my ire---how do you know who is right and what makes you an expert on God is what I thought--- but I heard this guy speak and read his book---it was a man named Josh McDowell "Evidence That Demands a Verdict" and it was the kindness of my God that led me to repentance for I had been heavily involved in drugs and drinking. I'm praying for you that you wrestle well with the questions you have and not ignore them.

Shonda said...

Howdy from Texas--
Donald, if you read this, I also want to apologize on behalf of Christians.

I just want to encourage you to keep seeking the answers to your questions. Keep pursuing and you will see the truth.

I thought I could live life better without God, but it was much worse. Oh the abundance of His mercy and grace. He took me in and wrapped me up with His unconditional love. Nothing I could do could stop Him from loving me--or any of you. You can read my testimony about trying it on my on and God receiving me at
http://www.shondawhitworth.com/testimony.html

I'm also praying for you Donald.

Blessings in Christ--

jen said...

Hello Donald! I hope you are overwhelmed with the love of Christ today! I'm Jen from Tx and I'm so glad you got the chance to meet with my friend Leigh. She's such a fun woman! I could type forever on the love of Christ and how God wants to you to have a deep personal relationship with Him, but I think the other women have that covered. Instead I would like to tell you some of my story. I was 22 years old before I surrendered my life to Christy. Up until that point I'd gone to church occasionally (had pretty muched stopped going after middle school), and it never really meant anything. Mostly it was a way for us to see our friends on the weekends. But then it just got boring. I realize now that if I'd had a REAL relationship with Christ, my life would have been anything BUT boring! Long story short, I got into some trouble and began doing things that I never should have. Finally at 22 God got a hold of me and I realized what I'd been missing in my life. I surrendered to the Lord and never looked back. My life is radically changed now. I still have the every day problems, I still get confused and wonder why people act the way they do (especially when some claim to be christian) but I realize now that everyone goes through those problems and worries. The difference is, Christians have a God they can turn to when the world seems to be caving in on them. God tells us to lay ALL our cares at his feet. And when we do that, when we truly surrender the stumbling blocks in our lives and walk away from them, we live in the ubundant joy filled life that God promises us. To get to that step however, you must first surrender your life to God. You must believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that God is who He says He is. That Christ DID come to earth to save us from the punishment of our sins. Today I will be praying that the Holy Spirit will hover over you through out the day, and I will also pray that at some point, you let it in to stay forever. Circumstances in life may not change, but the moment you receive Christ as your savior, your life will forever change. And sometimes, life radically changes. That's just how good God is. :) I'm so glad you've stopped by today, and I sincerely hope you have a wonderful day!

Hugs from Tx,
Jen Rector

eph2810 said...

Hi Leigh, Hi Donald...

I couldn't agree more with Leigh in regards of the Lord searching for you. Just this morning I heard a song by Audit Adrenaline called "Leaving 99". The song talks about that the Lord will leave His 99 sheep to find just the one He will carry back home.

I admit I do hide behind my faith - it gives me comfort, peace, strength, joy. Without Him in my life I don't know where I would have ended up. I am not saying that all the problems will go away, but it is easier with Him. I struggle daily and I need His mercy every single day. Do I have it all together? No! And honestly, I don't think that I ever will this side of heaven.

Although Leigh is sharing that you do not want us to pray for you - but I will...Because I know the Lord is working in your life, even if you don't believe, He believes in you.

Blessings...

<>< Iris

Anonymous said...

Hey Donald!
I want to add something to what we've all been saying...Life is tough and sometime it just plain stinks! and as much as I love my family and friends, they will all eventually "let me down" in some sort of way. but I am here to shout all the way from TN that my God WILL NEVER LET ME DOWN! No, my life is not perfect, (won't be this side of heaven!) but I do know the PERFECT ONE! and not once since I surrendered to His love has He let me down. I do pray that someday we'll meet...as we pass each other on those streets of gold.
Teresa
Braden,TN

shattuck7 said...

Donald, seeking God is more than a one time event. While it is true our relationship with Him begins by asking Jesus to be our Savior, we spend the rest of our life discovering the truth about who He is and what He is like. When I accepted Christ as my Savior at the age of 14 I knew only 2 Bible truths. God created the heaven and the earth and Adam and Eve were the first two people He created. That was it. I came to realize Jesus died for me and I asked Him to be my Savior. But I spent the next three decades with a lot of misconceptions about God and the Christian life. Change came about when I asked God to show me His heart in Scripture. I wanted to know Him not just know about Him. I wanted my relationship to be intimate not just intellectual. While Christ is the only way to Heaven, each of us are on our own path of discovery to find Him. I know this, He is found when we seek Him with all our heart, soul, and mind. I trust you come to know Him as He longs for you to know Him. Your searching is not in vain, your honesty is a good thing, and your heart is what God is after.

CrownLaidDown said...

Donald,

I am thankful for you...for your honesty, for your being real with Leigh yesterday. She's the real deal, too.

I am praying for you and asking God to come and show you more of who He is and bring peace and joy and favor upon you. You are precious to Him. And that, my brother, makes you precious to me. Your name will be spoken for in the Smith house. We ask that Jesus becomes everything to you. He loves you so much!

As do we!

Shari said...

Hi Donald, How amazing it is when the God of the Universe...now think about that a minute....THE God of the Universe pauses just for us! And for you, Donald, He is doing just that. He is seeking you out thru people you don't even know who are pausing just for you to make sure you know that God adores you....and He has an amazing plan for you..please let us know how this turns out...God is waiting for your YES! I am praying for you (not just saying that), but really praying that you will allow God to reach you. Blessings in a BIG way to you, Shari

Praise and Coffee said...

Hi Donald,
I have a feeling that the Lord has you on His heart...it's obvious that His people do.

Praying for you,
Sue

Lucy said...

Donald,

I completely agree with Bev. You really should check out the two books she mentioned. There was a time not too long ago when I didn't believe either. I had the same doubts that you do. I wanted to believe, but I just didn't see how it could possibly be true and I sure wasn't going to pretend to believe if I didn't. I would debate it back and forth in my own mind and list all the reasons that the Bible couldn't be true and why God could not possibly exist. I would always end my debate with the same questions, "What if I'm wrong? What if it is for real." One day I was going through a box of my daddy's old books. One of them was, "Christianity, The Faith That Makes Sense." Half-way through the book I knew beyond all doubt that God is Who He says He is and that the Bible is completely true. I gave my life to Christ that night and I haven't regretted it for even a second. If I lose everything in this world, but have Christ, I've lost nothing. If I had owned the whole world, but never knew Christ, I would've gained nothing. It's real. He's real. Search for Him and you will most definitely find Him. I'm going to be praying for you.

Lindsee said...

Hi Donald!!

I am so glad you had the opportunity to talk with Leigh the other day. Us blog ladies would give anything to get our nails done with her!

I hope you know that we are all praying that the Lord would show up in you life in a HUGE way and that you would BELIEVE!! Oh, the joy! With Him your life can be more than you ever imagined. I hope you know that! You've got numerous amounts of ladies and friends routing for you!

Praying for a new brother in Christ! (Like Leigh said, we have a responsibility to do so!)

Lindsee

Lindsee

Shannon said...

Hi Donald,
I just wanted to share with you a poem that descibes what being a Christian means to me.

When I say, “I am a Chrisian" by Carole Wimmer

When I say, “I am a Christian,” I’m not shouting “I've been saved!” I’m whispering, “I get lost! That's why I chose this way”

When I say, “I am a Christian,” I don’t speak with human pride, I’m confessing that I stumble - needing God to be my guide

When I say, “I am a Christian” I’m not trying to be strong I’m professing that I’m weak and pray for strength to carry on

When I say, “I am a Christian,” I’m not bragging of success I’m admitting that I've failed and cannot ever pay the debt

When I say, “I am a Christian,” I don't think I know it all I submit to my confusion asking humbly to be taught

When I say, “I am a Christian,” I’m not claiming to be perfect My flaws are far too visible but God believes I’m worth it

When I say, “I am a Christian,” I still feel the sting of pain I have my share of heartache which is why I seek His name

When I say, “I am a Christian,” I do not wish to judge I have no authority -- I only know I’m loved

Irritable Mother said...

Leigh, What a wonderful opportunity for you to be a link in the chain for Donald. God is clearly pursuing him and I pray He will make a way for Donald to read this post.

Tracy Berta-daughter to the King, wife, mother, speaker, writer said...

Donald,
Wow! Look at the outpouring of love for you, and these women don't even know you. God has sent Leigh to you to confirm His deep, unending love for you. He will do anything to draw you to Him. He is pursuing you with a relentless love!!!! He will NEVER give up. There are many of us praying for you, Donald.

Linda said...

Hi, first time here ... It is precisely because God loves Donald so much that he created an appointment with this lady ... She is not God, but God spoke through her with human words and an undercurrent of love I'm sure Donald felt at some level. Donald will never be the same.

a.Helms said...

Leigh,
I am still blown away by this email that I received from a stranger asking me to speak to a boy about God's love for Him through your blog. It was like God speaking directly to me saying "Okay, it's time to step up to the plate and do what I have called you to do." So here goes.

Donald,
Leigh's words to you are not just words. I know because I am living proof. i thought the same way. I thought I had to be in a certain place and know certain things about faith before I could come to God. If you go to my website though you will definitely see that I didn't . http://web.mac.com/artist4him4evr . I am one of those people that she spoke of that each day has to hold on and hide in God and that is my faith. I trust in Him and in His word. I can not trust in the things people say He should do for me. I have to trust in His word and in His character. It is my foundation and my rock. It is what brings me peace, a peace that this world cannot understand. It is what takes away my anxiety and my troubles each day. My power only comes from knowing that Christ died for me and that I will live for eternity in Him. Because of this I no longer have to be afraid of all the things that made me afraid in my life, things like being abused or being beat up, or being mentally abused. My mind and spirit belong to God. he has a Life for me that is far beyond anything that this earth is ever going to give me. This is what I have faith in and yet I am still in some of the same situations as before. You can't wait till the so called time is just right. It never will be if you do that.

Leigh,
I will be praying. I believe this is all we can do for now.
a. helms

Ang baylis said...

Hey, Donald!

I'm a girl from Michigan who has two kids 21 & 22 years old. As a parent I feel it has been my job to plant seeds in them that I pray will bloom one day in God's perfect timing. I can see a whole garden being planted in YOU! Thanks for taking the time to read all of these comments. We all care so much about you!

Much love,
Angie