Welcome to Fearless Fridays, where people like you share your stories of fearlessness!
Today it’s my turn…
You’ve Been Served – by ME (Sarah E Ball)
Sitting here, trying to think of a moment I was brave, is harder than I thought it would be. I close my eyes trying to remember a time I stormed a castle, or started a rebellion, but then I realize that I am searching for the wrong memory. What I should be remembering is a time when I felt very afraid, but did it anyway. Isn’t that what bravery is? Then I remembered…
I prayed hard before I picked up the phone. I prayed that it would be a wrong number, or the person on the other end would tell me they had no idea who or where (we’ll call him George) was. I held my breath – I told myself to just talk quick…
“Hello” a voice with a thick accent answered.
“Hi” I coughed to clear my fear “this is Sarah, I am looking for ‘George’ and I was wondering if you had his phone number?”
please don’t have his number, please don’t have his number
I just had to prove to the judge that I did my best to serve him the papers, and that I tried all my leads to find him, and then there would be no contesting.
“Sarah who?” He asked, his suspicion beginning to grow, perhaps he remembered my voice; After all, I used to hang out at his house all the time with ‘George’, and brothers, well, they remember all the girls.
“This is Sarah, I was George’s girlfriend, a long time ago and I had a baby…”
please don’t have his number, please don’t have his number
There was a pause, a pause to determine if he would defend his brother and hide him away, or do the right thing. Trouble was, the right thing for me, in that moment, was for him to tell me that he had moved back to South America and I could go back to the judge and tell him he was nowhere to be found….
My stomach sunk and twisted as I scribbled the number on a scrap piece of paper, and dialed instantly.
I was terrified and I didn’t want to ponder it, I just wanted it to be over with.
please don’t be home, please don’t be home
The Call Before The Call
It would have been about 18.5 years ago before this recent call, when I made my first nervous call to ‘George’. I was at work, waitressing at the Golf Course Restaurant, I finally had a few minutes to spare, and I just wanted to get it over with. We had been broken up for about 2 weeks now, and after 3 different pregnancy tests, there was no denying that I was 21, unmarried and pregnant….
A Holy Call
We’ll call him Kevin, well, cause that’s his real name. Around the same time, Kevin, a young, single, Christian man, was thrust into a season of intense prayer. I didn’t know him, I hadn’t met him yet in this moment…. It wasn’t a chore, or a thing he necessarily committed to doing, but for a season, he just couldn’t shake the intense need to pray, a lot. During one moment of prayer, he felt very strongly that God told him he would adopt two children. It wasn’t a big surprise as working in orphanages was already a thing he had grown to love, so adopting an orphan one day, perhaps from South America, (where he had travelled to help build and minister in an orphanage before) would make sense. Remember his story? He wrote it in his journal, and stored it away.
Back to the Call Before The Call
I don’t remember what I had actually said, when I called ‘George’ to tell him I was pregnant, all I remember was feeling hopeful that he would do the right thing and marry me, but having him actually say … “It’s your #**^^ing”, problem not mine” devastated me, then he changed his phone number and moved…
I went through 9 months of pregnancy, 27 hours of labour, and 5 years of single parenting without ‘George’. I was so lost during that time, and my search for wholeness intensified. I had begun talking to God at this point, but my painful self-image was too strong to ask for grace, and I soon found myself in a relationship with “Peter”, let’s call him that shall we?
When I told Peter I was pregnant, he was scared, but okay with it. When I told him I wanted to try out this Christian thing, and do the right thing and get married. Peter panicked, because now, he had to tell me he couldn’t marry me because, well, he was already legally married. “Surprise!!” He left to go back home, miles away, and settle the divorce, and he never returned. He sent me a final goodbye via email.
I went through 9 months of pregnancy, 8 hours of labour , 2 weeks of baby boy on life support, and 2.5 years of single motherhood without ‘Peter’.
The First and Final Call
Kevin put his hand on my shoulder for comfort as I sobbed at how rude ‘George’ was on the phone.
“you have understand how I FEEL?” he had moaned angrily on the phone, refusing to meet up.
It was the first time I had spoken with him in 9 years, and all I needed to do was serve him papers. Once he got the papers, he didn’t have to do a thing unless he wanted to contest the adoption, if so, he would have to show up to court on a date marked in the paper, and tell the judge he refused the spousal adoption.
It was the most terrifying phone call I had ever taken, and the deep well of resentment and pain was wanting to explode and scream… “I have to understand how YOU feel?!!!!!, Why don’t you understand how I feel or how your daughter feels?!”
But even in the fear I was firm, determined, and held-down by peace. Don’t you see that this was the climax of my redemption story?! It was the terrifying moment where the past was faced without anger, or hated, and replaced with an internal peace and justice to take back what the enemy had stolen.
Don’t you see that God is getting ready to write your redemption story too, he just needs you to turn the page and follow him there!Don't you see that God is getting ready to write your redemption story too, he just needs you to… Click To Tweet
God was bigger than our pain. He was bigger than our abandonment.
We hired a private investigator to serve the papers, it took him 3 false addresses and 2 no-shows to track him down, poor ‘George’ was terrified of facing his past. However, he was officially served.
“man, you’re one lucky lady to not have that in your life” the investigator reported.
Peter, well nobody had his number…
It took 2 years after we were married for my son and daughter to be legally adopted by their real dad, Kevin. God was right, he would adopt two children, only one was an adorable 1/2 South American Orphan, and the other a future CFL’R, I’m sure of it! #42!
The fear of facing my past, and facing it knowing that I would be lashed with the same cruelty and coldness I had received so many years ago, was so hard. Taking years to blend a family and ‘unorphan’ an abandoned child’s heart, has taken a lot of work, but it’s been such a God story.
Fear, usually always precedes a breakthrough, a moment in time you can look back and say, that is when I was brave, and that is when it all turned around.