Zephare RamirezAssociate Pastor of Lubbock Dream Center
Obedience. That’s a tough word. Depending on your background, it can be a word that triggers some very unhealthy thoughts and perspectives. Looking back now, I realize everything buried in my marriage was surfacing because it was now time to deal with it. Landing us with one particularly bad argument. It was so bad that my husband said he wanted a divorce at the peak of it. Personally, we were struggling beyond imagination. We both came from a long line of anger, violence, trauma, and abuse. He was tired of our lives together and tired of the anger. He went to sleep on the couch, and I went to our bedroom.
As I was lying there, I remember God said to me, “It’s time.“
“Time for what?” I replied.
God replied, “It’s time for you to ask your father for forgiveness.” You see, my father had since passed away, and, in that time, I had grown angrier and angrier simply because I knew he had gone on to Heaven, and I felt he deserved to go to hell for the life of trauma and abuse he put me through.
I thought, “This is backward. First, my father is dead. Secondly, he should have asked ME for forgiveness. I had been a child and DID NOT DESERVE what he had done to me all those years.”
Then God spoke to my heart clearly and said, “Yes, there was a point for that, but then YOU decided to hate him, carry bitterness, anger, and resentment in your heart. You added to that the unwillingness to forgive. That was your choice. You were the victim at one point, but now you are locked in a prison because of wrongs you have chosen to walk in. So now I am telling you to wake your husband and ask him to stand for your father so you can ask him for forgiveness. If you don’t obey me, you will forfeit everything I have planned for you and your children and their children.“
I will tell you that those words shook me to my core. I didn’t know much about “how to,” but I did know God meant business with me. So, I did, in fact, obey. I will say asking my husband to stand in proxy for my father’s forgiveness was one of the most powerful things I have ever done. I would also like to say that the power was in asking for forgiveness alone, but I would be wrong.
You see, the power was in my obedience. To this day, it’s been one of the hardest things I have had to do. Years later, seeing my grandchildren walk in forgiveness has been one of the most incredible things I could witness. Our obedience is rarely only about us. You see, by my obedience, I flipped the script of what my life and theirs would’ve been.
Obedience is often difficult. It takes faith and trust. And maybe even doing something that makes no sense, like asking forgiveness or maybe forgiving that one person. It looks like doing something backward.
Obedience often has a price. That may include sharing your story, although it seems a rather messy way to help another. Long story short – obedience made a way… it always does.